Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet: Robin Inge, "Graveyard Rabbit of Wichita County, Texas"

The thirty ninth in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association


My name is Robin and I was born April 27, 1969 in Denison, TX at Perrin Field Air Force Base to Donnie Ray and Kathy Jean Faleris Cordell. I am the oldest of three girls. At the age of 4 my parent’s divorced and my mother moved back to her home in St. Ignace, Michigan with her family and I stayed in Texas with my father. My father was a fireman at the time and since his work schedule consisted of 24 hr shifts we moved in with my great-grandparents Clarence and Alma Evans of Bell’s, TX.

As a little girl on a farm, life was always full of excitement for me. My great-grandmother taught me how to cook and she always kept me out of trouble. Which happened to be a full time chore. My grandfather worked a full time job at the lumber yard along with maintaining the farm. Every morning I would help my grandfather feed the livestock before going to school and then again repeat the chore in the evening when he came in from work. Chores that I tended to with my grandmother was also fun. We had a large garden on the side of the house full of wonderful goodies. So for our daily meals we would go out and pick corn, green beans, tomatos, potatos, squash or whatever she had planned for the meal that day.

Clarence and Alma(Clark) Evans, Bells, TX 1945

Because I grew up around a mainly “older” generation, my curiosity about family and “Where I Came From” just grew as I got older. Once I had my first son I began wondering about where my mom was. I had dabbled in searching but never got really involved. After my great-grandmother died and I got a little older, I realized the importance of knowing who and where and what. Therefore, I began asking questions and hunting for answers. I was fortunate enough to obtain photos from my grandfather before he passed away. Then after my own divorce I went back to college. One of my law classes was a Research Class and my instructor combines it and our Family Law Class into a project of creating a family tree for that semester. That was my first actual time to ever get involved in family searching. I was able to locate some information and managed to obtain a little bit and piece as time went by.

After 33 yrs apart

I moved to Wichita Falls in February 2007 and two weeks after I had moved I received a phone call during my lunch break from my grandmother. She had told me that my father had received a letter from a cousin searching for my sister and I. The cousin happened to be the daughter of my Mother’s sister. I was in total shock. For the first month after receiving the letter I stewed and wrote her a letter. I never sent it for fear of having to see my mom. However, I decided to finally sit down and write and let her know it was ok for her to call and write and to also let my mom know she had found us. In April of 2007 I received my first phone call from my cousin. The following night I received a call from my mom. During the conversations that follow my cousin and I talked every night and all my childhood memories became reality. During this time Rene and I began putting my family tree in order and all the puzzle pieces began falling into place. It was not until Christmas of 2008 that I began searching graveyards for information. I was working on a tree for a friend of mine and had discovered that some of the family was buried at a near by cemetery in Ringgold, TX. So we decided to make a trip that day and see what information we could find. That evening I spent putting all the pieces together and logging my information and ran across Find A Grave. While researching other family members discovered a bunch of missing pieces I had been searching for. While searching for other information decided to research the town that my grandmother had been buried in and had ran across a Genealogy Blog. WOW! I was totally amazed at the information I was running across. So I decided to explore more and while creating my own blog and researching other blog information I discovered “Graveyard Rabbit”. I became involved in volunteering for Find A Grave and one night while logging my findings decided I wanted to create my own Graveyard Rabbit. That night “ Graveyard Rabbit of Wichita County, Texas” was born.

This is the Marker that started my existence and curiosity in graveyard researching

It’s funny that I have become a graveyard hunter, because as a child I was terrified of dead people or graveyards. Since my first time grave hunting I have found sort of a peaceful experience about it. My youngest son and my daughter have even gotten involved and it has become something that we can spend time together doing. They are actually turning into be pretty good hunter’s.

Graveyard Rabbit in Training
Dustin Inge
“helping clear away weeks and debris”

Graveyard Rabbit in Training
Jami Inge
“Trying to rub a headstone that is almost unreadable”

At first they both thought I was crazy, but after spending the day at “Beaver Creek Cemetery” near Electra, Texas on Sunday they both have discovered why it is so important to preserve the history of these cemeteries and the information that we transcribe.

I am hoping by sharing the experience with my children and explaining to them the importance of what we do that they will help preserve a piece of history and help pass on the stories that we uncover. For now we will continue our hunt and hopefully save a piece of history for future generations to come.


Sheri Fenley said...

Great Story Robin! You are a wonderful addition to the Graveyard Rabbit Association. Soooooo did you ever meet your mom?

Cousin Russ said...

Great story, Robin --- Thanks for sharing.