My Tombstone Collection
So, I had entered the Genealogy Blogger network. Shortly after that, I saw where the Genea-Bloggers started a Tombstone Tuesday "meme". So, I took this adventure to this cemetery, and started to post this pictures on Tuesdays so that others can see the tombstones and the information that they provided me.
As I mentioned, my wife and I will stop at cemeteries in places where there "might be" a connection to our families. We have been doing this for about 8 years. Some pictures are "ours" others are not, but it may have the right surname. Since I don't delete these digital pictures, I have kept them on CD. Some are used, many are not, or not until now.
Now to the questions that were posted with GYR #37:
What Graveyard Rabbit site(s) do you run?
What I try to do is to just post the picture and to have text on what the headstone says. I may be able to read it better, from the picture on the computer than can be read online. Only on occasion have I added any story about the individual. From my experience that got me started, I realized how much genealogical information might be on a headstone that might help others. To me, the telling of the story for that person is not mine to tell in my blog, it's for the researcher to tell.
Using the "Label" for the cemetery, any photos from that cemetery will be seen, blog entry by blog entry. I am trying to let the reader see who else might be buried there. Since the pictures are just of those I have taken, I realized that Find-A-Grave was another resource for cemetery information. Links to that cemetery in Find-A-Grave is included in the cemetery listing.
Coming to the blog, folks may be looking for a surname. I have listed the surnames, again with the use of a "Label". So, looking for a specific surname, again limited to my pictures, the researcher can see in what other cemeteries that surname might be found.
What first interested you in joining the GYR Association?
Some encouragement from the founders of this association. What a great resource. Another place to do genealogy research.
Do your family members think you are a “little off center” with respect to your cemetery obsession?
I am always a "little off center", but since my wife and I have the same obsession, it has given us an excuse to get outside (no matter the weather) and get some fresh air.
Which situation evokes an immediate response of “Oh! Oh! Stop the car!”- you spy a yard sale in the distance- you notice a cemetery from 1/4 mile away- you see a sexy man on the side of the road- from afar you spy Elvis with your eye
A "Cemetery ahead" will stop the car. I don't have to do that. Only wish that my GPS would warn me "cemetery on the right in one mile". I only visit Elvis at my daughter's annual family picnic. (but that's another story).
Just do it. You never know what you may find for yourself and for others. The GYR Association may also have information that you are looking for. For me, the GYR association has taken me on a little different direction. At first, I thought that the GYR might take away from other types of websites, but for me, it's adding to the tools that a genealogist might already be using. Since I already have these photographs, have them in a format to "go online", I have become a contributor to Find-A-Grave. I had joined that website a number of years ago, didn't find it of much use, at the time, but had it in my list of Tools, as a researcher, so I returned to it. So, I now double post my pictures.
This created another problem for me. Who have I posted and where? I figured out how to do this and blogged about what I do in this effort. I now am in the process of cataloging all of the Headstone pictures that I have on Disk, and am using that to post on my Tombstone Tuesday Blog and Find-A-Grave. The "problem" with Find-A-Grave is that users of that website will request a picture to be taken. That's a good problem, as it give me an excuse to find a cemetery that I may not have visited before.
Be respectful to the sacred ground that we are walking on.
Leave nothing behind, Take pictures.
How about photography; any advice there?
(Digital camera suggestion)Use shadows, change angles, take more than one picture from different angles, take pictures of the cemetery sign(s) so you know what cemetery the pictures were taken in. I use pictures to do the writing that I might have done in the past. Over time, I have found that pictures are more reliable then my handwriting. There have been times that the picture was clearer then I could see "up close and personal".
Anything I missed?
Learn a little about the various issues around headstones. What to do and what not to do. Take a little water and a small SOFT brush to clean off a headstone that you might take a picture of. Nothing in the water. I recently found a headstone that was created with sandstone. It is now almost un-readable. In another blog recently, the "stuff" used to clean the headstone had caused the headstone to not be readable.