Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meet Yolanda Campbell Lifter, Author of "Graveyard Rabbit Journeys"

The fifty second in a series

featuring a member of

The Graveyard Rabbit Association


I was born and spent my first 13 years in Springfield, Ohio. My dad died in 1969, and my mother moved the family to Warner Robins, Georgia, in 1973. I graduated from Warner Robins High School and came to Melbourne, Florida, to attend the Florida Institute of Technology. I met my husband at FIT and we married in 1981. We are the parents of 22 year old identical twin daughters.

I was bitten by the genealogy bug in March 1995. I had returned to Ohio for the first time in 21 years to attend the funeral of a cousin. My 2 sisters and I were visiting our dad’s grave in Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, and one of them mentioned that we did not know much about his family. It was suggested that I, since I was a stay-at-home mom and had plenty of free time, should be the one to find out about his family. As soon as I returned home, I obtained my paternal grandmother’s obituary and went from there.

Genealogy has become a major part of my life. I visit Ohio for research at least once a year and try to attend as many conferences as possible to further my genealogical education. I began my own business, Ohio Family Research, in 2000.

I homeschooled my daughters from kindergarten through 12th grade and genealogy was part of their curriculum. They have accompanied me on research trips and have attended conferences. Both know how to use a microfilm reader and are good at cemetery photography.

Here I am at the Brisslan Cemetery which is located in Perry Township, Brown County, Ohio. My 4th great grandparents, Gideon and Mary Bowen Dunham are buried here as well as my 2nd great-grandfather, Bowen Dunham. Other Dunham relatives are also here.

I belong to a number of genealogical societies (national, state, and local) and host 3 USGenWeb counties. I am working on 3 one-name studies (Lifter, Stoops, and Wisby) and have a few books in-progress. I am part of the ProGen 4 Study Group and hope to become certified in the near future. In my “other” life, I am the assistant general manager of a Hampton Inn.

I would have never imagined that visiting cemeteries and tombstone photography would be my favorite parts of research. As a child, and even up to my mid-twenties, I would close my eyes every time I was driven past a cemetery. Thankfully, I overcame my fear of cemeteries!

Since I am working on developing my writing skills and have 15 years of tombstone photos, I decided to try my hand at blogging. I am thrilled to be a Graveyard Rabbit.


Diane Wright said...

Welcome, Yolanda!! I also love cemeteries as the best part too.

Gale Wall said...

Hello from this Georgia girl, transplanted in Kansas. Cemeteries are my favorite part of genealogy.