Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meet Michelle Warren Grismer, Author of "Buried In A New World"

The seventy eighth in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association


What Graveyard Rabbit site(s) do you run?

I run the blog “ Texas Immigrants.”  I chose the title and the headline “Buried in a new world”  because that is truly what immigration to Texas was.

“Texas Immigrants” will tell the stories of those brave enough to leave everything  they knew to find a new way of life for themselves and their families.

I will share the culture’s that have meshed together to build the communities and lives that created one of the most colorful states in the United States of America.

The blog will show the richness of language and traditions. In the end we must build from the knowledge of the  beginning .

Did you always have a fascination with cemeteries? Or did this develop out of your genealogy work?

Yes, I have always been fascinated with cemeteries and old pictures, and an affinity for the stories of old-timers.

I remember being in a cemetery with my mother at a very young age and looking at all the headstones and wondering what the people laying beneath were like?

My genealogy work just makes me more curious about the cultures that make the state of Texas so strong and interesting.

What first interested you in joining the Graveyard Rabbit Association?

I found the website through a blog I stumbled upon while researching genealogy.

I feel that as a writer I am more productive when I network with those that share my interest. I found each of the blogs in the association polished and thought provoking and motivated me to move forward and create my own.

Do your family members think you are a little “ off center” with your cemetery obsession?

My family is very supportive of my obsession with genealogy. They are grateful that I am sharing  my knowledge of our ancestry with them to take into their future to share with their  children.

If you could spend two days in Vegas or two days researching cemeteries with a genealogy expert which would you choose.

I would choose two days researching cemeteries with a genealogy expert.  There are many cemeteries in Texas that are in danger of disappearing altogether due to age, time and neglect.

 Many of those are full of some of the great pioneers and trailblazers whose dreams became the foundation for every courthouse and church in every tiny little town and every City in Texas.

What advice do you have for anyone considering joining the Graveyard Rabbit Association?

I would say joining your blog with GYR can really boost your readership and  the support is wonderful.

What advice would you have for would be cemetery rabbits?

I would say take it in small steps to be the most productive  in your research.

I like to sketch out my genealogy research so to speak.  By breaking it down in pieces, start with what you know of the person you are researching. Their careers, ethnicity, children, religion will guide you to the answers but try to work one subject at a time.

I do not waste time while researching online.  If I find a website that does not suit my needs, however they have referenced several books on the subject I  try to get my hands on the books, or their websites. Some great sources of information in smaller communities where you have a large ethnic population would be your funeral directors.

Librarians at the local library usually are the local historian or they know one.  Sometimes you can even get lucky and the library will have a historian on staff.

Churches can be a great source of information , many church records in Texas date back as far back as the late 1700s. Also in Texas there are many ranch churches where the ranch owner would build a church for the Hispanic Catholic ranch hands and housekeepers who were employed on the ranch.

Look for more blog posts about the lives of the people that came to Texas to live a dream and build a country.

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