12 Step Program for Genealogists

Child #2 tells me I am a genealogy addict. I counter with my attendance of meetings, ostensibly looking for a cure. Child patiently explains the concept of 12 step programs; they are supposed to help one kick a habit, not provide another fix. After some thought, I developed my own 12 Step Program. Rather than looking for…

Not Buried Here

I come across something unique in nearly every cemetery I visit. Cenotaphs (monuments erected in honor of a person buried elsewhere) exist in many graveyards. The cenotaph above was particularly interesting to me because of the wonderful genealogical clues it offers. A family historian may have stumbled upon this memorial, as I did, in Bluff City Cemetery…

Monuments Carved and Uncarved

Monuments do more than just mark spaces in cemeteries. In Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Olaf, Christine and Effie Olsson rest near a large family monument with several meanings. The style itself – a stone that is half carved and half uncarved – symbolizes the transition from life to death. Closer inspection reveals a complete pillar with leaves and…

Thoroughly Modern Memorial

We tend to assume, do we not, that headstones are erected soon after the deceased is laid to rest. In some cases however, a descendant has a headstone put in place long after the death occurred. And this dear readers, is a wonderful clue that another family historian may be lurking about. So when a headstone looks too “new” for the era…

The Cost of a Funeral Carriage

The 19th and 20th century obituaries I transcribe for this blog and for Find A Grave often mention cars (railroad cars that is) or carriages as the mode of transportation for the deceased and their family and friends. I’ve often wondered about the cost of each and which my ancestors chose. As luck would have it,…