Cemeteries are Coming Back to Life

Winter dragged on forever here in the Midwest. I hadn’t been to Lakewood since January when the cemetery looked like this: For months I suffered headstone withdrawal, especially after Mother Nature’s 70 degree tease in late March. But yesterday, after a visit to the dentist, I rewarded myself with a cemetery visit. Just in time to…

Looks Can Be Deceiving

You know what they say about assumptions, right? Guilty as charged. In July of last year I was in Chicago’s Rosehill Cemetery taking headstone photos for Find A Grave, when I stumbled upon this: Of course I assumed the overturned headstone belonged to Scott M. Jones. After all, written in stone – those very nearby…

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…

Sisters of Mercy

Ordinarily I share photos of multiple headstones on Taphophile Thursday. Those pictures tend to focus more on the cemetery as a whole and less on individual markers. But this grouping of headstones in Janesville Wisconsin’s Mount Olivet Cemetery presented the individuals as a single entity. Which is what moved me to take a picture.

Hexagon Headstone in Wisconsin

This beautiful hexagon headstone is in Forest Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum in Madison Wisconsin. Six members of the extended Whitaker family are interred here. Mary Whitaker Sandford 1910-1952 Bessie Sayles Whitaker 1880-1951 Henry Charles Whitaker 1874-1930 Robert Charles Ellis Sr. 1895-1981 Dorothy Whitaker Ellis 1907-1957 and Henry Whitaker Ellis 1939-1990. All have been memorialized on Find…

Wednesday’s Child: The Ryan Children

The loss of a child must have been devastating to our ancestors. I can only imagine the anguish of parents who lost several children. Like James and Bridget, the parents of Margaret, Michael and Mary Ryan. State registration of births in Minnesota began in 1900, but the rules weren’t really followed statewide until after 1915. Death records have only been…

As the Year Ends

Looking back on my genealogy-related accomplishments in 2015, my thoughts go first to the one that brought me the most joy. I visited 24 cemeteries this year. Three visits helped with my family history research. Maybe one of the others will help you with yours. If you haven’t yet made your New Year’s Resolutions, please consider becoming a Find A Grave photo…