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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cemetery Research






If you have a love of genealogy like I have, cemeteries are not spooky places, unless you love to be spooked and then you can crawl around in one on Halloween and tell yourself ghost stories. They are very interesting and you can learn so much from them. Take a road trip, add a couple of friends and bring home a tombstone--legally~make a tombstone rubbing. You will need: rubbing wax or jumbo crayons like they use at the home improvement center for marking lumber, masking tape or a partner, scissors and nonfusible, medium to heavy-weight interfacing fabric(Pellon is one brand name) This works better than large sheets of butcher paper or white shelf paper, according to Sharon DeBartolo Carmack who wrote~Your Guide to Cemetery Research~Excellent reference book! My son bought this book for me and it goes with me whenever I go for a cemetery walk. I'm itching to go back on the road to visit several cemeteries of my relatives that I haven't had a chance to see yet. Hope to find lots of art and symbols and we can't forget the epitaphs...those are always so interestingly written. It's been said that they decorated headstones with artwork because many of our ancestors couldn't read or write but they could understand the meaning of the symbols. And don't forget the cemetery keepers. They can help you find who you are looking for quickly and they have access to many records. I will spend a little time from now till Spring Break honing my skills in symbol reading and then go on a cemetery jaunt. I love history and the cemeteries are full of history. Want to come along? We'll take a picnic!