Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cemeteries and a Word Prompt

I began doing my genealogy soon after we got married in 1976.  Our daughter, born four years later, grew up visiting cemeteries. It's part of the research. She has always had an uncanny knack for finding family stones.

People used to joke that I had more photos of gravestones than I did of family members. Well, often times that is all that is left. Distant cousins have sent me photos from across the country. The cemetery above is in Illinois where my great grandmother, Nellie, was born.

One of the stones in this cemetery is her great grandfather. Abner Keith was born when our country was new and died after the Civil War. Can you imagine the things he saw and experienced in his long life. 
He was born in Pennsylvania, spent time in Kentucky and then in Illinois. He followed the western movement with thousands of other pioneers. 

My great great grandfather James W. George was born in Barbour County, Virginia in 1839. With the Civil War the area became part of West Virginia. He is buried in Kansas in the same cemetery as my mother, my brother, and numerous other relatives. When you look at things like this is it amazing how recent those events really were. He died in 1909.

One more I'll share came from a distant cousin in Ohio. This is the stone in the center of the Martin family plot. I didn't know about many of these siblings of my great great grandfather so you can imagine how exciting it was to receive this information; besides the sense of contact their stone and its photo brings me.
William Martin was born in 1811 in Baltimore, Maryland and died in Ohio. His wife, Ura Sands, was from a Quaker family who came to America and settled first in Pennsylvania. 

I still visit family graves whenever possible. We have found quite a few of my husband's family in Washington state during the last few years. With learning about paranormal research a new dimension has been added. Perhaps we have actually talked to some of them through EVPs (electronic voice phenomena.)

Whatever your belief cemeteries are a link to the past and one that is sadly neglected in many places. Thankfully, those interested in genealogy and history are refurbishing these old cemeteries and gathering information and stories about those buried there.

One such group is the Pioneer Cemetery Association in Phoenix. We are members of this group and on March 22 my husband will be performing as Sheriff Josephus Phy during a tour of the cemeteries. Hope to see many of our friends there learning about our history and supporting this great group. For more information go to the Phoenix Pioneer Cemeteries. I hope others are doing the same for where my ancestors are buried.

Word Prompt: gravestones