Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cemetery Visit Planning

The Mapping Your Route question fit right in to an Online Chat that a number of us participate it. All that were on the chat agreed that the online discussion could be posted on Second Life.

This past week (Tuesday Evening, June 2th) the Just Genealogy Second Life group had an online Chat on Cemeteries.

I lead the Chat and thought I would summarize the Chat, based on the format that I used to expand on what to consider when preparing for a Cemetery Visit.

As the group was gathering, another member of the Chat asked this question:

Did you know we have a name for what we are?



From the Greek words taphos, meaning "tomb" or "sepulcher" and philia, meaning "attraction or affinity to something, in particular the love or obsession with something"

Before I get to far I should note that I am new at this, so please bear with me as we Chat about Cemeteries and Genealogy. What I hope to do, this evening, is to post some questions, then Chat about them for a few minutes. I will post some websites for you to look at along the way. I am NOT an expert, but a learner

If you want to find a little more about me, The Graveyard Rabbit Association posted some information here:

1 - What do you do on a cemetery visit?
  • Photograph
  • Sweat :)
  • Weep?
  • Walk a lot
  • Pause for a Vet
  • Go through the records. If I am able to get there to do anything

2 - What do you take with you?
  • Spray bottle, towel
  • Camera - Some mentioned Digital others mentioned Film
  • One even mentioned Black and White file for a historical society
  • Photos
  • Brush
  • Foil
  • Take away trach if I find it
  • Insect repellent
  • Light weight paper and pencil for possible rubbings
  • Notebook
  • Money to pay for any copies
  • Sheets of paper and charcoal
  • Mini tape recorder
  • Antihistamine
  • Pruning shears, to cut back the overgrown plants
  • Cell Phone or Walkie-Talkie

3 - How do you record information?
  • Paper and Pencil / Pen
  • Mini recorder
  • Lots of Pictures - many of the same headstone for best use of shadows

4 - How do you share information found?
  • One has a very large cemetery / headstone database, so "My dbase" about 10 gigs
  • USGenweb has a cemetery transcription project

5 - What do you do with the information that is found?
  • Transcribe
  • Check facts
  • Birth and death dates
  • Relationships
  • Veteran status
  • Symbols
  • Firefighers, Police, Military

6 - Would like to talk a little about Headstone Maintenance

7 - What Tricks do you use to capture the information that you want?
  • Tin foil to bring out the inscriptions on a very worn stone
  • Water and a Soft Brush
  • Piece of cardboard wrapped in (cheap) foil. Impromptu mirror for throwing light into shadows
  • Foil - Gently wrap it around the stone and press into the carving

8- Some Resources
By no means is this complete, but for me, it's a starting point and reminder for my next visit to a cemetery.

Happy Hunting (Ancestors, that is)