The Genealogy Journey

The newbie genealogist's resource for books, mags, databases, and -- of course -- any free research stuff to be found on the Internet.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saving Graves

When I die, I want to be cremated, and I certainly don’t want to be put into a jar on a mantel. (Must remember to tell husband this.) I prefer the “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” route – so just scatter my remains someplace pretty. (But it must be my version of pretty. Must remember to tell husband that Las Vegas isn’t pretty.)

Although I wouldn’t like to rest in peace in a graveyard, I do find them to be interesting places. I like the variety of names and inscriptions, although there’s always a tinge of sadness to this exploration.

Graveyards are common on every street corner and church, and unfortunately we treat them that way. From what I’ve heard on genealogy forums, many historic graveyards are neglected as well. And although this is a generalization and I hate generalizations, I think the neglect is due to our transient society. The families simply aren’t there to tend the graves.

On the way to a networking event the other night, I passed through an area I haven’t seen in a couple of years and marveled at all the growth. (If you live in or around Atlanta, you know development is ever-present.) I also passed by a graveyard sandwiched between two small strips of stores. I wondered how long it would be there, and what argument would be used to relocate it since it was now on “valuable property.”

If you’re interested in preserving a graveyard, I suggest googling in your U.S. state or country and “saving graves.” Or, you can go to their main Web site at http://www.savinggraves.org. They also have an interesting-looking library at http://www.savinggraves.org/education/index.htm.

~Mary Kaye

1 Comments:

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Nikki-ann said...

You've mentioned preserving graveyards... Doing some family research I went in search of my great grandparents' grave believing there wasn't even a stone. Upon visiting a cemetary in Cheshire (UK) I was helped by it's caretaker who gave me a map of the cemetary. I found the plot and when I reached it I realised there was a stone. Unfortunately, it has started to deteriorate, but I have taken a photo of it (just in case it becomes unreadble) and I aim to get it restored soon.

We are losing history by not looking after our deseased loved ones.

 

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