Your Quick Tips, 04 December 2006

Photo Contest
I would like to share an idea that has become very popular in our family. I am the “keeper” of the family history and have accumulated many photographs over the years. My brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and children have only been mildly interested in the history of our family.

Several months ago I started a quiz contest. Each week or so, I e-mail everyone a photograph from my collection with a quiz question. Usually I just ask, “Who am I?” but sometimes when that is too easy I’ll change the question, maybe to “Where was this picture taken?” or “Name the year.”

The first person to e-mail me back the answer gets a point and every few weeks I release the “standings.” I am pleasantly surprised at how popular and competitive it has become. Everyone is enjoying it very much and an added benefit is that they are calling my parents much more frequently to describe a picture to them and ask who it is.
Nancy Grant

Christmas Gift Idea
I did this several years ago for my grandma as a Christmas gift. I purchased a hard cover “birthday book.” This book lists each day of every month with room to enter all the birth dates, death dates, and anniversaries of our loved ones. You can also write in graduations, baptisms, etc. Also included are bits and pieces, or words of wisdom, from various authors. There are several styles of this type of book to choose from at most bookstores.

I started the book out by listing all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with their birth and marriage dates on the appropriate date and month.
This was a great way for my grandma to keep track of her growing family, as well as close friends. Grandma passed away a year ago now, and my mom gave the book back to me. It’s a special remembrance as it now has my Grandma’s handwriting where she added dates of family and friends, but also notes that she made. This would be a special gift for anyone and it’s a wonderful way to remember your loved ones.
Karen Killey Barriger

Record a Cemetery
I have a pet project and I pester any and all who are interested in our family histories to do the same–go record the tombstones in cemeteries where father, mother, grandma, and grandpa are buried! Even better, record ANY cemetery near you, or where you are visiting, regardless of whether or not you have relatives there.

The reason I dwell on this subject so much is because I have seen six cemeteries disappear in my lifetime; fancy homes are now on these sacred sights and I resent it with all my heart. After seeing that this can be done, I was determined to record the areas where my mother, her parents, and grandparents now rest. What a labor of love!
And these records have now been compiled into books available at several libraries. I am so proud of them.

NOW, go record a cemetery today!

Carol in Arizona

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5 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips, 04 December 2006

  1. Re: Record a Cemetery
    I would like to further suggest that if a person does take the time to transcribe a cemetery, they make the records available to all for free at the USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project found here:

    I photographed one 1700s cemetery in Massachusetts while I was out there visiting relatives, then over the course of a month at home, transcribed the headstones and sent them to the web site administrator for that county. I received plenty of thanks by email from those who found their ancestors’ headstones. Truly a worthwhile project.

  2. I really like both of these ideas. My children have done a similar birthday book for me. I think that I will try the Christmas gift idea. Thanks for such good thoughts.
    Joan H. Lente

  3. Re: Record a Cemetery
    What a nice jolt I got when I read this! My husband & I just started this “hobby” this past summer. We travel a lot & try to find the smaller, older cemeteries & we walk it entirely & take photos of each marker. Then we also do what Carol in AZ did, we offer the list to the county. It’s fun, great exercise & a very peaceful setting! We also enter the names & photos on the website:

  4. I think recording cemeteries is a great idea. In our own area a farmer decided to build a new house and the old cemetery sat next to where he built. Over a few years the stones disappeared (someone saw them down on the river bank on his property). I feel there should be laws against this. I know in some states there are, but how often are they enforced? We supposedly have some laws in Illinois, but they aren’t enforced. I wonder how the people who are tearing up old cemeteries or farming or building right over them would feel if it was the graves and stones of their loved ones being desecrated. Perhaps they don’t care about that either only the dollars.

  5. I had no idea that cemeteries could be destroyed. What about all the news coverage that happens if someone (perhaps a developer or highway constructions project) stumbles across a few human bones that are claimed to be an Indian burial site. Off to court we go with the claim that this is a sacred site and cannot be disturbed and yet, this article states that our own cemeteries are being destroyed.

    Sometimes I think that we have a great confusion of values in our society. I have owned 2 peices of land that had cemetaries that were overgrown and had not been visited or cared for, for two or more generations. It was always my belief that these pieces of ground were untouchable and not to be disturbed. In fact, I thought it was illegal to disturb them and certainly morally incorrect.

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