The internet really has provided me a place to research and carry out this hobby without having to leave my home very much. This is not because of magic. I know the internet seems like magic sometimes, but this information got onto the internet somehow. I wish I could personally thank every person who has ever posted a picture of an ancestor that I have yanked and added to my personal collection. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I can’t! So I pay it forward and also try to give credit when I “borrow”. I do a little work hoping that some person some day might be able to use the little thing that I’ve done. Genealogy karma. Maybe you’re not supposed to do things hoping that it will come back to you, as that’s not very altruistic. What are the karma rules?
I am the first to admit, the concept of this website is a little morbid and I think it freaks people out a little bit (especially when they find out I have the App on my phone).
Even though it’s not the prettiest website in the world, findagrave.com is one of the most useful websites for genealogical research, at least in the United States. I think about how many brick walls have been cracked with the assistance of this amazing tool. As we all know, finding a death date is one of the more important things when looking to find records. But what if a great great grandfather died in Scranton, Pennsylvania and I live in Indianapolis (this is all a true story so far) and I don’t have a death date but I know who his wife is and when she died. WHAT DO I DO!?!?!?!? Well, hop on Find-a-Grave, and do a search to see if someone has already posted his information. If someone has posted information but you’d like to see what else is on the headstone you can request a photo and a volunteer could potentially go out and photograph it for you! Is that not amazing? 21st Century Magic.
So what do I do? There is a cemetery by my house called Concordia Cemetery. It’s the closest one to me and I’ve spent a lot of time walking the rows of headstones attempting to catalog those that have not yet been cataloged. Sometimes I’ll drive over to the Catholic Cemetery. I have a little corner I’ve been working on over there, but the cemetery is so large it feels a little futile. Concordia can be defeated!
Also while I’m out and about on little trips I’ll look to see if any nearby cemeteries have photo requests and I’ll go about and try to fulfill them. Because you know what? People do it for me. Karma.
Besides the good feelings and potential volunteer work I will receive in response, why else do I do this? Well, I love cemeteries. It’s my version of adult coloring books, I guess. I also find out some amazing history of the place where I live. For instance, one day when I was rolling through Holy Cross Cemetery by my house I realized that the Chevrolet family is buried a mile from me. Like…as in the cars. Like the actual Chevrolet family. Here! Here they are. Check it out here! They didn’t even live here (we are obviously not Detroit), but they were buried here because of their pride in their cars in the Indy 500. Gotta love the history.