You've read about Finding Some Roots. Well, now we are off for something more and bigger.
For years, I've been wanting to explore the small Municipal Cemetery in the very small town that my mother is from. There are a few generations of family buried there from both of my maternal grandparents. But, you know how life goes. Some things you just never quite get around to.
With my recent foray into the world of genealogy, quite a large vista has opened before me. It was so interesting to find that two of the cemeteries in Oklahoma where my paternal family came from had been transcribed - which practically speaking means that everyone buried in that cemetery has been noted and the headstone information posted on-line. Great-Grandparents, Great Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, In-laws and more were right before me from half way across the country. Amazing!! A little further along in my research I discovered The Tombstone Transcription Project.
<<We who research our family's history are good at remembering. We remember often and we remember well. But, our memories last for only as long as we are here. The purpose of this project is to organize volunteers who will work together to create a lasting tribute to our ancestors. We will transcribe tombstone inscriptions and have that work archived for the future and made easily accessible to all.
The tombstones of our ancestors were always meant to be lasting memorials to the lives of those gone before. Lately, I have been visiting old cemeteries and have been distressed to see how these memorials are suffering the ravages of time and weather. Many of these stones are becoming difficult to read and some have already gotten so faint that deciphering them is next to impossible. Fortunately, many are still legible TODAY. But, of those we can read today, how many will still be legible ten or twenty years from today?
WE need to record these tombstone inscriptions now---before they are lost forever to the winds and the rains. Though many cemeteries have already been recorded by various Genealogical Societies, just as many have not. And, of those recorded, how accessible is that data to the world? If we join together and do this recording, we will guarantee that our ancestors are not forgotten----that their memorials will live on so that future generations may remember them as well as we do.>>
Sometimes Historical Societies do it. Sometimes Genealogy Societies, or families do it. A few young men have even done it as their Eagle Scout Project. After reading the reasons behind what they are doing, I couldn't wait for us to join in! It will also be a great Community Service Project / learning opportunity for the children as well. And which cemetery would we start with? Why the little Municipal Cemetery, of course! So, we are off in a few days to the little hometown cemetery with our paint brushes (to dust off the headstones), and our clipboards, forms, and a good supply of sharpened pencils to find and record not only our own Grandparents, Great Uncles and Aunts, Great-Grandparents, Cousins and more, but someone else's as well. Maybe yours.
After all, Remembering is very important.