Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Behind the Gravestone Series

Behind the Gravestone by midgefrazel
Behind the Gravestone, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.
I thought I'd bring a new idea to Granite-in-MY-Blood today. That idea I am going to call, "Behind the Gravestone".

I looked through my collection of photographs for just the right visual image to represent my idea and for once, I think I've got it right on the first shot. I may use this photo for the whole series of posts or I may change my mind. You, dear readers, will just have to figure it out.

What's behind the gravestone in this photo? If you've been following along with this blog, you can easily answer that behind this gravestone is a footstone.

It doesn't belong here. Footstones were placed at the foot of the grave so that it looks like a bed. Some feel this is a representation of peaceful sleep. So, if that's the case, isn't this photo a symbol of unease and unrest?

Sometimes, I like to write about uncomfortable topics that are on my mind. I think that as modern genealogy evolves, there may be more of this. As my blog is about gravestones, it is a combination of learning about the cemetery, the people who are buried there and how or why we chose to remember them. But, isn't part of that representative of how history had changed over the years? Will, in the future, we not be able to find ancestors in the graveyard because the gravestones will be moved or are unreadable? Will the popularity of cremation (and the promotion of cremation by cities and town) mean that people will no longer bother to be buried?

So, this type of post is going to be about my opinion. If you are only interested in learning about gravestones, you may want to skip over these posts and move on. That's just a warning.

First topic: I am a self-directed learner. I learn what I want and when I want it. It is sort of like living a life of TV viewing ON DEMAND. What does this mean to YOU about my work as a genealogist? It means that I may never choose the path of certification. So, where should I put my money in terms of learning? Conferences? Webinars, Facebook, Twitter, Online classes?

What type of learning about family history, genealogy and technology do you find the most effective for YOU?


Russ said...


I like the topic and your image is great.

I have learned a lot about cemeteries and headstones / footstones from reading your blog. Each time I visit a cemetery, after reading your blog, I view that visit differently.

I used to just take pictures of the headstones, like on a mission to fulfill a Find-A-Grave request. But it is more about "behind" the gravestone. Look all the way around the stone. There may be hints or other information about the person. Look to the surrounding stones, maybe family members, or why is one piece of the family in one part of a cemetery and others in another part or even is another cemetery (not in this one).

Looking forward to your next post on this topic.

Thank you,


Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, I say: "Go for it"! It is of course, your blog. I think a mix of topics with due emphasis on the cemetery is key. You are right about the greater use of cremation in today's society without burial of the ashes and small gravestone. My great grandmother has such as small plot with a tiny stone with her name and vital dates. Of course, it also is possible to see cenotaphs for that type of situation as well. Expensive but sometimes done. Well, as I have said, be encouraged and yes, you will have a great blog continue.