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Janet Muff (#46951416)
 member for 8 years, 11 months, 20 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Please remember that this is a website that has grown, thanks to a lot of volunteers. We're not a homogeneous group. We have different values, different styles, different abilities, and sometimes we just plain make mistakes. So, given the nature of our mutual enterprise, we've got to learn how to "do difference."
If you're irritated and frustrated by people who think or feel differently than you do, then please try a personal conversation before resorting to power moves and policing. You may have the clout and connections at find-a-grave to make your opinions prevail, but the exercise of power is tantamount to being a thug.
Relationship goes a long way toward solving problems, which is something that Abraham Lincoln understood very well: "I don't like that man," he said, "I must get to know him better." If you're not interested in relationship, in getting to know me and other contributors better; and if you want to hide behind anonymity and to lob edits at people like a guerrilla warrior, then perhaps it's time to step away from the situation and take stock of yourself because you've lost sight of our common goal and our common humanity.
OK, enough said. And now back to business:
Many people have asked me how I am able to take such clear photographs of the very old stones in the burial grounds of VT and NY.
Let me say first that I have taken some terrible photographs in my day, and I am still going back to re-shoot those stones. I am not a professional photographer and I use only a point-and-shoot digital camera.
But I have been gifted with two good friends who deserve much of the credit for my photos: my long-time genealogical buddy, Steven Smith, who gave me two invaluable tips for photographing difficult stones (just send me an email message if you'd like my write-up of Steve's tips); and my mirror-and-umbrella-bearer, Fay Smith (unrelated to Steve), who willingly slogs through waist-high grass and dark woods with me each summer, in the most oppressive heat and humidity, and in spite of the squads of mosquitoes and flies that routinely assail us. How anyone can remain cheerful under such circumstances continues to amaze me, but Fay does.
Were it not for Steve's advice, Fay's help, and the unfailing support of my husband Jim Boyce - who allows me two months each year in his native state of Vermont - I would be unable to "do cemetery," much less get good photographs.
And finally I would like to acknowledge my canine companions - Millie, Malarkey and Mischief - Springer Spaniels whose enthusiasm for "doing cemetery" over the years has rivaled my own!
PLEASE do not use my photographs without permission. If you send me an email message, I will gladly grant permission for your personal use.
Per find-a-grave guidelines you are entitled to request memorials for direct ancestors up to 4 generations. I receive quite a volume of requests and have found that the tone of such requests has changed recently, from gratitude that the memorials were created to blatant entitlement, and it's very upsetting. I am not a casual graver or phone-tographer. I generally research the families whose memorials I've created and whose photos I've taken (or intend to take) and linked members over many generations. After all that work, it's quite a loss to transfer my memorials, but I'm willing to do so if your relationship trumps mine.
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Messages left for Janet Muff (1399)[Leave Message]
Joann Geybels
RE: Aaron Gibbs
I have several sources for the birth date of Aaron Gibbs (Find A Grave # 110650482). On the My Heritage website there is a FamilySearch tree that shows Aaron's birth date and place of birth as June 1 1794 - Benson, Rutland, Vermont, and his date of death as Dec 10 1829 - Benson, Rutland, Vermont. Other trees on the same page have the same information.
Perhaps an even more accurate source is a 1975 letter I have from Mary Pat Johnson to Mrs. Willard Oien (a Gibbs descendant) in which Mary Pat Johnson provides the same dates and places for Aaron's birth and death. (Mary was hired to research the Gibbs family records in the Benson courthouse, and her findings are listed in a long letter to Mrs. Oien.)
Added by Joann Geybels on Oct 25, 2016 4:30 AM
RE: Mary Giles edit

Regarding the spelling of the last name of GILE vs GILES:

I have a handwritten letter from Mary Gile's brother, Orange Gile, to Mary Gile's son, Royal T. Sawyer. Orange spells his own last name as Gile.

My 2nd great-grandfather Royal Sawyer wrote down his genealogy in the late 1800's and I have the original notes for that as well (he was a preacher, and his sermons were passed down to my family through his daughter Angie Sawyer Hutchinson. The genealogy notes were found among the sermons.)

Royal spells his mother's last name as Gile. He also wrote a paragraph about his mother. She was born in Detroit MI. She and her parents were taken prisoner by the British when Fort Detroit was surrendered during the war of 1812. They were taken to Boston to be exchanged. Mary's mother died at Fort Independence in Boston at some point during that process.

I'd like to start delving into that story. I wonder if they were transported to Boston via boat or overland. Either way, that must have been quite an experience for a young girl and quite a trip in the early 1800's.


Brent Hutchinson
(great-great-great grandson of Jesse Sawyer Jr. and Mary Gile Sawyer.)
Added by Brentman on Oct 24, 2016 5:32 AM
Barbara Hanno
RE: Photos
Hi Janet, You have never sent the photos or explanations. I'd really appreciate having them. Also one reason I wanted to use JUdith or Cyrus is because they are related to me, which adds a little interest, although you may feel the photos aren't the best. It is amazing how good they are considering the obstacles. Thanks for your help!
Added by Barbara Hanno on Oct 21, 2016 6:35 AM
Barbara Hanno
By the way, the use would be amateur and unpaid, just me showing my genealogy group what good photos can do. The FB is just my page, where I'd like to show how well Judith's stone came out with the right approach.
Added by Barbara Hanno on Oct 20, 2016 1:47 PM
Barbara Hanno
Judith and Cyrus Brookins
Hi Janet, I am hoping you will give me permission to use Judith's and Cyrus' pictures for a presentation I might do with examples of good gravestone photography. Also to post on FB as an example, with credit to you. Just went to E Poultney and need brushcutters! Their stones are hidden by encroaching bushes. Also visited Hortonville Cemetery in Mt Holly and saw you have photo'd my friend's family there. You are such a treasure to the area! Please let me know if using the pictures with your credit is OK. Thanks!
Added by Barbara Hanno on Oct 20, 2016 1:44 PM
McKeown Headstones
Wow! Great photos of my McKeown relatives! Thank you so much for adding them since I had no idea where to find them. Are you related to any of them? And may I please use your photos for my family tree?

Thank you,

Added by bblakel on Oct 16, 2016 4:35 AM
Karen Kono
Charles White
I understand what you are saying about the incorrect info coming from others. Bruce is the one who first questioned me about his Charles and mine. Very nice man and he said the same about you and your credentials. He'd been asking others with the same Charles in their trees and no one responded except a lady who told him she could do anything she wanted. I have had one response from a man who thanked me and another from a lady who acted very huffy and said she had her DNA done(must be Bruce's lady). I told her I wasn't trying to upset her and gave her the facts. I looked at her tree and she had no records for anyone past Charles White (not my Charles) and created a magical short trip to Peregrine White. It is sad to think that some people just copy what they see until everyone thinks it must be fact.
Keep up the good work!! I plan on including the Ebenezer White family tomb in Granary Cemetery in Boston where my Charles is buried. Got a picture last year. I live in Canton, OH now, originally from the Philadelphia area.
Karen Konovsky
Added by Karen Kono on Oct 15, 2016 2:57 PM
Karen Kono
Charles White
My Charles White died in Oct. 1869, age 79. He is buried at Lot 104 Granary Cemetery in the Ebenezer White Family tomb. His death record says his birth city (Boston), his death city (Newton or Weston, can't remember), his age (79), which wasn't quite there but they used to say that the person died in their 79th year, his parents and where they were from and the cemetery where I've been and taken a picture of the tombmarker. Its on a wall of a building because the tomb was on the edge of the cemetery. I can invite you to my tree if you want to see all this.
The person who questioned me couldn't understand the connection of the Boston Charles to the Whitehall Charles and others never responded to him.
Thanks for looking into this!
Added by Karen Kono on Oct 14, 2016 12:22 PM
Karen Kono
Charles White
My Charles White's death was in 1869 and is recorded in Boston, where he had been an apothecary with my 2nd great grandfather William Bell White (named after his mother Mary Bell's father William). My Charles was married to Sarah Blake of a wealthy family and they moved to Newton, MA to farm. The Charles in this obituary lived in Whitehall, NY most of his life as a farmer. One census says he was born in MA, but the town is unknown. So everyone that doesn't really research their family assumes that my grandparents are theirs, probably because the birth record of my Charles is the same birth record they are using because that is the birth shown on find a grave. Karen
Added by Karen Kono on Oct 14, 2016 11:07 AM
Karen Kono
Charles White
You have a Charles White who died on April 1, 1863 and is buried at Hacket Dam Cemetery in West Haven, VT. You have his birthdate and place of birth (Boston) the same as my 2nd great grandfather's brother Charles White who was born in Boston on Oct. 14, 1790 to Ebenezer and Mary Bell White. An ancestry member who is related to the Charles White buried in VT contacted me about this, because most trees of his Charles are using my grandparents' names(Ebenezer and Mary) as his grandparents. Are you sure about the Charles White's birthdate buried in VT?
Added by Karen Kono on Oct 14, 2016 10:39 AM
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