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Donna Willison Head (#47158601)
 member for 5 years, 9 months, 3 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I started my family genealogy way back in 1970 in Oklahoma. On both sides of my family, we all grew up together. And still now, we all stay in contact with each other. I am very lucky to be surrounded by family my whole life.

I have taken some family lines back to 1300 while others are brick walls like my Great Grandfather James Willison from TX. In all these years, we still do not know who his parents or siblings are. When I heard about Find A Grave several years ago I was hoping to find my James Willison's family graves but so far no luck.

Since the 1980s, and before FaG and computers, I was walking cemeteries with index cards writing down everything that was on the headstone. Started in our town, then finally out into the surrounding counties. If I was driving somewhere and saw a small cemetery I would stop and take pictures before it was forgotten. I still do. I've taken pictures all these years, did research, etc. You know, the same stuff you do. I enjoy it so much.

The Genealogy Society that I am a very active member of is very busy in the community and county. We as a group index and take headstone pictures and post them on Find A Grave. Therefore all the work that we do in our county is entered under the society name and not our individual names.

It seems that I have ruffled some feathers with my comments below. I did not mean to. I've received emails saying that I'm confusing genealogy with Find A Grave, that Find A Grave is intended to get all headstones posted not to do genealogy research on. So I guess I am a little confused. lol I thought genealogy was to do research of your family on any and all tools that were/are available.

(I say this with kindness in my heart and not with madness or hatefulness, just disappointment)....If I could change anything in Find A Grave, I would allow all family member memorials to be transferred on a first come first transferred basic to family. The family is the one with the memories and knowledge. I don't think that graves should be trophies for people to increase their memorial numbers. How sad. To me sometimes I think these people are not concerned at all about anything EXCEPT their numbers because if they truly wanted to preserve the memorial what different would it make to them if it was theirs or the families? The second thing I would change is that no memorial could be made without giving the family a chance to make a memorial. Several times I have come home from a family member's funeral only to find that a memorial has been made by someone in another state or by some stranger who does not even know the family and they will not transfer because the request does not follow the FaG guidelines. It doesn't matter that this relative has lived in my home or I was the one taking care of the aunt or Grand Uncle or 5th cousin in the nursing home, etc. Sometimes it reminds me of the buzzards on our property who circle overhead just waiting, and waiting, then bounce on it fast and furiously. I asked for a transfer one time, she would not transfer and told me not to contact her again. So If I have correct information to REPLACE her wrong information I can not let her know? Find A Grave surely knows that they have some Contributors that can not keep up with the changes and other information that they get, because they tell you that in their Bio sometimes. They will tell you because they have 10,000s of memorials they will not be able to make changes in a timely matter. Then why are you keeping them and not transfer them to their family members? How can these people post flowers for that memorial's birthday, Veterans Day, etc?

It makes me happy when I'm contacted about a transfer of a family member. To me they are going home to their family instead of being part of a huge memorial number to put that contributor in the limelight of how many memorials they can controls.

And again, I do not mean to upset anyone with my thoughts, but they are my thoughts and feelings.

PHOTO PERMISSION: I do not mind at all that you use one of my pictures for your family tree. But if the picture is published other than please give me a photo credit. Thanks :-)

And I do not mind transferring a family Memorial to you. Just follow the Find A Grave steps by using the Edit Tab to ask for the transfer. If they are not in my family, I will transfer.

And just know in advance that I was more than happy to take a picture for you or do the transfer. Thank You for letting me be a part of your family for a little while.

And if we are ‘cousins' please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
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David McConnell
Messages left for Donna Willison ... (91)[Leave Message]
t. stephens
RE: Headstone pics
You are very welcome. I am just glad I decided to stick my shovel in the dirt next to Archie or else I would not have found them. I don't know if you read my caption, but they were covered deep with dirt. This part of the cemetery is nothing but dirt and mud when it rains, and I expect it will only be a matter of months before they are completely covered up again. I have uncovered markers here before only to find them covered again. It makes me wonder just how many markers have been lost here. I guess perpetual care only goes so far :-(
Added by t. stephens on Apr 12, 2015 6:40 PM
Donald Ward
Bracken photo
Donna, If you will click on the photo I'm pretty sure you'll see that I gave credit for the photo to which is Allen Wheatley's website. His site gives permission to use his photos for non-commercial purposes. If you use his photo, simply give him credit as I did and be grateful (as I so often am!) of the hard work he did documenting headstones all over the place.
Donald J. Ward
Arlington, Texas
Added by Donald Ward on Aug 25, 2014 5:37 PM
Donna King Harmon
RE: Gately Pic
Absolutely, you may use the picture however you wish.
Glad I could help.
Added by Donna King Harmon on Aug 11, 2014 8:01 PM
Ha ha
I just read your bio and I see that you've run into some of same types of members (if not the same ones) as I have...
Added by Anita on Jul 28, 2014 5:31 PM
Corrina Cranford Baldwin
I've transferred her memorial to you for your care... Also, I care more about matching family with family than the guidelines (I'm hoping to help family find their families). I don't really mind contributors that refuse to transfer anything outside of the guidelines even though I don't understand it - but the ones that PRETEND to be related, even though it's impossible, and refuse to transfer memorials are really beyond comprehension.

I have a number of Cranford memorials in this cemetery as well, but I'm not sure which may be related to Corrina. If you know or would like any of them transferred, please just let me know.

Added by Anita on Jul 28, 2014 5:28 PM
RE: Wilson photo
You are very welcome.
Added by RickC on Jul 28, 2014 4:10 AM
sherry bean
Brown/Campbell Family
Hi Donna
Is the email address on your profile page a current address. I sent a message to you and haven't had any response. Please let me know.
Looking for any info on Mahanay Brown Campbell family. Thanks Sherry
Added by sherry bean on Jul 26, 2014 9:18 AM
Myrtle Lowder

As per your request, I transferred Myrtle Lowder Thompson's page over to you. (Wife of your 5th cousin).

I'm curious to see all of the information and photo's you'll be adding to her page, as you mentioned in your transfer request.

Since she is my 2nd cousin, once removed.

Added by Tavenner on Jul 13, 2014 8:07 PM
Ha ha
I hadn't even read your bio - I see that you know exactly what I'm talking about on how nasty people can be... It really is frustrating so hopefully, Ancestry will be able to change the rules in the near future... ☺
Added by Anita on Jul 11, 2014 10:24 PM
Henry Clay Thompson
I've transferred his memorial to you per your request. I'm happy to transfer any memorial that I have, to family or friends as long as I'm not related. So if I have anyone else in your family, please let me know.

I don't set up the memorials for the numbers, I set them up while searching records for my family and also to help others connect with their families.

One of my first experiences on findagrave taught me that there are really nasty members - won't even transfer great-grandparents (and they're not even related). So while the guidelines are great (even though they're not always adhered to in the slightest), I am more than happy to help families connect with their ancestors...
Added by Anita on Jul 11, 2014 10:20 PM
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