When I was young, my mother had a shoe box and a shirt size gift box full of photos that she kept in the linen closet. Every so often, I would ask if we could get them out and go through them. We would sit at the kitchen table with the photos in a heap. My sisters and I would ask who the people were, and Mom would tell us about them. That was probably what first sparked my interest in genealogy.
I began actively digging for information to put my family tree together in 1981. My Aunt Frances Herbold had been at it for decades by that time. A lot of time and legwork was involved when she was doing her work. There was no Internet. She wrote scores of letters to people, asking for information. She must have spent hours and hours looking through old rolls of microfilm, which could easily cause a person to go blind or insane, or both. Aunt Frances, God bless her, furnished me with a bare bones genealogy to start with. When she passed away, my Uncle sent all of her genealogy materials to me.
Many years passed, and little by little my family tree grew. Then one day I was watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on CNN. I was horrified to see the devastation, but what struck me most was that so many people had lost every picture, every slip and scrap of paper they ever had. I thought of all the family photos, letters and documents I had accumulated over the years. It was hard for me to imagine I could experience such a loss, but it got me started looking for a way to preserve and share these things with others who might be interested.
A short time later, I discovered findagrave. While I haven't posted everything, a large part of my family tree is here. Findagrave is a wonderful place to preserve and share information and photos and to honor those who came before us. That is the reason I do what I do here. I have also met a lot of new cousins here.
My husband and I live just north of Seattle, Washington. I have adopted Holyrood Catholic Cemetery as the one I work on almost exclusively now. I finished entering the names, burial dates and grave locations (from the Catholic Cemetery website) for all of the burials there in late February, 2012. In May, 2013, findagrave showed the cemetery was 29% photographed. I finished photographing the graves in July, 2015, so the vast majority of memorial pages at Holyrood include grave photos, or, when there is no visible marker, an area photo. As I learn of new burials at Holyrood, I add them to findagrave, and I keep several virtual cemeteries that remind me to follow up and get grave photos.
If you have suggestions or requests for transfers, please contact me using the "Edit" tab toward the top right hand corner of the person's memorial page. Making your request this way gives me all the information I need to fulfill your request. Please keep in mind that I will add any information or corrections you send me, but I will also credit you as the contributor of that information. I do this because I don't have time to confirm all the information people send to me, and the question, "Where did you get your information?" is answered right there on the page. If you don't have a findagrave ID, I will use your email address when crediting you as contributor of information.
I love taking grave photos at Holyrood. You can contact me directly if you would like for me to get a grave photo, or you can make your photo request from a person's memorial page. If you see an inferior grave photo that I have taken, feel free to ask me to try to get a better one, and I will.
For me, this is not about collecting a huge number of memorials. It is about trying to help people find their loved ones. I hate to think anyone is forgotten. It is, as I said before, about memorializing and honoring those who have gone before us. I would like nothing more than to see all memorial pages in the loving care of family or friends.
If I'm being honest though, I have to say my least favorite transfer request is: "Please transfer my relative." I have transferred to people based on this kind of request, and the result is less than satisfying. No information or photos are added; no family connections made; they do not respond to edit requests, and I wonder why the person thought they wanted to maintain the memorial page in the first place.
My favorite transfer request goes something like this: "So-and-so was a family friend. We lived next door to her for many years. She was like a second mother to me. I remember when... Birth Date: xxx; Birth Place: xxx; Maiden Name: xxx, etc. I have also added a photo of her." Transfer requests like this will be made in a heartbeat. I love learning something about every person in Holyrood (my adopted cemetery). I smile every time I think about the feisty little lady in Holyrood who stabbed her abusive husband in the neck, and the photo on her memorial page is a mug shot (although you can't tell at first glance). And there are others... so many others.
Names I am working on:
~ Every Herbold group I can find ~
Berardi ~ Nigro ~ Zeek ~ Ellis ~ Edgerton ~
Lytle ~ Olmer ~ Vassar/Vasser ~ Dowell ~
Search memorial contributions by Bonita Isabella