I joined findagrave in 2005, and I have come to appreciate and tolerate the broad diversity of interests and perspectives that the enormously varied community of findagrave participants brings to this site--from mourners and family historians to cemetery surveyors and preservationists, from ghost-hunters and devotees of the famous and infamous, to those who work to honor veterans.
While everyone has different reasons for documenting graves, I personally believe it's important to go beyond the literal words on gravestones--which can be in error--and include evidence from other sources, such as church records, death notices, etc., to create memorials that are as information-rich as possible.
For our unruly and far-flung community to work, volunteers and visitors alike must exercise tolerance, courtesy, flexibility, and generosity. By and large, I have found this to be the case. I am grateful to and humbled by many volunteers for their amazing generosity and hard work.
I am researching the genealogy and history of a family of German Lutherans from Lower Saxony named Koppelman, who were founding members of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Belair Rd.
I've extended my research to all the many families connected to the Koppelmans and to this church. I'm also interested in the history of the Gardenville area of Baltimore, and Baltimore County more generally, as well as the history of German immigration to Baltimore County.
Read updates about the extended Koppelman family and about German Lutheran Gardenville on Koppelmania:
Recently I've become fascinated with German immigrant communities in the Missouri River valley in central Missouri, including St. Charles, Franklin, Warren, and Lafayette counties.
I also collect and research 19th-early 20th c. Maryland photographs and photographers:
Photographicus Baltimorensis https://19thcenturybaltimore.wordpress.com/
And I'm sort of obsessed with finding photos taken by Robert C. Mumbrauer and his son Charles, who had a gallery in Hermann, Missouri for about 65 years:
The Lost Legacy of Robert C. Mumbrauer
Some of my favoriate Maryland/Baltimore Co. resources:
--Loudon Park Cemetery by Candeux
--Maryland State Archives death certificate index database (part of it is searchable, and someday maybe all of it will be);
--Maryland State Archives databases of deeds and other land instruments, mdlandrec.net (currently free with registration);
--Paper index of Baltimore County wills 1850-1925, created by Carol Porter and published by the Baltimore County Genealogical Society;
--Baltimore County Genweb and Baltimore City Genweb websites, as well as the Rootsweb grave transcription project;
--Pratt Library Periodicals Section: free copies of obituaries from Baltimore area papers;
--Howard County Historical Sciety Marriage License Index: Ellicott City had more lax requirements for marriages, so many impetuous couples from Baltimore and environs were married there.
--Washington County Free Library Obituary Locator and Marriage Index:
--US Naval Academy Cemetery Index, complete with photos of each grave
--District of Columbia Deaths 1874-1959 at Familysearch.org: Dowloadable images of many Washington, DC death certificates
--Pricey but indispensable Baltimore Sun Archives, searchable back to 1834
I also have an interest in genealogy of Jews from Eastern Europe, and have done some work for both my own family and others. Jewishgen.org is, of course, my favorite site for help in that realm.
Another excellent site for anyone with forebears in New York is italiangen.org. Their volunteers have put up searchable indices of New York area deaths, marriages and naturalizations that have been invaluable in tracking down death and marriage certificates.
Recently I've begun doing research for friends and relations. Other surnames I've worked on:
-Ravitsky (Bialystok, Russian Poland to New York)
-Hart (New York to Chicago to Pipestone, MN)
-Baumhoefer and Duebbert (Detmold, Wesphalia to St. Charles, Franklin, and Boone counties, MO)
Some favorite research sites for Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri:
--Minnesota Historical Society:
--State of Illinois Archives:
--State Historical Society of Missouri:
--Missouri State Archives
--Saint Charles County Genealogical Society
--Saint Charles County Historical Society:
--A hard-to-find but rich project by Ruth Busdieker on German immigrant families and cemeteries in the St. Charles County area:
--Illinois Genealogical Society will get copies of Illinois death certificates after 1916 much more quickly and cheaply than via the State of Illinois site
--Ohio State Historical Society
Search memorial contributions by waldonia
Virtual Cemeteries · 36