I was born in Wheeling, WV. and raised, by my grandparents. My husband and I moved to Georgia in 1967. My husband, Melvin (who passed Aug. 15, 2016) and I were married 53 years. We have 8 children; 1 daughter and 7 sons; 4 granddaughters, 9 grandsons, and 2 g-granddaughters.
My grandmother was the first one, to give me a portion, of our family tree (Parham, Scott, Elliott, Robertson, Rudd, Baldwin, Williamson, and Dennis). I was about 11 years old. In my years at home, a day didn't go by, that a story was told about a member of the family or they were spoken of. My great-grandmother came to live with us and then that just added to the stories. My grandmother knew everyone's full name, when everyone was born, died, got married, or any event in their lives. Oh! To have her memory!
To understand my love for my family and ancestors, you have to know my grandparents. When my grandfather, Clifton Baucum (Baucum, Baucom, Boozer, Buser, Knox, Meetze, Edwards, Tolson, Barker, and Senn) was traveling, he would go to a phone booth and start searching the phone book looking for family names. He would call them to see if they were kin. They always checked for Parhams because my grandmother's younger brother left home and nobody ever heard from him. They would hear stories of his where abouts and what he was doing, but never saw him, again. Because of Find-A-Grave, I finally located his resting place in New York.
I can remember when they heard about a Boozer Family Reunion in Lexington, SC. That was my grandfather's mother's family. Everyone was trying to get all the info they could, about each other. There was a book out, The Boozer Family of South Carolina. Guess who inherited it? We went to the family reunion several years and then they stopped having them. So sad! They said the younger bunch wasn't much interested in it and it was getting harder for the older ones. We still stayed in contact with the "ole fogies" and enjoyed every minute of it. We missed out on so many years, of not knowing this super part of the family but we were going to make up for lost time.
Friends use to spend hours at our kitchen table, drinking coffee, and listening to their stories, like when they bought their first car. At that time, you didn't have to take a test to get your drivers license. When he bought the car, he was given his license. Grandpa drove home. He never shut the car off and they packed it for a vacation, back home in Arkansas. They went to his brother's first. After greeting his family and talking a spell, his brother said something about going into town. They said they would take grandpa's car, since it was the last in the drive-way. My grandfather told Uncle Dan that he would have to get it out of the drive-way, that he couldn't back it out plus he didn't know how to start it. Uncle Dan asked him how did he make it from WV. to AR., without starting it or backing up. He said the man, that sold him the car, started it and he never shut it off. Whenever they stopped, he made sure he parked where he didn't have to back up. They all had a great laugh and Uncle Dan gave him a lesson in driving his car. Up to the day he died, he still wasn't good at backing up.
I work on my family trees and find my ancestors, so that one day my children, grandchildren, and etc. know who helped form their lives. With Find-A-Grave, I believe it to be the last way you can connect your family. It is so good to go to a family member and be able to click on a name, and to connect to each one's resting place. When I first found it, you could put the relative's info on their memorial, no matter who set it up. Loved it when they started the connections. But now, you have to ask permission, from someone who usually isn't a relative, to add anything. I believe a lot of history is lost that way.
I have a 2nd cousin, that I dearly love, but I couldn't find out where he was buried. His wife was buried in LA. and I was able to make the memorial for her. After, searching and searching, I found him in TN. How important was this to me? When I found him, tears poured down my cheeks. I contacted the lady, who made his memorial and thanked her so much. If it hadn't been for Maryanne A. McCracken, I wouldn't have found him. I deeply appreciate her and she was kind enough to transfer him to me. Connecting them is important to me. It doesn't have anything to do with "owning" my relatives. It has to do with connecting them, for the final time, in death.
I will follow Maryanne's way. If you have a family member, I have made a memorial for, I will gladly transfer them, to you, if they aren't related to my husband or myself. I want you to take care of your family, as most of them would do for you. If you run across any photos I have added to memorials or our family trees, you are welcome to use them as long as you give credit to me as the owner of the photos. Give credit where credit is due!