I love genealogy! I have been blessed with a family that has done a lot of documentation on family lines. From the time I was a young girl, my paternal grandmother took me to the cemetery and told me stories about the individuals buried. Even though the people she told me about had already passed away, I felt as though I had known them. My grandmother helped me to understand that it is important to keep family history alive for future generations. From an early age I knew that I was to become the family historian. For years that fact didn't really matter to me. It was not until older family members began to die that I realized how much history had been lost with them. I realized then that there were some things that were easily lost over time and that my precious sons would never understand how important so many people had been in shaping my life. Similarly, I realized that unless I did something to document my history and the history of my ancestors, my sons were not going to have the honor of understanding our past and how that past was reflected in our family values.
At the time that I had that revelation, I was working as a professional researcher at Vanderbilt University, was heavily involved in church and community activities and was busy raising two sons and nurturing my husband. I had also chosen to start my own research and consulting business and was very busy trying to get tat company established.
Then, one day it hit me that I had not fulfilled my responsibility to my grandmother or to my family. As a result of this realization, I sat down and started documenting our family history on Ancestry.com. I utilized my skills as a researcher and my ability to spend thousands of hours sorting through data to my advantage. I quickly learned the genealogy is addictive and it is an expensive habit to maintain. By that time I was in too deep and enough was never enough.
I have always wanted to know who, where, what and why. Answers to questions have always led to more questions. I've traveled all over Europe and the US to find answers. I've spoken to hundreds of strangers and dug through piles of papers and sat in front of microfiche machines and computers until my eyes couldn't take any more. Today, I am no longer searching for information for my grandmother. I am doing this for myself and for generations that will come long after I am gone. I do not know who will take up this task once I leave this earth but I hope I have a long time to figure that out!
I still have many of brick walls to climb over. I am frustrated by the fact that courthouses were burned during the Civil War. I am frustrated by the fact that family documents were lost in fires, storms, and to time. I am frustrated by the lack of information on early census records. Still, I am grateful for the people that have spent so much time digitizing historical data to make it available online. I am grateful for community, state and national institutions that correctly archive historical documents. I am grateful for all the people who take the time to correctly document the information on the Find-a-Grave memorials. It seems to me that if you are going to create a memorial, then you need to have the appropriate evidence to make sure that the memorial that you create is accurate. If we really want to use this resource to "Memorialize" someone's life then it is important to get the details of that life correct. Find-a-Grave is a great resource but it is also a great responsibility for those that contribute information. I for one hope that I fulfill my obligations; however, if you find that I have made a mistake please contact me. I do not wish to have my mistake mislead someone that is searching for their roots.
Most of the photos I post are digitized copies of an original photo of which there is a single copy. These are typically personal family photos and are not meant to be bandied about as though they have no connection to me or my family. Please be respectful and consider my wishes with regard to this matter. With regard to the photos that I post, please feel free to use my photos on your personal database or family tree AS LONG AS YOU label the photo in this manner: "Personal photo provided by Candyce Williams Glaser, Find-a-Grave member #47088625". NONE of the photos that I provide may be used in publications of any type. Any use of a photo in a publication or as an undocumented resource will be considered a copyright violation. I will take legal action.
For those of you that have questions about a family line that I may be able to answer please feel free to contact me. I'm always happy to share any information that I may have.