I am a member of FaG as a volunteer to take photos for grave markers of strangers loved ones who do not live in this area. How it works is, I get emails from Find a Grave telling me there is a request for a photo from someone and it tells me the graveyard and name they are looking for. Should I choose to fulfill that request, I go in and claim it, travel to that graveyard, walk the entire yard until I find that persons grave marker. Then I take a photo and email it threw FaG to the memorial sat up for that person.
Why do I do this?
You may find this a strange hobby, but I love it. After doing Genealogy now for the last twenty years, I started doing this first for my family tree and then decided I would give it a try as a volunteer. You don't get paid for this with money, but it is very rewarding. That's all it took, I was hooked. Anytime I go to a town I am visiting , I look up to see what graveyards are in that town and see if there are requests made that no one has claimed. Its that easy!
You will be surprised how many graveyards that are not being taken care of and how many forgotten graves of someones loved ones that aren't being taken care of. I hope when I and my husband are gone that someone will care enough to keep our headstone clean or the weeds from growing around us. I see broken markers and many lying on the ground where they were knocked over. I have seen graves that are really cluttered with old flowers or trinkets that are left by people and piling up like a garage sale. Those graves need to be cleaned up now and then, store away the oldest trinkets, maybe leaving two or three. And I also see where a grave may have been there for about two or three months, and nobody went back and decluttered the dead arrangements and wire stands left from the funeral. I have seen some that had mail boxes for notes, Fire pits, chairs and tables as if they have people sit around all day. I have seen very large, beautiful, gravestones. I've seen rocks as markers, wood signs, or metal. Those make you think about how their loved one maybe couldn't afford a headstone, but they cared to mark the grave the best way they could. I see many where the headstones are there with only names and Birth dates. Those are the ones you know are in waiting for the day that person will die. That is what my husband and I are doing. We are designing our stone now to be placed on our plots so all our children have to do is have the grave death dates.
Doing this for people I have never met and will never meet in my lifetime has really been awarding in itself. I get some really nice post from people I have fulfilled their request. I know when someone fills one for me that I can’t travel to, I feel so appreciative of the time they took to walk around looking for my love one. This is also a great way for birth dates, death dates, maiden names, and marriage dates to be updated on someones genealogy. There really is so much a Headstone tells about a person. Some show scenes of that person’s hobby, what they did for a living, or a photo of the person who lies there.
The saddest is how many children have died. You know where they are thou. They were never accountable for a sinful life. They are innocent, little angels that God had a plan for early in their life.
This is not a scary hobby! I haven't seen any pop-ups yet! I only feel the people saying thank you for visiting me today!
In a Nut shell……We Are The Story Tellers ……We are the chosen. My feelings are, in each family, there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all those who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story.
Just a short list ofour Family Surnames include: Alexander, Anderson, Buckanan, Chiddix, Freeman, Hall, Harrigill, Humphreys, Newell, Newman, Pierce, Rushing, Sandifer, Smith, Speer, Thomas, Whitney, Wroten, Zimmerman. There has been published four additions of the John & Levicy Alexander Family history side after many years hard work form one of my husband's Cousins. My Husbands generation is book 4. They are a treasure to have showing how much research ,records, storys, dates, old family photos.
I will be glad to share or compare notes with anyone interested.
When I do claim a request, I will do my best to find your love one's resting place. If they are related to you I will gladly transfer through the right FaG connections.
I want to wish everyone a Blessed 2015!
Should You Go First
Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone
I'll live in memories' garden
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When faded, the lilacs blue;
In early fall when brown leaves fall,
I'll catch a glimpse of you.
Should you go first and I remain,
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way,
Will be a hallowed spot.
Should you go first and I remain
One thing I'll have to do,
Walk slowly down that long path
For soon I'll follow you.
I want to know each step you take
So I may take the same,
For someday down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.