I live in western Michigan, was born and raised in northwestern Pennsylvania, and have many kin who live in Virginia. I tend to be obsessed with this genealogical hobby of mine and have been doing it for many years.
My wife and I often go out and photograph entire cemeteries. However, she is the one who does the hard work of uploading the vast majority of the photos to Find A Grave. We do all of this hoping that our work will assist someone in locating either a lost ancestor or being able to view for the first time the headstone of a known one.
I take a special joy in discovering the headstones of veterans of the Civil War which have not yet been documented. I have also had the pleasure of writing biographies on a few veterans which are posted on their Find A Grave memorials. Some of the bios are more extensive than others, and some of the veterans are related to either my wife or I; others are not.
When possible we try to take pictures of headstones in context, i.e., we also include a picture of the lot in which the person is buried. This can be very helpful for researchers in identifying others who are related. We have had favorable comments regarding this in the past.
I generally use my site for either my ancestors or for doing pet projects. I & others have memorials and links up for my northern roots-my Allen, Barker, Burns, Kleckner, Stull, Woodring, and Wright ancestors along with their descendants when possible.
I would welcome any contact from my Burns relatives, as I am unable to trace them back beyond 1780. John Burns is my earliest known ancestor.
My southern ancestral roots, most of whom ended up in Grayson County, Virginia, include Halsey, Hash, Anderson, Cobb, Comer, Cornett, Lane, Parks, Parsons, Phipps, Rutherford, Ward, and Sutherland, to name a few.
Since my ancestors were early Grayson settlers, I find I am related to many of those who live there, especially in the Independence-New river Area. It is God's country-a very beautiful and welcoming area.
Feel free to use the photos I have taken and uploaded. I only ask that you give me credit as their source.
MY ELUSIVE ANCESTOR
I went searching for my ancestor;
I cannot find him still.
He moved around from place to place
And did not leave a will.
He married where a courthouse burned,
And the Census he did spurn.
Tried he did and did succeed
To leave no stone for me to turn.
He always kept his luggage packed,
This man who had no fame;
And every twenty years or so
This rascal changed his name.
His parents from the land of Europe came;
On a list of passengers there should appear their name;
Even though I look and look, it is all in vain.
And no one else in this wide world searches for this man;
So I play genea-solitaire to find him if I can.
He was buried in a plot, with tombstone he was blessed,
But throughout the years it did erode,
And vandals took the rest.
Search memorial contributions by David