John Maxwell

Member for
10 years · 10 months · 20 days
Find a Grave ID


The purpose behind my participation is to create photographic records for individuals looking for family records. For many people, having a sense of who they are, where they have come from and the lives of those past is important. Photos of headstones often provides a window into that past simply not available elsewhere. Additionally, many people are unable to travel all over the place to find records. I have read some nasty comments about people who do this but take exception to the generalization while acknowledging that individuals may disagree for personal reasons. People have headstones to be REMEMBERED by subsequent generations. Jews in Europe suffered the attempt to wipe out their existence from the face of the Earth cheating subsequent generations of any connection to their ancestors. I believe that a commitment to memory by anyone with good intentions is a positive thing. Many headstones are quickly eroding away, courthouse records in places have often been lost due to fire in earlier decades and centuries and this is often the only record that can be found. I believe the work is good, worthy and honorable for both the ancestor and descendent regardless of the contributor. It has also been asserted on forums that people who go to cemeteries and photograph are somehow "ghoulish". I take exception to this as well. At one time, cemeteries were designed to be places where families, related or not, went to picnic, relax and enjoy. I find the cemeteries a refuge from the world since it is quiet and the world typically still has enough respect not to intrude upon these sites with its rushed pace, excessive noise and drive for economic or social gain.I enjoy cemeteries as works of art and sources of information. I used to be a groundskeeper in one and know my way around. This is the sort of thing that helps people interested in family history so its fun for me. I travel all over the place including places like Iceland where I am afforded the opportunity to bring otherwise inaccessible markers and graves to researchers. This forum also provides an ideal format to practice and enhance photographic skills for color, resolution and detail. Many of the older markers have proven to be a real challenge and only by manipulating colors, contrast, etc have I been able to tease out some of the faded or obscured information.

Search memorial contributions by John Maxwell