It is indeed desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.
--Plutarch (AD 46-127) "Of the Training of Children," Morals
I'm a native of Washington, DC, and have lived here most of my life. My parents met while at George Washington University, my father a Mississippi native, and mother a transplanted Kansan. I graduated from the Capitol Page School after four years as a Supreme Court page, then went to Georgetown, and while at GU began a 41-year career working in the House of Representatives. From 1988 until retiring in 2007 I was the House Reading Clerk, or announcer.
Like my father and grandfather, I'm a Mason. I'm also active in the Sons of the American Revolution, belong to a few other lineage societies, and believe it worthwhile to preserve genealogical data found in cemeteries for future generations. I've devoted considerable time in particular to the graveyards of Lamar County, Alabama, where my paternal grandparents were born; Arlington National Cemetery, four miles from my home; and Congressional Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark eight blocks away, of which my wife was Executive Director 2008-2012.
Surnames in my direct lines include
Sellers (NC→TN→IL) and
As with anything on the Internet, you should verify the accuracy of information posted on Find a Grave before accepting it as fact, and especially before spreading it. Entirely too much inaccurate information makes its way into Find a Grave memorials based on assumptions, guesses and family lore.
I attempt to ensure that memorials under my care contain only data for which I have evidence. If a place, date, or family link can't be proven, I leave the field blank. Find a Grave's primary value is as a repository of images and transcriptions of grave markers and interment records, not as yet-another worldwide family tree.
When proposing edits therefore, to me or any other contributor, please simultaneously provide substantiation. I approve about 70% of edits received, but each change must be supported by clear, specific, verifiable evidence. Since Find a Grave makes no provision for evidence, my email address is posted on this profile for that purpose. Please understand that if you suggest an edit, the onus is on you to prove it -- not on me. Nor I am in any way required to accept edits lacking what I deem to be adequate evidence.
Copies of official documents are preferred, but not strictly required. Published obituaries or indexes of birth, death or marriage may suffice, but images rather than internet links are essential. I do not open unrecognized URLs.
Non-specific references such as "the 1930 census" or "FamilySearch" are insufficient - identified images from those sources might be.
Hearsay is not evidence. Nor is being "related" or "the family historian."
Keep in mind please that edits are suggestions. They are not commands.
Because of volume and the limitations of Find a Grave’s edit system, all suggestions received without proof are declined and deleted. They may of course be resubmitted, when evidence becomes available.
Here are some examples of good evidence:
“1910 Federal census, Midland Co., TX, E. D. 165, Sheet __, Line __. “_____” age 3 months, born in ___, living with her parents ____ and ____ in the household of her paternal grandfather ____."
“____ accompanied her husband ____ to Havana, Cuba, in the 1950s where he was an agricultural attaché at the U. S embassy until 1961. See Foreign Claims Settlement CU___ at http://www.justice.gov/fcsc/cuba/documents/__.pdf."
"His son ____’s marriage license (attached) naming parents."
"Florida Death Index has ____ born ____, died ____ in Dade County."
Search memorial contributions by Paul Hays