Melissa Strobel

Member for
6 years · 1 month · 20 days
Find A Grave ID
47687800
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I blame my mother for this.

When I was a young girl, my mother was our girl scout troop leader. One of our projects was to learn how to read headstones in a local cemetery. Not only did she get my hooked on genealogy, but I've harbored this love affair with cemeteries ever since.

During my teen years my best friend's house was right next to a cemetery, and take a wild stab at where we spent a lot of time? But I loved those places, and that was where I would go to think things through, or just to have some time to myself. Fortunately I had a boyfriend (now my husband) who was amazingly tolerant of my odd interests, and eventually started to share them. He can read a stone when others would have given it up long before.

I am now a historian by training, and an archivist by profession. When I first found Find A Grave it was in its early years and I didn't have a lot of use for a site that just did "famous" gravesites. During a research stretch I discovered it again, and it appealed to me on several levels. This site seems to solve several "problems" that I've had over the years, mostly involving indexing, photographing and presenting in some coherent fashion graves of one sort or another for one purpose or another. I've enjoyed my stay so far.

My philosophy with this project is: everyone deserves to be remembered. From the oldest to the youngest, the greatest to least. All deserve to have a memorial. I tend to focus on damaged and eroded gravestones, and cemeteries that appear to be "at risk". Generally that means (to me) the places and stones that are quickly eroding, have taken undue amounts of damage due to the environment or vandalism, or are neglected in some other way. Given my background and specialization in early regional history up to the Civil War period, these tend to be what catch my eye as well.

Having said that I'm like a sugared-up kid in a candy store armed with a camera and a notebook when presented with a cemetery of any form. It keeps me out of trouble. Usually.

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