Ronald MontagueA silhouette of a person.

Ronald Montague

Member for
8 years · 7 months ·
Find a Grave ID


At an early age, I remember asking my parents where Grandma, Grandpa, Nana and Grandad were born, who were their parents and grandparents, and all that stuff a nosy kid might ask. I never really understood why they were so slow to tell me anything. I'd meet so and so and find out they are a cousin, Grandma's aunt, and all other kinds of relations. Mom and Dad would travel to British Columbia and come home to say "I saw Uncle and Aunt so and so" and I'd scratch my head. Grandma told me about her visit to Finland where her mother and father were born. Stories were told, confusing relationships explained with scarcely a face to put to them, and family mysteries identified (and some still are mysteries!!). My first wife used to relate to me who was who in her far flung family as would her parents. My second wife already had binders of genealogy material for her family lineages. Now I've started!! After retiring from the U.S. space program, I resolved to hunt down all these clues and make sense of them.

Taking advantage of Findagrave and the many online genealogy resources, I was able to find tantalizing information and potential lineages back to Sweden/Finland, French Canada, England, and Flanders in Northern France/Belgium with paths taken through California, Washington state, New Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, Montana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina, and British Columbia. I have located distant cousins in Finland, Sweden, and New York who have been very helpful even when extremely busy. Just as importantly, relatives' names have become much more concrete (pardon the pun) with the discovery of their burial places. Being a bit of a nerd and a photographer, it was a short step to use my other hobby to start taking photos of gravestones and add to the memorials on Findagrave.

My current projects include mapping and photographing in a sensible manner the graves at three cemeteries in the St. Louis, Missouri area – specifically the graves in Bellerive Heritage Gardens in Creve Coeur. Chesed Shel Emeth in Chesterfield is a future project. (The Old Bonhomme church I found has been well researched so I've put that one aside.) Plot maps can be maddening!! I have resolved to go up and down each row in each section and list then photograph each marker. I hope to then publish the results for anyone who needs that information. It will be lots of work but it does keep me moving!!

As I find graves and enter their photographs into Findagrave, it is my hope that when families find their ancestors in this wonderful resource, they will step forward and take over the memorials I often have to create. My satisfaction comes from seeing others discover and link up to their past and hopefully help others do the same. Just send me a message through Findagrave and I will gladly turn the memorial over to you.

I cannot end this short bio without saying one more thing – He is coming again!!

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