Member for
8 years · 10 months · 25 days
Find a Grave ID


I have always held a fascination for the past, whether scrolling through the Reading Eagle microfilms as a kid at the Reading Public Library, listening to my grandmother talking about her German ancestors, or taking drives through the Berks countryside and appreciating the antiquity amidst the beauty of it all.

As I grew older, I learned to appreciate the sanctity of cemeteries as I paid visits to my kindred dead and began an appreciation for their sacrifices and contributions to society. No, my family were not governors or presidents, but rather blacksmiths, farmers, tanners, weavers, and so on. They left their humble marks, and at the end of the day, they produced me and my siblings, cousins, the lot of us.

My goal is for records to be accurate, for people to be remembered, for the least of them to be represented, especially the children who often have nothing else to prove they lived besides a small tombstone. I have picked up many unmanaged memorials so that each edit request can be reviewed. I do my best but none of us are infallible.

Some of the common issues I come across are as follows:
1. SSA records are great, but they do not provide the correct place of death, only where the checks were being sent.
2. Reading Hospital has been located in the borough of West Reading since late 1926. It was in Reading before that.
3. St. Joseph's Hospital was in Reading until 2006 when it changed its name and moved to Bern Twp where Berks Heim is also located.
4. Be aware that Berks County may have more than one cemetery with the same name. For example there are several Friedens [means peace in German] cemeteries, located in Oley, Lenhartsville, Stony Run, Shartlesville, and Birdsboro.
5. Note that while many individuals used their mother's maiden name as a middle name, many others used only the initial. There are a few users who insist on sending edits to add the mother's maiden name when only the initial was used in documentation. These edit requests will be declined unless there is documentation that he or she used the full middle name.
6. Understand that a mailing address differs from the physical address. So a mailing address that says Kutztown may not represent a location that is physically located within the borough of Kutztown, but rather within a township such as Maxatawny Township or Richmond Township. In the past, such a rural address was identified with an RD [Rural Delivery] identifier (Kutztown RD 3, etc.). I believe the rural delivery identification system has been discontinued.
7. Please do not put social security numbers in the bio section of a memorial. And if you find a SSN on any memorial that I have picked up from a deceased user, please let me know so I can delete it.

I am primarily working on cemeteries in Berks County and Virginia. There's a ton of work to do, but I am blessed with a host of Findagrave colleagues here and abroad who provide some great assistance.

Search memorial contributions by oleyboy