Pilgrims Patriots Pioneers

Member for
9 years 4 months 10 days
Find a Grave ID
48182370

Bio

When I submit a suggested edit, it is after finding information to do so. Sometimes, it is not the best information that will ever be found, but it is more accurate or more complete than what is there. Knowing that family research is actually a process, where each contribution adds to what is known, a process that often leads to finding even better info... when it becomes available, I am not reluctant to submit what may turn out to be less than perfect data. If it is declined, that slows the work, but it's not on me. AND, if you try to submit an edit for a Norway memorial, forget it. You're wasting your time; it will be declined... period.

MY GOAL:
I spend hours day after day trying to make it easier for others to find their family and sometimes their long-lost ancestors. An eternal truth: "Family is what it's all about." The ancient prophet Malachi said, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:5 - 6)

Elijah has done and is doing his part.

A WORD OF PHILOSOPHY:
We live in a sad time when people are losing track of their heritage, the legacy left by their ancestors. My efforts here and elsewhere are intended to create and preserve the links to our personal family history to help others discover "who they are" and "what they are here for" based on the family that came before them. These ancestors are the ones that made it possible for us to live in peace, have the freedoms we enjoy, and be able to choose our life's paths. If but a single soul discovers who he/she is by learning what price their ancestors paid to build what we enjoy, then the years spent in research by the many contributors will be worth it.

The headlines are filled with sad, angry people looking for an identity, the meaning of their life. All they need is to look to their ancestors and their quest will be over. We are pilgrims. We are patriots. We are pioneers. We are crusaders. We are parents and grandparents. We are children and grandchildren. We build and rebuild. We innovate and create. We are survivors.

We ALL face trials. None of us will live a life without struggling. We can triumph over the challenges and adversities we face. We do not need to be quitters or losers. We can make the world a better place for our posterity. That is done by building, not tearing down.

One way that can be accomplished is by connecting to our legacy, understanding who we are and finding fulfillment by continuing in our ancestor's honorable footsteps.

A TECHNICAL FYI:
When I submit an edit, it is only AFTER I've researched and documented the data as far as reasonably possible, relying on the work already done in Find A Grave, including obituaries, along with ALL of the data I can find in Ancestry, Family Search, Find My past, My Heritage, Geneanet, Filae, Wiki, Google, and anything else within reach. No edits are submitted simply based "on a whim."

Unfortunately, there are some memorial managers that refuse to make changes unless they have a notarized affidavit from the dead person, certified copies of original documents, and a note carved in stone by G_d to prove the info is 100% accurate. Their embarrassing lack of experience in how actual research is done does a disservice to everyone by slowing the work. (Some have declined my edits only to immediately make the exact changes they declined from me. I just don't understand that.) Still, they "own" the memorials, so what can you do?

A suggestion I received: create a second memorial with the more accurate, more complete data. They can still protect their inaccurate memorials from correction and real researchers can be better served. If the memorials are merged, the complete info will probably show up on the surviving memorial.

If you have additional info on a memorial I happen to manage, even it's partial info, suggest it, and I'll add it. After decades of doing family history research, I know you get a morsel here, a hint there, and a clue somewhere else. These can add to what is already known, potentially leading to more sources, better data, and more documented info. Only by adding them one-at-a time, as they are found, can we all make contributions, until a full story be accumulated... line upon line, here a little, there a little.

Originally, my focus was exclusively on my family members as I researched my family history, but as I visited cemeteries to photograph family headstones, I took the opportunity to take photos of other older headstones, and I started adding new memorials for those not already listed. Then, I started adding info from the freshest graves.

As I research my extended family, I sometimes find death certificates. If there is no Find A Grave memorial and I have a death certificate noting the cemetery name, I immediately create a new memorial, generally transferring that memorial to whomever manages closer members of the family.

A few years ago, I went on a quest to track down a great-aunt's burial place. It turned out to be in a remote, hidden cemetery, located in a fenced field on private property, 40 miles from the nearest paved road (which was in an ancient lake-bottom desert near the Utah/Nevada border.) And, the cemetery was not listed on Find A Grave. (I can't imagine why.) I took photos of every headstone and added them all, knowing no one would happen onto this place by accident. The only family member there was my great-aunt.

In 2018, I started searching for the grave of my 2nd Great Grandmother. She was referred to by some as "our lost grandmother." Her name showed up on an 1880 census in a small town in northern Utah. Family records showed her death in 1882. The sexton of the cemeteries in that town reported that there was no record of her burial, as the records were destroyed accidentally. I discovered that her family had purchased a grave site in a "pioneer cemetery." Unfortunately, spring floods has totally washed that cemetery down the hill on two occasions, spreading bones into the valley below. Everything that was recovered was reburied in a common grave after the old cemetery was protected by a diversionary dam. I created a Find A Grave memorial for her, adding an old photo. She is no longer "lost."

I also have a famous Grundtvig ancestor in Denmark, something of a national icon. After setting up the cemetery where he was buried, contacting those managing the cemetery and getting them to take photos of the cemetery, the crypt, including the casket of my great-grand something uncle, I created a memorial for him, including contemporary paintings, photos of one of his many statues, and a bio. Shortly thereafter Find A Grave removed his memorial and took it under their management!!? Really? That took me two months to create!

If any of the memorials I've added happens to be for a member of your family (and not mine), please let me know and I will transfer it to you immediately. I believe that memorials for someone in your family should be under your management, no matter how remote your relationship is, unlike those who create and hoard memorials for the sake of having a long list of memorials. If you suggest an edit for someone whose memorial I created from a death certificate and I have no relationship, don't be surprised if I approve your edit and then immediately transfer the memorial to you. I'm not going to hoard memorials.

I'm proud to say that my American family dates from the Mayflower Pilgrims, and members have served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Indian wars, WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. One of my ancestors once admitted to participating in the Boston Tea Party, and another patriot, a "Minute Man," may have been a member of the Culper Ring, George Washington's secret spy ring, but it was a "secret."

Many of my several pioneer ancestors crossed the plains in wagons. My great-grandmother was stolen by Indians after they shot arrows into my unarmed great-grandfather. Two of my great uncles were massacred by Indians, and their brother was mutilated when he played dead after being wounded and trapped under a dead horse.

One of my grandfathers served in WWI and his son, my Dad, served in the US Navy in WWII. I am descended of true Pilgrims, Patriots, and Pioneers, the ID I use with Find A Grave, chosen as a tribute to them. I am also descended of two Crusaders, one of whom actually lived through the Crusades. Isn't family history interesting?

My great-grandmother was born in 1888. She interviewed her pioneer family, including some who had crossed the plains. She wrote their histories and accumulated their genealogy. When I was a boy, she used to talk about her ancestors like they were in the next room. I have most of her work, along with what many other members of the family have given me over the decades, several large boxes worth. I have thousands of photos, some are even so old they are tintypes. As a child, my great-grandmother and my grandmothers told me so many stories of their pioneer ancestors, so much so that it was like I knew them and could retell stories of their lives as if I had been there. That was my introduction to family history.

I find a lot of "stuff" in my research. Rather than just accumulate information and hoard it, I share everything: names, dates, photos, and bios with Find a Grave. When I find a ratty, wrinkled, or folded photo someone has posted, if it can be restored, I have done that too, hundreds of times. Recently, I found a tool that allows me to colorize old photos in a slow, methodical process. Some photos take 15 minutes, others a couple of hours to get every detail right. It truly "brings them to life," so I've colorized hundreds of old photos. It has been very fulfilling seeing these people as they actually looked, not as two-dimensional black and white representations.

While some cynics say Find A Grave is not a place to research your ancestors, I know better. In fact, Find A Grave is owned by Ancestry, whose mission is... well, ancestry. I have made tens of thousands of edits to link family members, add/correct (or make more correct) dates and places, and submit the full/correct name and nickname, making it easier for others to find their deceased ancestors. It's unusual to have less than 100 edits pending. A few people have actually contacted me to say "Thank You!" To them, I say, "You are very welcome. Enjoy your search. Learn what you can from your family. They are your heritage."

All of the work I've done is totally anonymous, the way it should be.

Pilgrims Patriots Pioneers

When I submit a suggested edit, it is after finding information to do so. Sometimes, it is not the best information that will ever be found, but it is more accurate or more complete than what is there. Knowing that family research is actually a process, where each contribution adds to what is known, a process that often leads to finding even better info... when it becomes available, I am not reluctant to submit what may turn out to be less than perfect data. If it is declined, that slows the work, but it's not on me. AND, if you try to submit an edit for a Norway memorial, forget it. You're wasting your time; it will be declined... period.

MY GOAL:
I spend hours day after day trying to make it easier for others to find their family and sometimes their long-lost ancestors. An eternal truth: "Family is what it's all about." The ancient prophet Malachi said, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:5 - 6)

Elijah has done and is doing his part.

A WORD OF PHILOSOPHY:
We live in a sad time when people are losing track of their heritage, the legacy left by their ancestors. My efforts here and elsewhere are intended to create and preserve the links to our personal family history to help others discover "who they are" and "what they are here for" based on the family that came before them. These ancestors are the ones that made it possible for us to live in peace, have the freedoms we enjoy, and be able to choose our life's paths. If but a single soul discovers who he/she is by learning what price their ancestors paid to build what we enjoy, then the years spent in research by the many contributors will be worth it.

The headlines are filled with sad, angry people looking for an identity, the meaning of their life. All they need is to look to their ancestors and their quest will be over. We are pilgrims. We are patriots. We are pioneers. We are crusaders. We are parents and grandparents. We are children and grandchildren. We build and rebuild. We innovate and create. We are survivors.

We ALL face trials. None of us will live a life without struggling. We can triumph over the challenges and adversities we face. We do not need to be quitters or losers. We can make the world a better place for our posterity. That is done by building, not tearing down.

One way that can be accomplished is by connecting to our legacy, understanding who we are and finding fulfillment by continuing in our ancestor's honorable footsteps.

A TECHNICAL FYI:
When I submit an edit, it is only AFTER I've researched and documented the data as far as reasonably possible, relying on the work already done in Find A Grave, including obituaries, along with ALL of the data I can find in Ancestry, Family Search, Find My past, My Heritage, Geneanet, Filae, Wiki, Google, and anything else within reach. No edits are submitted simply based "on a whim."

Unfortunately, there are some memorial managers that refuse to make changes unless they have a notarized affidavit from the dead person, certified copies of original documents, and a note carved in stone by G_d to prove the info is 100% accurate. Their embarrassing lack of experience in how actual research is done does a disservice to everyone by slowing the work. (Some have declined my edits only to immediately make the exact changes they declined from me. I just don't understand that.) Still, they "own" the memorials, so what can you do?

A suggestion I received: create a second memorial with the more accurate, more complete data. They can still protect their inaccurate memorials from correction and real researchers can be better served. If the memorials are merged, the complete info will probably show up on the surviving memorial.

If you have additional info on a memorial I happen to manage, even it's partial info, suggest it, and I'll add it. After decades of doing family history research, I know you get a morsel here, a hint there, and a clue somewhere else. These can add to what is already known, potentially leading to more sources, better data, and more documented info. Only by adding them one-at-a time, as they are found, can we all make contributions, until a full story be accumulated... line upon line, here a little, there a little.

Originally, my focus was exclusively on my family members as I researched my family history, but as I visited cemeteries to photograph family headstones, I took the opportunity to take photos of other older headstones, and I started adding new memorials for those not already listed. Then, I started adding info from the freshest graves.

As I research my extended family, I sometimes find death certificates. If there is no Find A Grave memorial and I have a death certificate noting the cemetery name, I immediately create a new memorial, generally transferring that memorial to whomever manages closer members of the family.

A few years ago, I went on a quest to track down a great-aunt's burial place. It turned out to be in a remote, hidden cemetery, located in a fenced field on private property, 40 miles from the nearest paved road (which was in an ancient lake-bottom desert near the Utah/Nevada border.) And, the cemetery was not listed on Find A Grave. (I can't imagine why.) I took photos of every headstone and added them all, knowing no one would happen onto this place by accident. The only family member there was my great-aunt.

In 2018, I started searching for the grave of my 2nd Great Grandmother. She was referred to by some as "our lost grandmother." Her name showed up on an 1880 census in a small town in northern Utah. Family records showed her death in 1882. The sexton of the cemeteries in that town reported that there was no record of her burial, as the records were destroyed accidentally. I discovered that her family had purchased a grave site in a "pioneer cemetery." Unfortunately, spring floods has totally washed that cemetery down the hill on two occasions, spreading bones into the valley below. Everything that was recovered was reburied in a common grave after the old cemetery was protected by a diversionary dam. I created a Find A Grave memorial for her, adding an old photo. She is no longer "lost."

I also have a famous Grundtvig ancestor in Denmark, something of a national icon. After setting up the cemetery where he was buried, contacting those managing the cemetery and getting them to take photos of the cemetery, the crypt, including the casket of my great-grand something uncle, I created a memorial for him, including contemporary paintings, photos of one of his many statues, and a bio. Shortly thereafter Find A Grave removed his memorial and took it under their management!!? Really? That took me two months to create!

If any of the memorials I've added happens to be for a member of your family (and not mine), please let me know and I will transfer it to you immediately. I believe that memorials for someone in your family should be under your management, no matter how remote your relationship is, unlike those who create and hoard memorials for the sake of having a long list of memorials. If you suggest an edit for someone whose memorial I created from a death certificate and I have no relationship, don't be surprised if I approve your edit and then immediately transfer the memorial to you. I'm not going to hoard memorials.

I'm proud to say that my American family dates from the Mayflower Pilgrims, and members have served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Indian wars, WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. One of my ancestors once admitted to participating in the Boston Tea Party, and another patriot, a "Minute Man," may have been a member of the Culper Ring, George Washington's secret spy ring, but it was a "secret."

Many of my several pioneer ancestors crossed the plains in wagons. My great-grandmother was stolen by Indians after they shot arrows into my unarmed great-grandfather. Two of my great uncles were massacred by Indians, and their brother was mutilated when he played dead after being wounded and trapped under a dead horse.

One of my grandfathers served in WWI and his son, my Dad, served in the US Navy in WWII. I am descended of true Pilgrims, Patriots, and Pioneers, the ID I use with Find A Grave, chosen as a tribute to them. I am also descended of two Crusaders, one of whom actually lived through the Crusades. Isn't family history interesting?

My great-grandmother was born in 1888. She interviewed her pioneer family, including some who had crossed the plains. She wrote their histories and accumulated their genealogy. When I was a boy, she used to talk about her ancestors like they were in the next room. I have most of her work, along with what many other members of the family have given me over the decades, several large boxes worth. I have thousands of photos, some are even so old they are tintypes. As a child, my great-grandmother and my grandmothers told me so many stories of their pioneer ancestors, so much so that it was like I knew them and could retell stories of their lives as if I had been there. That was my introduction to family history.

I find a lot of "stuff" in my research. Rather than just accumulate information and hoard it, I share everything: names, dates, photos, and bios with Find a Grave. When I find a ratty, wrinkled, or folded photo someone has posted, if it can be restored, I have done that too, hundreds of times. Recently, I found a tool that allows me to colorize old photos in a slow, methodical process. Some photos take 15 minutes, others a couple of hours to get every detail right. It truly "brings them to life," so I've colorized hundreds of old photos. It has been very fulfilling seeing these people as they actually looked, not as two-dimensional black and white representations.

While some cynics say Find A Grave is not a place to research your ancestors, I know better. In fact, Find A Grave is owned by Ancestry, whose mission is... well, ancestry. I have made tens of thousands of edits to link family members, add/correct (or make more correct) dates and places, and submit the full/correct name and nickname, making it easier for others to find their deceased ancestors. It's unusual to have less than 100 edits pending. A few people have actually contacted me to say "Thank You!" To them, I say, "You are very welcome. Enjoy your search. Learn what you can from your family. They are your heritage."

All of the work I've done is totally anonymous, the way it should be.

Pilgrims Patriots Pioneers

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