Pilgrims Patriots Pioneers

Member for
7 years · 4 months · 8 days
Find a Grave ID


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.

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 showing the cemetery, I immediately create a new memorial, generally transferring that new 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 on private property, 40 miles from the nearest paved road (which was somewhere in the 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.

I also have a famous ancestor in Denmark. After setting up the cemetery where he was buried, contacting those managing the cemetery, 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 brief bio. Shortly thereafter Find A Grave removed his memorial and took it under their management!!? Really?

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, unlike those who create and hoard memorials.

My American family dates from the Mayflower Pilgrims, and members have served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and Indian wars. One of my ancestors once admitted to participating in the Boston Tea Party and may have been in the Culper [spy] Ring.

Many of my pioneer ancestors crossed the plains in wagons. My grandfather served in WWI and my father in WW2. I am descended of true Pilgrims, Patriots, and Pioneers. I use that title as a Find A Grave ID as a tribute to them. I am also descended of two Crusaders, one of whom lived through the Crusades. Isn't family history interesting?

My great-grandmother interviewed her pioneer family, including some who had crossed the plains. She wrote their histories and accumulated their genealogy. I have most of her work, along with what other members of the family have given me over the decades. As a child, my great-grandmother and grandmother told me many, many stories of their ancestors, so much so that it was like I knew them and could tell stories about their lives. That was my introduction to family history.

If you have info on a memorial, even it's partial info, suggest it, and I'll add it. After many years of doing family history research, I know you get a morsel here, a hint there, and a clue somewhere else. Only by adding them as they are found can a full story be accumulated. Unfortunately, there are some memorial managers that refuse to make changes unless they have a signed affidavit from the dead person, three certified documents, and a note from God to prove it's 100% accurate. Their lack of experience in how family research is done is embarrassing, but they "own" the memorials, so what can you do?

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, if it can be restored, I have done that too, hundreds of times. It's a matter of respect.

While some cynics say Find A Grave is not a place to research your ancestors, I know better. In fact, I have made tens of thousands of edits to link family members, making it easier for others to find their ancestors. Some have contacted me to say "Thank You!"

Pilgrims Patriots Pioneers

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