Member for
2 years · 5 months · 21 days
Find a Grave ID


I'm also one of those people who likes to walk around cemeteries!

I frequent ones in Sylvania and West Toledo, Ohio, and Monroe, Lambertville and Bedford, Michigan but often travel into other areas for photography. I've been participating in genealogical research, historical data science and cemetery preservation since I was 19 years old. I'm a member of GraveKeepers Ohio and have participated in well over a dozen cemetery mapping and preservation/conservation projects in the Midwest and northern Appalachia.

My areas of of focus in genealogy research are Donauschwaben, Central and Southeastern European, and English Colonial American ancestries. I use data analytics and genetic genealogy techniques in addition to the traditional document linking sites like Ancestry or FamilySearch. I have two certifications and several years of professional experience in digital forensics and am currently taking online classes in genome sciences. I previously worked as an archivist for Arlington National Cemetery.

I am currently working on documenting the many victims of the Gakowa (2457117) and Rudolfsgnad (2457820) concentration camps in Vojvodina, Serbia from the Donauschwaben Totenbuchs.

Thanks for stopping by!

I recommend calling the cemetery office and requesting the plot number and providing that in your photo request, it makes things easier and you will get a much faster response.

I also volunteer in and around older cemeteries through local preservation groups, so feel free to email me if you need help finding an older loved ones grave (eg. early 1800s, 1700s and earlier).

I do not keep the original photo files because they're the same resolution as what's uploaded to FaG. You'd be receiving the same file as what I upload to the memorial page, so please feel free to download that. I put all my original headstone photos in the public domain.

I follow Find a Grave guidelines on transferring memorials. See, see section "Transferring Memorials". Send me a message with the grave's ID, I usually get back to folks within a few days, unless I'm on holiday.

Please consider that "taking possession" of a memorial is not necessary to make corrections to it. Simply click the "Suggest edit" button (see below). You do not have to be a memorial manager to add a photo. I try to verify all edits (see below).

To change information on a memorial, click "Suggest Edits". Please do not send me a direct message. Edits are automatically approved after 21 days, so if I don't approve or deny it, assume I'm on vacation and it will auto-approve after that time.

I release all copyright claims to any headstone photos which I have personally taken as original works, and contribute them to the public domain. You're free to use them however you wish. However, please be respectful of the deceased and their families with how you use the photos.

Obituaries not in the public domain are protected by copyright law, and require a citation. All obituaries (or summaries of them) posted by me are done so with permission from either the publisher or the individual that wrote it, or are in the public domain. I make every effort to obscure living persons' information. If I miss something of that nature, please let me know and I'll fix it immediately. This satisfies all legal requirements and F.A.G. guidelines.


My Heritage Story
I come from a branch of the Giljum family, Danube-Swabian ("Donauschwaben" in German) Yugoslavs that settled in the Monroe, Michigan area between the great wars, with French-German bloodlines. Giljum was a family from in and around the small village of Elemér, in Vojvodina, former Yugoslavia made up of French from the region of Lorraine and German Swabians from what is now the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. "Giljum" is a Germanized misspelling of the French name "Guilleaume" or "Gillion". Unfortunately, many Giljums and other Danube Swabians that failed to immigrate before the end of WWII were killed in internment camps by the Soviets or forced from their homes into neighboring countries, in a genocide that lasted from 1944 until 1948, when the camps were closed.

Read more about the little-known Danube-Swabian genocide here:

I am also one of the many descendants of the Mayes family of the early colonial settlements of Kecoughtan near Jamestown; I may be the 12th great-grandson of Rev. William ("Mease") Mayes (through my father's maternal line), who John Rolfe mentioned in his letters to King James while staying with Pocahontas in England in 1616. However, thousands of Mayes descendants (and variations of the name) exist, and almost everyone with the surname claims some connection to Rev. William, so it's difficult to know for sure without a lot more DNA.

On my mother's side, I'm a descendant of the Rice/Rhys family of Suffolk, England, Leicester, England and Kankakee, Illinois, as well the Cummings family of Tipperary, Ireland and Hardin County, Ohio.

My family tree:

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