Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring has sprung, and this graveyard rabbit is hopping again!

It was a long, snowy winter, but finally the tombstones are free of their snow cover and ready for this eager graveyard rabbit to discover and photograph again! 
Bohemian Church, Hopkins, Minnesota

My very first graveyard hop of the season was one of my best ever.  I finally figured out the location of the cemetery where my husband's great grandparents and great great grandparents are! It's right in my own home town, so it's pretty ridiculous that I haven't been able to find it, but here's why:  

First, there are three churches right in a row on that street.  I didn't know that, and I was concentrating on the first one, which it turned out was not the right church.  I didn't understand it, because I wasn't paying close attention to the address/directions on the usgenweb page.  I figured I knew where the church was... etc., etc., etc.  

Second:  The cemetery transcription was tripping me up, because of an error. The great great grandparents were Joseph (1841-1922)  and Anna (1845-1924) Plihal.  The cemetery transcription had a Josephine Plihal (1842-1922) and an Anna Plihal (1845-1924) next to each other, but just glancing at that, I thought, well, no, that's not them.  It turns out that the tombstone says "Joseph" (not "Josephine"), but it does say 1842, not 1841.  Either I've got his birthdate (Dec 1841) wrong, or whoever ordered the stone didn't know his birthdate, but knew he was 80 years old, so just put 1842.  

Also, my husband's Bohemian ancestors had a tradition of naming their children after family members.  Nothing could be harder for the genealogist, especially when they're all living near each other!  There are literally THREE couples named Joseph and Emilie Plihal that I've been researching, in the same vicinity and right around the same age!  Confusing!  Plus, I only had information calling MY Emilie "Emma" so looking at the cemetery transcription, not finding an Emma, I thought they must be buried somewhere else.  Upon further research, though, my Emma was called Emilie too.  

Anyway, once again, I'm learning the lesson that you HAVE to be open-minded in researching these things.  There are always going to be mistakes, spelling variations, name variations, and you have to keep your mind open and look into all possibilities to find your people!  

Such a thrill to be able to be out graveyard hopping again!  Happy Spring, everyone! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Life gets in the way of a blog about death

I've got two kids - a teen and a tweener - and they keep me incredibly busy, so yes, it's been a long time since the last post.  Yeah, life gets in the way of my genealogy research and my graveyard hopping, but that's OK. 

Anyway, it's hard to want to graveyard hop in Minnesota in the middle of winter.  It's just not as... inviting as those warm fall days with the leaves all changing....

Since my last post, I have watched the GeneaBloggers' prompts for 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy, and though I haven't posted about any of them, there was one in particular that really caught my interest.  It was week #44, end-Oct/beg-Nov:
Research ways to give back to the genealogy community. A great deal of genealogy information on line was put there by volunteers. This week, your challenge is to examine some different ways genealogists can donate their time and effort in kind.

One of the first places mentioned for volunteer genealogical work was Find A Grave.   I love Find A Grave.  I clicked over there and realized there was something I could do.  There's a very small private family cemetery near me that is placed incorrectly on all kinds of maps (including Google Maps and MapQuest).  I contacted Find A Grave and gave them the information to correct that.  I told them where the cemetery actually is, what  it's called and another name it's also known as.  And since I had just been there (taken there by my double 4th cousin, whom I met through and taken pictures of every headstone, I offered to set up the names of the people interred there! 

Because of my e-mail, Find A Grave made the corrections, and I have started listing the interments!  How cool is that??  Even cooler, I've had another distant relative contact me  through Find A Grave because of that!  And even cooler than that, he had an actual photograph of my 3rd great grandmother, Anna Gee Aldritt (1805-1890). 

And I know for sure it's really her, because she looks remarkably like one of her daughters, Jemima Aldritt Trumble (left, 1835-1891), of whom I already had a picture.

And how cool is that??  So, the moral is, pay it forward, and it comes back to you.  The genealogy community is fabulously generous with information.  Help out wherever you can, to pay back those who worked hard to put your information where you found it! 

And dream of nicer days for cemetery hopping!

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This work by Kimberly Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.