Cemeteries are the best place to find people. Really! My husband and I have spent countless hours walking through many, many cemeteries, and when I can not get to the cemetery of my choice I use the FindAGrave web site and someone else will walk through a cemetery for me and take a picture of the requested gravestone like this one from the Hudson Valley in New York of my father’s paternal great grandparents William and Margaret Frimpter.
Of course walking sometimes means hiking. Cemeteries don’t always have the groomed green grass of a modern city like this Gold Camp Cemetery photo where Soapy Smith is buried in Skagway, Alaska. What a hike, and the bugs were terrible!
In St. Louis while looking for my husbands McMahon family grave site at Calvary Cemetery, we took a pre-mapped guided tour of the 300,000 burials. Some famous St. Louis people are here like Tennessee Williams, Dred Scott, Pierre Chouteau (founder of St. Louis) and H. Soulard.
Some cemeteries, like the Elbert cemetery here in Colorado show the natural beauty of the wildflowers. Both the Edwin Squires family and the Robert S. Foreman family are buried here.
Sometimes if you are having trouble finding the cemetery like we did in Catawisa, Missouri, street signs help. We knew we were close to finding my husbands great, great grandfather John McNamee here:
At the Chesed Shel Emith Cemetery in St. Louis, the cemetery that suffered damage from vandalism when more than 100 grave stones were toppled last year, (they caught the guy last week) we found a picture of my husband’s 1st cousin twice removed embedded in the gravestone and also my husband’s great, great grandmother Jennie, which provided me the opportunity to learn a little Hebrew.
Riverside Cemetery here in Denver, one of the first cemeteries, hosts the graves of 13th cousin Silas Soule. Silas refused the orders of Chivington to shoot and kill the Indian women and children at the Sand Creek Massacre. Later, after testifying at the trial of Chivington, Silas was gunned down on the street near 15th and Arapaho in Denver. Remember George Soule is our Mayflower ancestor.
Gravestones can provide a lot of information. We were looking for the birth date of Elizabeth McNamee Godfrey. Thought we would find it on the gravestone at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, but it wasn’t there. However, we did get the names of two of their children engraved on the back side.
I love exploring cemeteries. So much history and so many stories.