I love researching the past, especially as it relates to my ancestors. I can't explain it - I just want to know who they were and how they lived. For me it isn't about collecting names and birth/death dates, I want to find out as much about them as I can. And that is a challenge.
If you are lucky enough to catch the genealogy bug - before the generations before you pass on - you can gather sooooo much information. But once they have left us - we need to rely on the clues they left behind. Usually we find little slips of paper - photo albums (with no names or dates) perhaps a bible. We become detectives (maybe that is why I like detective shows and mystery novels).
But we truly do live in an awesome age. Even 10 years ago - we didn't have the resources at our finger tips that we do today. The only place one could find census records or vital statistics was at the library or at the local city hall. But today - so much of that has been digitized (and a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the thousands of people who have read documents and put them in digital form) and we can access them in many ways.
You surely have heard of Ancestry.com? Well it isn't as easy as the commercials say. You don't just type in a name and all of a sudden your past is before your eyes! Ha!! If only it was that easy! But they do have a great service - although - you must pay heftily for it. Family Search is another GREAT search engine for ancestors. and it is FREE!! The folk of the Mormon Religion have a great interest in finding their relations - they believe God has organized families into forever family units - and when you die you go to the Spirit World. By researching and finding your ancestors - you are giving them an opportunity to hear the gospel and accept it. Yeah ..... okay .... I am not gonna go there - but they do have some of the largest amount of ancestral data that is available free. They have research centers around the country too -that are free and very helpful.
I could go on and on - about where to find information (Click on the words: Fultonhistory.com if you are the New York area. Hundreds of historical newspapers at your finger tips), but that isn't the purpose of this post.
I recently have been on the hunt for information regarding my 3rd and 4th great grandparents. The trail has dried up (it does that a lot - sometimes you have to wait 6 months or so for new information to become digitized). But often one can look to the siblings and other children in your direct line - to find marriage, birth or death records that have awesome amounts of information.
I was doing that last week - when I found that my Great grandmother's sister (who I knew was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester - I've been there and have photos of the gavestone) was also buried in Fredonia. NY. So I called the cemetery there - sweetest lady I have ever spoke to answered the phone. After describing my dilemma to her - I said, now I know there are probably forms to fill out and a fee for this information, and she said, "Oh honey ... I have time right now to look into this for you." And she did. She took my number and called me back a half hour later. I didn't find out much except that she had been buried there - but the woman couldn't find her. (Apparently they recorded her burial - but not the fact that she had been moved.)
So it confirmed that it was the same person. I also got the new information that she died of Typhoid Fever. Wow. She was just 22 years old. Married only for 2 years. Her husband married again that same year - makes me wonder .... arranged marriages ... marriages for posterity?
ANYWAY - I am digressing again! The purpose of the post. oh, yeah. My husband and I took our youngest back to SUNY Fredonia last night (he was home for the weekend) and since the cemetery is only a block for the school - I batted my eyelashes and asked if we could ... just stop by for a quick visit. God bless him! He is so used to traipsing around cemeteries with me.
Well - go figure - we didn't find Emily (that was her name), and I really didn't expect to - I just wanted to experience the resting ground - and location. I can't explain it - there is just such a peace in cemeteries.
I didn't come prepared to find anything photo worthy - so only had my phone with me. I didn't even take photos of the entrance. I will have to go back and do that again sometime - it was quite pretty. Here is a link to some photos I found on the web CLICK HERE of Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredonia, NY. Well, while searching, my husband came upon the most interesting of monuments.
A tall tree stump with limbs that had been cut off - and the limbs were cut in pieces and on the ground next to it. It was a family plot. It was close to dusk and getting dark - but I took these photos. I really didn't think I would do a post on it when I took the photo's - but my curiosity got the best of me - and well - here they are. So interesting.
I went to the cemetery's website and found out, a little bit more of the family.
The Father "A P Phillips" was born in 1827 and died in 1901 at 74 of softening of the brain.
The mother Lidelia Phillips 1822-1900 died at 88 of "lagrippe" (influenza)
Daughter - Jennie Phillips (1853-1878) at 25 died of consumption
(the wasting disease most often TB)
Alonzo Burton Phillips (1854-1880) at 26 died of consumption as well.
Frank Phillips (1860-1875) at 15 years old died of heart disease.
There was another child (although not listed on the large monument)
Frank Burton Phillips (1879-1882) just 3 years old - died of diptheria.
This morning I did a google search on tree stump monuments. So interesting to me.
Oh well - back to the drawing board for my ancestors. I have to find a connection ... a link ...
Who am I kidding this is an obession LOL!!
ANOTHER BLOG with really interesting tree stump monuments I found HERE