Saturday, December 4, 2010

Neglect and Paying it Forward - Find a Grave

I have taken a few months off of research. Yet again. What was a couple of weeks has turned into quite a while but I tend to do that with everything I do. I knit like a fiend for a couple of weeks, spin like a fiend for a couple of weeks, research like a fiend for a couple of weeks, rinse and repeat. At one point I thought I should give up a hobby to balance myself out but I have come to accept my "cycle of life".
With that comes some guilt. I have gotten some leads from some very nice people. Emails and posts on Ancestry boards and one on this blog even! Blogging, people! If you are not a blogger, you should be. I had no idea what or why I wanted to do a blog but you know, I don't have anything important to say and I am not a teaching type blogger but I have gotten some very significant leads on my research from those Googling my ancestors! And there have been a few inquiries on my Duncan surname and ugh, I feel so bad because last week I wanted to sit at my spinning wheel, not here. One gentleman I let know I haven't been working on my research and was taking a short break, I can just imagine him scratching his head and looking at his other half and saying, "Whatta mean she is taking a break?" Do researchers do that? It boggles the mind.
I will say it is the research community on blogs and Facebook that keep me inspired and chomping at the bit to get back at it. I see some very productive people on my Facebook feed and many times sigh and say, "Gosh, come on Lighthouse, let's get moving here already!" Please don't look at my feed, it is all Frontierville. (Hangs her head in shame.)
To, my redo project is stalling me. I have posted on this project before. Brand new data base, the only thing going into this database is what I -actually- have as documentable proof in the new data base. I have gotten to the heavy material files and there came the …. Errrch… stall, let's go do something else mode. If I could train myself to even do a half hour a day when I get home from work to get these documents into RM4 and sourced, I would be so much farther ahead. Do I hear a New Year's theme coming? 2011 is going to be "Lets improve a little bit of everything", not a resolution but lifestyle enhancement. I really think I need to clean up the old information before I go for new information so… that is my plan even if it is taking months longer than I expected or allowed myself. I am very distracted by shiny. I need supervision.
All is not lost to the research community, however. For the time not spent at this desk researching, and or goofing off online, I have been running about my county as a Find a Grave volunteer. I can't tell you how much joy and pleasure I get from doing this. It is something I do with my 20 year old daughter, she enjoys it just as much and she is very good at finding the headstones we are looking for. I am sure she finds them more than I do. Her friends think I am "cool" because I hang out at cemeteries. College kids think I am cool!! It is good quality time with her and we have fun. We have stories that make us laugh and some day she will look back on these days and remember, and smile, while maybe, just maybe, doing this with her future daughter. And, it is good therapy, when I step into a cemetery on the hunt, the world goes away and family stress can be forgotten for a little while. The holidays this year is turning out to be very difficult so there has been a lot of Find a Graving!

For those of you that might be thinking about doing Find a Grave picture requests, you should! It is fun and a wonderful way to pay it forward. I have had some very nice people collect headstone pictures for me in Tennessee, only one of my original eight requests is still there unfulfilled and you learn the cemeteries in your area.
Yesterday we went to a very small cemetery that is no longer taken care of. I couldn't find the stone that was requested and I will report to the requester what I found. It saddened me that a cemetery could be so overgrown and neglected it. It is right behind a house, in some trees and very overgrown with thorn bushes, it is a mess and it shouldn't be that way. The majority of the stones are broken, laying in pieces or no longer readable.

So now after my word purge, I am going to work on the Briggs a bit I think! Woot for research!
Current leads:

Delothe "Dolly" Briggs may be the daughter of Frederick Briggs hung in 1789 in Virginia for horse thievery. It could be, I have her birth figured to be about 1785. I have her 1860 census saying she is 75 and her 1870 census were it looks like it says she is 80 so one or the other census is incorrect. I am still looking for more censuses. I have guessed she died in 1885 (per information of another family researcher in my family) but have not found her on the 1880 census as yet. She has been a mystery ancestor of mine and I wish I could have known her. Never married and with 5 children I think it is without looking at my records. How did a woman in the early 1800's not marry like that and what was her life like. I am dying to know.

Elizabeth "Betsey" Stockton. A very nice man from the Stockton family has contacted me with some valuable information. I had a bit of the information but no documentation. This documents my line, always a good thing; she is of the Stockton family of Virginia. They were very wealthy in their time.

And the Duncan clan. I have been contacted by other Duncan researchers also descended from my John Duncan to George Washington Duncan of North Carolina line. There is a reunion every year for ancestors of John Duncan; he had a lot of wives during his time. I have asked my sister to think about it and I think we may plan a trip to NC in 2011 for this reunion, which means, I better get some more work done on this line so I can walk into this reunion sounding like I know what I am doing when it comes to my Duncan's!! :)

Happy Holiday's to you and yours, whatever your Holiday of choice may be!!

Some pictures of that cemetery I mentioned above, Benham Cemetery, Ontario County NY:


1 comment:

reh ncw said...

Great post---I wanted to post earlier.
Great photos--- I will be checking back-----keep posting please!!