- Kristi named and described some of the many different types of cemeteries we may come across in our research; e.g. Church, Public, Veterans, Memorial, Private, etc.
- Kristi pointed out the variety of information that we can find on headstones; e.g. dates, religious affiliations, military service, spouses, children, Fraternal organization affiliation, etc. which are all great leads to other records we may not have known about previously.
- Kristi reminded us that when we are at cemeteries we need to be concerned about the preservation of headstones. She recommended we carry a ‘kit’ with us to carefully clean stones to help preserve them and make taking photos more rewarding so we can see the inscriptions. Her ‘kit’ included a variety of soft brushes, rags and cleaning solution, clippers for the grass that might be in the way and gloves for our hands. She said she also keeps a red, blue and American flag with her which she uses when she knows someone is buried in a particular spot but there is no headstone to mark the spot. Then her flags (blue-male, red-female, American-military service) help denote the spot in her pictures. I will definitely be carrying a ‘kit’ in the future and using the flags. I have taken pictures of stones marked by moss or dirt and the stones are difficult to read. If I had a ‘kit’ with me the photos would be a better quality. I have come across several ancestors whose grave sites are not marked in any way and having a small flag will help mark the spot where they are buried as I document the site with a photo.
- Kristi demonstrated the Find A Grave website and accompanying app for your personal devices. Looking for an ancestor and recording the FindAGrave Memorial ID# helps us remember where the Memorial is. Verified information can and should be added to Memorials to help tell our ancestors’ life story. We also have the ability to connect family members and add information such as obituaries, etc.
- First, determine where you are with those missing or undocumented ancestors. Who is next to work on?
- Review the information you already have. Try developing a timeline, a map or a spreadsheet to look at the information in a new way.
- Re-evaluate the information and documents you previously gathered. This is crucial because we don’t always ‘see’ all the information the first time we look at documents. Transcribing documents generally alerts us to information we may have missed or glossed over the first time around.
- In addition to typical informational documents (census, probate, vital and court records) look for family items, letters, pictures, journals, audio or video information and Family Lore for additional leads that may help you locate some new information.
Be sure to check out Kristi’s website One Leaf and her bio at http://oneleafgenealogy.com/about/. She can be contacted through her website or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you have any corrections, additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,