The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the tag “cemeteries”

An open letter to cemetery vandals

Eaton

I don’t understand this.  Why do you feel the need to steal from the final resting place of someone’s wife, grandfather, infant daughter?  Why do you take such enjoyment in destroying these historical markers of our fore-bearers?  Or does that even enter your mind at all – as you’re breaking an 18th century headstone or tagging a beautiful family monument?

The people buried there could be my relatives.  And who knows; they could even be YOUR relatives.  Did you even think of that?  Oh, that’s right – you WEREN’T thinking.

So, how would you like that; having some drunk or stoned dude taking a bat to your little sister’s headstone?  SLAM!  “Outta the PARK!!  The crowd goes wild!!”  Does the mere thought of that leave you with a sick feeling in your stomach or do you just shrug it off and mumble “Whatever.”?

“Oh, but it’s usually just kids being kids!”

StarPress

So, is that you’re excuse as well?  “Oh, I was just messin’ around with my bros!  We meant no disrespect!”  How can you say that?  Vandalizing a cemetery has got to be one of the most disrespectful acts you could possibly do.  “But I was drunk and only having some fun!  I just got caught up in all the excitement!”  No, you just didn’t CARE.  Why?  Because destroying 27 headstones is still called “cemetery mischief”.

WNDU

When you’re caught and you will be, you’ll probably be given the usual punishment of cemetery clean-up or other community service, which is surely not enough.  You should also have to assist in researching the family history of some of those people you had absolutely NO regard for.  Kind of like a Who Do You Think You Are? meets Scared Straight to put a FACE on that deceased person you obviously had NO respect for.

Maybe after seeing these people come to life, you’ll realize that they WERE people, and not merely big stones that come out of the ground in a graveyard, primed for tipping.  Though I will never understand how you could go on a cemetery-destroying spree, maybe YOU can understand what you’re actually doing when you and your buds topple those headstones.  As it’s almost never just ONE you destroy.

In all fairness, I’m sure “Vandalising the Local Cemetery” wasn’t on your To-Do List that night and it was more like an idiotic non-decision you and your friends foolishly made.  Therein lies the problem.

Graveyard Desecration wasn’t high up in your Things You Should NOT Do List.  Because NOT Destroying a Cemetery needs be engrained and automatic for us all.

Remorse may eventually sink in for you the next few days.  But then comes another one of your lame-ass excuses – the king of them all…  “We were bored!”  I say again – I don’t understand this.

And by the way, two sets of my Italian great-grandparents are buried at a family plot in Brockton’s Calvary Cemetery, just down the street from Union Cemetery in the first article.  Fortunately, if you attempted to take down that towering gravestone, you would be justifiably flattened by it.

End note: I had to hold back some while writing this post and personally, the punishment would be FAR more severe for anyone convicted.  I have NO tolerance for such ignorance and stupidity, as I believe those caught should be made an example of for others.  So that we will NOT automatically refer to such mindless destruction as “cemetery mischief”.

Please pass this along, as Halloween is the time of year when much of the cemetery vandalism occurs.  Many cemeteries now take (online) donations for maintenance and upkeep, so if you feel as strongly about this as I do, help out a local cemetery with a few bucks if you can.  Because usually – the nicer the cemetery; the lesser the vandalism.

Besides writing letters to lowlifes, I can also research YOUR family history!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

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A few recent genealogy items worthy of note

FaGraveFind A Grave (via Ancestry.com’s blog) announced that the 100,000,000th photo was uploaded onto their website.  Yeah, I could’ve written it as “100 Million”, but look at all those ZEROES!

That’s a great milestone and pretty impressive for a website that many originally blew off as a celebrity-worship “ooooo, this is where he’s buried!” novelty destination that would be gone in a few years.  But after 19?  Boy, did they prove ME – errr, THEM wrong!!  Find A Grave is a definite boon for genealogists, historians and the entire goth community!  Me eating crow.  Poorly.

And has THIS finally been successfully proven?

Mail OnlineMr. Edwards claims he was able to extract DNA from a shawl found by one of Jack’s victims. How??  Ya gotta buy his BOOK to find out!!

JackEh, in all fairness, the article is rather meaty and has several photos, so I will not mock.  Thank you, Mr. Edwards!  The free plug for his BOOK should make up for any ill will.  Fascinating stuff, for sure!

And NOT to sound like a broken record regarding online records, but here’s MORE!!

FamilySearchScroll down a bit for the numbers.  FamilySearch.com is surely living up to their promise of a continuous flow of digitized records – indexed and non-indexed!  So, instead of waiting for the entire indexing process to catch up to the records (a few years??), they keep adding all sorts of goodies for us to BROWSE through.  Did I ever mention I love to browse? 

Well, even with all the indexes, I often end up browsing anyway.  Whether it be to find the actual ancestor I’m looking for or learn more of what and who’s around that ancestor if some promising results came up in the initial search.

These two FamilySearch items are of special note to U.S. researchers, as they are NEW sources; the others were updates to existing collections.

FS New 01FS New 02I’ll close out with something I came across today, from nearly 100 years ago, it’s the 1915 Norwich, Connecticut Tax List via the Norwich Bulletin!

NorwichThis is a great mid-decade resource for placing your Norwich, CT ancestor.  Check it out.  You could actually find someone you “know” in there!

But if your ancestors never lived in Norwich (99.9999% of us), I can still help you out!  Hire ME — The Online Genealogist!!!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

The Online Genealogist’s Mixed Bag

BBW

This makes too much sense.  Even in my area cemeteries, there’s always someone walking, jogging, biking through.  But way too small to be charging admission!

I can see the slogans now… “It’s a gentle, peaceful walk”… “Celebrate life amongst the dead”… “This ain’t your mother’s Scooby-Doo graveyard!”…  OK, so they need some work.

Going from buried people to buried records.  Staying in New York City, but visiting Massachusetts.

NYT

It’s amazing what is still collecting dust in church attics and rectory cellars.  And how many churches can YOU think of that have gone up in flames over the years?  More fingers than I got!  Churches and fire are kind of like trailer parks and tornadoes.

And, yes – a courthouse made of bricks CAN burn.  So sad.

Telegraph 01 Telegraph 02

And just after you’ve gotten used to FamilySearch‘s indexing program during their recent key-athon; they’re going to “improve” it and gives us “more features”.

fsb

Bring on the next key-athon, I say!!

 

Until later…

 

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

 

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