The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the tag “Who Do You Think You Are?”

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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What’s going on in the genealogy world today?

Oh, there’s ALWAYS something happening with regard to family history research.  Here are just a few highlights…

While I don’t frequently link to others’ blog posts, there are some that simply NAIL IT with regard to what’s been going on or what I’ve been thinking about in genealogy land.  I touched upon this a few blogs back, but delves deep in the “Online Genealogy: Free vs. Subscription” debate here…

Olive Tree

As I said in my post, I fully understand that information costs money.  My gripe was with the yearly membership costs grand total I need to pay for those several websites and societies I’m a member of.  It adds up quickly!

And not a moment too soon, it’s a new “free” website we’ll end up paying for anyway (via taxes) – MyHeritage Library Edition!

MyHeritage

Great news for the “I only use FREE genealogy websites!” crowd.

And for those doing research in the land down under {insert flute here}, Trove keeps growing and growing…

Trove

Trove is a great starting point for your Australian research.  Not just newspapers; they have books, maps, photos, videos and archives websites.  Very much like an Aussie Internet Archive…and also FREE.  And, no – I will not be trying a Vegemite sandwich any time soon.

It’s always good to see the “mainstream media” run a genealogy-related article, such as this one from the Deseret News

Deseret

I’m sure we’ll be seeing an increase of similar stories as genealogy gets a boost from shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and Genealogy Roadshow.

Happy Family History Month to everyone!

 

For The Online Genealogist, every month is Family History Month; hire me and I’ll prove it to you!

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

Who Do You Think You Are? Inside scoop!!!

BoDonaldson

Wasn’t that Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods’ second-highest-charting single, which reached #15 on Billboard Magazine’s US Top Pop 100 chart in the summer of 1974?  It was a follow-up to their #1 Billy Don’t Be A Hero that spring.  THAT Who Do You Think You Are??

Then that’s it.  That’s all I know about it.

Anyway, there’s supposed to be this show on television – the name of which escapes me now – that’s a cross between Roots and Antiques Roadshow with a heavy dose of The Amazing Race.  But subscribing to basic cable, I don’t get the “special channel” it’s on.  (Didn’t it used to be on NBC??)

But I see on their website, which shall remain nameless, the first three full episodes of the season.  So I watched.  All three.  Not at once.  Consecutively.

WDYTHY

[Meanwhile, after viewing 135 minutes of the afore-non-mentioned show…]

Wow.  Unfortunately, the “easily hopping from one set of original records to the next” isn’t a reality for most of us.  Yeah, we HOPE to get there “one day”, but by the time we’ve climbed up several generations, that’s dozens of locations spanning either the country, or most likely, the globe.

Anyway, that’s what struck me the most after watching the shows.  And that some genealogy newbie will assume it’s “that simple” and quickly done, when it usually isn’t.  Which, to me, is the best part of genealogy!

The hunt and subsequent challenge of piecing together pieces and parts of a particular person.  Giving them a biography that they would’ve never had otherwise, as most were certainly not famous or extraordinary. “Jus’ normal folk like you and me!”

I always wonder if they’re “somewhere” cheering us on, like they “know” we’re researching them.  I’ve had some INEXPLICABLE genealogical finds over the years, where I’m left thinking “Getting a little help, perhaps?”  Hmmmmm…  (Whole other blog post…)

And now you’re left going “What the %@!!# is he talkin‘ about?”, as I seemed to have gotten off track there somewhat.  Though, I’m sure you’ve all had at least one of those moments.

…Oh yeah, opinion of the shows – which I fully refuse to promote for free!!…

Eh, they were OK.

 

And if you think genealogy is also OK, but you can’t fly around the world to research, like on that SHOW there; hire ME!!  I’ll do the virtual flying around for you!!  (And yes, despite the naysayers, it can be done.)

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

The Online Genealogist goes offline for an MGC seminar

 

MGC

Yes, The Online Genealogist attended his first-ever genealogy seminar over the weekend…offline.

Sure, I’ve been to several webinars electronically, but nothing ever live and in person.

I actually had a wonderful time!  Going in, I had NO idea of what to expect, so it was interesting to see how one of these all-day events was held.  The seminar flowed most excellently; I got the chance to meet several fellow genealogists and listen to some very knowledgeable and engaging speakers.  (Hi, Mary!!)

IMG_4654

At the luncheon, MGC did a bit of a “Who Do You Think You Are?” segment with one of the attendees, who was curious to know if she was related to Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln.

Even though inconclusive, it was surely looking favorable and further research would be required to confirm (or deny) her connection to Dan and Abe.  And it did make for an intriguing presentation!

The ONLY complaint I had was there were too many great topics and speakers to choose from!  With the four lecture periods, I had to decide which of three to attend for each.

For example, from 10:30 to 11:30, the offerings were Genealogy Research Online *ahem*, Adventures in Italian Genealogy and Scrivener for Genealogists.  I wasn’t quite ready for Scrivener, so I went with Italy.  As I probably could’ve hosted the online session myself, I opted for some possible new tips and tricks regarding my personal Brugliera Italian research.  And the remaining three time period topics were even MORE difficult to choose from!

But I will say the MGC did a spectacular job and it was most definitely worth the trip; I am SO glad I went!!!

 

And if you’d like to benefit from all that new knowledge, hire ME – The Online Genealogist!!!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

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