That story makes me think of one of my research trips from a few years
ago. Hope no minds minds if I share:
About four of years ago my mother and I were planning a cemetery
research trip up to Kinderhook hoping to locate the grave sites for a
number of people I found listed in the cemetery index on your site. We
had just started the drive up to Kinderhook from our home in Ossining
when my sister, who worked on Saturdays at the time, called to say her
babysitter had a family emergency and couldn't watch the kids. Deciding
we'd have to put our trip on hold, we changed course to head to my
sister's house, which at that point wasn't far at all. My nephew
Michael, then 10, was surprised we arrived so quickly and we explained
the circumstances to him. Much to our surprise he said he wanted to go
"collect dead relatives," which is a term I often use for this hobby.
His sister Deanna, then 7, joined in saying she wanted to as well. So,
the four of us loaded ourselves into my SUV and off we went.
Overall, I got less research done than I normally would have, but it was
still one of the most enjoyable research trips I've ever undertaken. The
kids really surprised me by getting into it, especially my nephew. He
was very serious with his copy of the list of names (thankfully I'd had
made extra in order have backup copies), going methodically up and down
the rows looking for the names on his list. He was the first to find one
that matched and was he ever excited about that. I was able to pull out
a chart to show him how the person fit into the tree and what the
relationship to him was. He was hooked for the rest of the morning,
walking those rows looking for more matches.
My niece, meanwhile, had spent most of the morning wandering about just
enjoying the warm day. All of a sudden she came over and said she had to
show me something "really sad." She took me back over to a small
headstone with a lamb on top. The grave was that of an infant, and one
that died on the same day it was born. She wanted to know why that grave
and most of the others didn't have flowers on them. My father had died
recently and we had taken flowers to his grave the last time they had
visited. I told her that the baby had died a long time ago and there was
likely no one left alive who even knew the baby was buried there to
bring it flowers. She just said "OH," and I thought that was the end of it.
Shortly thereafter we left to go into Valatie to get something to eat
and take a bathroom break. We then spent some time showing the kids
where family members had lived over a hundred years ago in Valatie,
where an ancestor's blacksmith shop had been located, and looking at the
waterfall where one of the old mills had been located. We were just
discussing it being time to head home when my niece declared, in that
way little girls have, that we could NOT go home until we had put
flowers on the graves. I forget now where we found them, but we bought a
bouquet of flowers and stopped back at the cemetery on the way home. We
separated the flowers and I told Deanna she could start putting them on
the graves we'd found.
I wasn't surprised when that long gone baby received the first gift of
Both kids, four years later, still make references to the day we went to
"collect dead relatives." Both still take an interest whenever I
discover something new and want to know "how it fits" into the chart.
All the result of a morning spent in warm sunshine and connecting with
Cliff Lamere wrote:
It is an interesting story about a cemetery field trip from today's 5
June 2007 issue of the Times Union newspaper in Albany.
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to NYCOLUMB-request(a)rootsweb.com with
the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the