Saturday, October 31, 2009
this is for the love of my family.... ALL of them!
You enter each name one time and it spreads them out in the shape you choose.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
This is a question that I asked my Grandmother yesterday. "Why didn't you have Granddad buried at Arlington National Cemetery?"
Grandma is from another time, she was raised not to question "authority"
When my Grandfather died suddenly in 1975, the day after Christmas, Grandma probably didn't have any idea what to do. Sure, there were others around her to help make the arrangements, but she was the spouse. When she asked the funeral director the question about Arlington she was told "He doesn't qualify." She didn't pursue it, but tells me now that for many years she often thought of the wrong this must have been. Granddad was a decorated war hero, receiving many medals in WWII, shown in a post that I did this summer, including the Purple Heart. So, my question is "What are the qualifications, and have they changed?"
According to the Arlington National Cemetery website, the following is a portion of information on the general eligibility requirements for ground burial:
Eligibility for Interment (Ground Burial)
The persons specified below are eligible for ground burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The last period of active duty of former members of the Armed Forces must have ended honorably. Interment may be casketed or cremated remains.
a) Any active duty member of the Armed Forces (except those members serving on active duty for training only).
b) Any veteran who is retired from active military service with the Armed Forces.
c) Any veteran who is retired from the Reserves is eligible upon reaching age 60 and drawing retired pay; and who served a period of active duty (other than for training).
d) Any former member of the Armed Forces separated honorably prior to October 1, 1949 for medical reasons and who was rated at 30% or greater disabled effective on the day of discharge.
e) Any former member of the Armed Forces who has been awarded one of the following decorations:
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (Navy Cross or Air Force Cross)
Distinguished Service Medal
Now the question is, why on earth did the funeral director tell her he wasn't eligible? Of course, back in 1975 you couldn't run home and get on the Internet to find out more information, or get it on your cell phone as you can today. It is the funeral director's responsibility, even today, to contact Arlington and make necessary arrangements. It is clear to me that some questions either weren't asked, or necessary information was not provided. All Grandma can say to these questions is "I just don't know why that happened."
Now I'd like to know - has any "regular guy", who served in the military and was clearly due a burial at Arlington ever been removed from his burial of more than 30 years and then interred at Arlington? Sure, we've all heard stories of personnel buried overseas and moved, but what about someone who was buried by his family because they were told he wasn't eligible? Not only should he have been buried there, but my Grandmother as his widow who has never re-married all these years should also be eligible according to what I've read.
My last Tombstone Tuesday post was of my Grandfather's headstone. He's buried in a cemetery in the town where we lived at the time in Montgomery County Maryland. None of the family lives there any longer and there isn't any room in this cemetery for my Grandmother's burial. She will be buried elsewhere. Which isn't what she would prefer of course. Grandma will be 92 years old next month and I fear that time is of the essence at this point. Should I pursue moving him? My family agrees, but is it something that's done?
I've not yet contacted the cemetery to get information from them, but we plan to do that this week. Expect more about this story!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Not having my family from this specific area of the state, there was little to hold my interest but as we all know, it's the coming together of genealogists that lures us to these gatherings. Someone, ANYONE with a common interest is fun to talk and share with. After visiting with half a dozen people for about an hour, I left feeling good, it was nice to chat with others who share our hobby.
Because there isn't a Genealogical Society, Club or otherwise in my area, I decided to contact our local Historical Society to see if there was any interest - they put me in touch with someone who writes a genealogy column for their newsletter. She and I talked via email a few times and quickly determined with my schedule and her commitments to other things, neither of us were up for the task of trying to pull something together right now. We both had a lot of ideas, Lots and Lots of ideas - but we also realized that neither of us really had an understanding of what these groups do. What goes on at their meetings? Do they usually have someone who, for lack of a better term, "runs the show" or do they just get together much like a book club and discuss their research and help each other with specific areas/problems that they're knowledgable with? I think this type of gathering would quickly lose focus - or would it? I imagine beginners who would need much guidance and there would be the seasoned genealogists who would probably quickly tire of helping out the newbies all the time and then there are the "old school" genealogists who would never think to do any kind of research on the Internet (yes, I met one of these at the little fair). I've never been to this type of gathering - so what do you do at a meeting with such a varying level of understanding and a melting pot of people who all have the same interests? ... I have no earthly idea.
I then thought about others in the area who may be interested and I had to find out a way to reach out to them. GenealogyWise was a place to start. I searched the members for all the towns nearby and friended a few of them. One gentleman said that yes he'd be interested in something like this but we ran into the same problem - lots of ideas and no clue where to begin. There were about 12 other users in our local area registered on GenealogyWise - easy enough to contact them all, but then what?
So, there's still no club or society in my county but at least I know there is just a bit of interest out there. I envision a coming together of friends with common interests, sharing knowledge, helping others and I'm a firm believer that a club or society should also give back to our home county - transcribing records, documenting cemeteries or the like - whatever we can come up with that would help researchers who are no longer local.
Please, all you society or club members out there who belong to the smallish type of groups - share a typical meeting agenda with me. Anyone join a society as it was just starting up? Anyone help with the actual starting of one? How did it evolve over time? What were the first meetings like?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
and this one is after she worked to trim away the grass and sweep off the stone.
THANK YOU SO MUCH JANE!!!!
It really pays to get known burials entered into Find-A-Grave. There are many volunteers registered who are willing to go out and photograph headstones in their areas. I myself have taken many photos in local cemeteries and uploaded them to the site for others. It's a great way to help out other researchers and give back to the genealogical community.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Richard Cleveland Anderson was born on October 24, 1933 in Washington DC. He was the son of May Kidwell and Leonard Cleveland Anderson. After his birth his mother became very ill with an infection and died on November 9th. Richard's father was left with 8 children to care for. While I'm sure it was a very difficult decision, Richard would need to be cared for elsewhere. From what I understand, Richard went to live with his Grandmother Bertie Kidwell. I was told this by May's brother when I met him a several years ago. Bertie and one of her other daughters Marie would raise him.
We have no photographs of Richard, nor are we aware if he ever kept in touch with his siblings. One thing we have found is a book from his funeral, which my Grandmother (his half sister) had in her possessions. She would have been 9 when he was born. Grandma apparently made arrangements for Richard to be buried in the Anderson family plot at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia. Richard has no headstone. He died on September 8, 1975 at the age of 41.
I am aware of one marriage, to a woman named Elsie Belle - her maiden name is not known, nor their date of marriage. It is not known if the couple had any children.
Friday, October 16, 2009
My Great Grandmother Margaret McCann Bellew left England in the mid 1920s. I have done many posts about her story in the past, you can read them by viewing the posts labeled Margaret's Envelope. But that wasn't the whole story, as Margaret had left England to join her husband, and many of her sisters and other extended family members remained there.
Today I write about two of Margaret's sisters, Elizabeth, my cousin's grandmother; and Alice Ann. Elizabeth McCann was born 9 Feb 1888 at 5, Newsham Street, Preston. Her parents were Hugh McCann and Alice Ann Smith. Elizabeth McCann married John Mee on 14 August 1911 at the Church of the Sacred heart, Preston and they had five children, two of whom died young. Her husband died in 1926 and Elizabeth married George Fowler in 1928 and they had one child. Elizabeth died in 1943. Alice Ann McCann was born in 1894 and never married. She remained in Preston until her death - dear cousin do you have her death record? Writing about some of the extended family also allows me to note gaps in my information :-)
My cousin's parents, John Mee (son of Elizabeth and John Mee) and Eleanor Maud Nicholson married on 26 July 1947 at St. Edmund's Roman Catholic Church in Northumberland. She was wonderful to share the photo below of their wedding day, showing many of the family members I thought I'd never lay eyes on.
This is a photo of John Mee's wedding - the son of Elizabeth McCann Mee. Imagine my excitement to see a photo of my great grandmother's sister Alice, who is second from the left. Also pictured are George Fowler (far left), John Mee (center with his bride) and Eleanor Maud Nicholson. The fourth from the right is Mary Mee, the groom's sister (born 19 May 1917) standing next to her new sister-in-law. What a beautiful occasion.
It's very rewarding to receive and share family information with extended family members you may not have known existed, yet they're so close in relation to you. I am very glad to have found my new cousin and with the help of message boards, blogging and our continuing research, we'll find even more family members to share with.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This is the headstone of Grace Ellen Horsman Souder. She was the topic of my past Spotlight Sunday and my 2nd Great-Grand Aunt.
She is buried here with other members of the Souder family - Her husband Alpheus, her mother-in-law Fannie, and a nephew Albert Wesley Kidwell.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Today, it's Grace Emma Horsman Souder, a second great aunt on my father's side.
Much of information I have on Grace has been passed to me from a cousin who is a descendant of hers. The photo posted here is the only one I have of her.
Grace Ellen Horsman was born Oct 20 1887 in Fairfax County Virginia; she was the daughter of James Thomas Horsman and Emma Katherine Dawson. She lived in Fairfax for all of her young life and married Alpheus Dorsey Souder on December 15, 1908 in the "Old Church" in Vienna, Fairfax County Virginia. The couple had two children, Alpheus Wesley Souder born in 1921 and Everett William Souder born in 1925. They spent some time living in Washington DC and in Prince George's County Maryland. Grace's husband died in 1950 at the age of 68 in Prince George's County; Grace died May 7, 1966 at the age of 78. I am unaware of where she died, she is buried in the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington DC with other Souder family members.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The chain is odd, it's very short, meaning not necklace length, almost too short to go around a neck - it's more like the length of a watch chain, and the 'locket' thing is about 2" tall - a bit large. What would someone have done with this? Anyone know?
There is a small area on the front that appears to be for putting someone's initials or other small inscription.
There are two photos inside, they're not marked in any manner and they're not recognized by anyone we've shown them to. I may never know who these people are or if they're even related to me.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I really wish this photo was in better shape, unfortunately I'm not familiar with photo restoration. This was taken in Rockville Maryland, 1947. At first I thought they must be playing street hockey of some kind... but isn't that a golf club? I guess it's all they had.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Although I didn't have a lot in common with any of these folks, I must say that it was really nice to be around some others who share my interest (oh and actually being able to talk with other adults in person was nice :-) Ever notice how people outside of your little circle get that blank stare on their face when you mention genealogy? I didn't see any of those stares on Saturday! It was quite refreshing. For this reason alone (and the random cemetery stop on the way home) it was well worth the trip.
Dick Eastman did a post on Sept 25 titled Grass Roots Organizing at it's Best about a meeting he attended for a possible new genealogy organization and I'm now inspired to contact my local historical society or library to find out if there might be some interest in my own area for this type of organization or club. While the meeting he attended seemed to be comprised of people researching many areas and from all levels of skill, the organizations in my area are very area specific, having their membership comprised of people who are only researching in that area, whose families have been there for generations. I think it would be lots more fun to have beginners, seasoned genealogists and people researching from all over the world in attendance so we can learn from each other and help each other.