Dec 21, 2010

Never Think You are "Done" With a Cemetery

As any family researcher knows we are never "done" with genealogy research.  After my success with finding a grave of an ancestor recently in Mount Royal Cemetery (see my previous post) I have learned a lesson.  Don't cross off a cemetery as being done in your research.

Many years ago I had checked with the office at Mount Royal for all Lammay's and did find a few of them there.  As I started searching for other Lammay siblings it strangely did not occur to me to search Mount Royal.  I felt it was too far away from where the other siblings lived.  I would make regular visits there because that is where my parents were buried but they never involved any genealogy hunting.  I have learned as new information is found, such as married names in my case, it pays to return to the cemeteries where family is buried.  People choose a burial place for many reasons, not just close proximity to where they lived.  In my case I have found three more Lammay's in Mount Royal. 

The first I found on an online cemetery listing.  It is a strange case of this ancestor being buried with the Father of her first child (I don't believe she was ever married to him) absolutely no where close to where she lived her life.  The second I also found by chance when I took a different path back to my car after visiting my great grandmother's grave.  I spied the name on the tombstone and almost jumped out of my skin when it was my great, great aunt.  The third was found when I revisited an old cemetery map I had not looked at for 20 years.

I have also found it is beneficial to recheck with the office for ancestors even if you have done so previously.  I learned this from another cemetery, Prospect in Brackenridge, PA.  Many years ago I obtained a list of all Lammay's and Stauffers in the cemetery.  I was disappointed not to find my grandmother's sister Lizzie and had almost given up hope of locating her grave.  Then one day she appeared on Find A Grave--in Prospect Cemetery.  After exchanging emails with the Find A Grave contributor who added her burial I learned that the old records at Prospect are in poor condition with numerous misspellings.  It would have been easy for a person not familiar with my family to not recognize the name.  I have also found additional ancestors in Prospect thanks to Find A Grave that were not included on that original list from the cemetery office.  So it pays to revisit sources.  Also check, recheck and then recheck again your data!

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