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READERS' FEEDBACK: Cemeteries & Obits

http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/0204.htm 
Myrt wrote "Historically we've had the problem as well, with people dying on the plains during the westward movement."

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From: John Ciolina <denyce@jcis.net>
DearMYRTLE,

In my family there are my father-in-laws' ashes spread in Lake Mendocino, one sister's ashes in upper Gualala River, and one off the bridge at Gualala. I am the only family member who does genealogy so my records are the only ones available. There are many who used the Neptune Society and are spread in some garden or open field. Between this and the continuing loss of access to public records the future generations will have nothing to trace. Peace.

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From: d rogers <diane_rogers@shaw.ca>
DearMYRTLE,
Yes, I think it's a reason to share & publish our findings in as many ways as we can, but I'm not so pessimistic about the future. We will have burial/cemetery records, and depending on dates & legal restrictions, access to death registrations. Probably most of these records now are far more organized & available than in the past. For Scotland, for example, there are so few historical burial records & many, if not most, of the original grave markers are gone. I know in the small Manitoba, Canada town where my mother grew up, there are no markers now in the cemetery for the original family settlers, who died in 1918 & 1927, which doesn't seem long ago! I still see many, many obituaries & memorial notices published; perhaps they will be back 'in fashion' soon. My concern is with current, so-called, 'privacy' issues, as I know, for example, there have been a few incidents where a cemetery restricted photographic access to headstones. Most people, I think, would feel these restrictions are misguided & unnecessary. As genealogical researchers, I believe, we need to keep these & other genealogical & historical concerns in the public eye. M.D. Rogers, British Columbia, Canada.

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From: Gartzr@aol.com <Gartzr@aol.com>
DearMYRTLE
,
Just read your answer and the letter regarding cremation and cemetery monument, headstone information for future genealogists. I am the volunteer family researcher at historic Forest Home Cemetery of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I know that here in Wisconsin the Funeral Director has to furnish to the County and the Cemetery a copy of the Burial Transit Form on which dates of birth and death are located plus the final residence address of the deceased is located. This is even true where the body is transported to the cemetery for cremation where the cremated remains are going to be spread on a lake, a farmland or even kept in the family home on the mantel. Up to about 1940 it also included the cause of death but am sorry to say that this information is no longer provided except in rare instances. The burial form also usually includes the country the deceased was born or the city here in the USofA, the marital status at time of death. I don't know about other States, though. Also it must be remembered that cemetery office staff don't have a lot of time to look up all the records. For a large 200 acre cemetery like Forest Home, that is the 2nd reason I do this on a volunteer basis, to help the office staff. The first reason, of course, is to help people find information about their forebears.

I do this because I was so helped in my own family research. I found my grandfather in Rochester, New York. I wrote for his death certificate on which I found he was buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in that city. I got a letter back from a man who stated that he was a member of a group who called themselves the friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery. He sent me what information he could find in the records and a map to the location of the burials not only of my grandfather but his sister and his brother that I did not even know about.

It would be great if genealogists all over the country at all cemeteries would volunteer a day a week, a month or as needed time to help others. Here in the Milwaukee area there is even an Old Cemeteries group who are willing to help researchers with any records they have been able to find. I am sure many other areas have such people who are willing and able to help to some degree. -- Bob of Brookfield.

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DearREADERS,
Thanks for your thoughts. These three seem to typify the comments of most. We as genealogists realize the importance of leaving a record of our family members' lives. BRAVO!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207


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