Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week 9 - Cemeteries - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy

Week 9 – Cemeteries: Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see. Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful. What makes this place special? What does it mean to you and your family history?

Tingalpa Cemetery 2009

Now this was a difficult challenge this week because there are so many cemeteries that I like and have found over the years. Tingalpa Christ Church (Anglican) Cemetery though will always hold a special spot in our heart because it was the location of my first real break-through in family history at a young age.

Thanks to my family history society's Cemetery Room index, I found that my husband's great-grandfather and his wife and their children were buried here.  I remember traipsing all over the cemetery looking for their grave, only to discover that it was the biggest monument in the whole cemetery just about!!

The cemetery looks absolutely beautiful these days which is not something that can be said for all cemeteries I'm afraid.  My sister-in-law Pat and I went traipsing about Balmoral Cemetery last year looking for an ancestor and it was so sad seeing so much destruction and decay in such a large and old (by Australian standards) cemetery.

The Tingalpa Cemetery is beautifully maintained by the hard-working and dedicated Friends of Tingalpa Cemetery Heritage Group.  I think it helps that the cemetery has a cute-as-a-button chapel that can be used for weddings.

The day my sisters-in-law and I went to visit the Cemetery back in 2009 it looked absolutely beautiful.  We thought we were going for a special day but we arrived late - a day late to be precise - silly me - I got the date wrong.  The cemetery was beautifully decorated and looked a picture.

Someone had added this information about the Daw family though I am intrigued by their ability to give a death date for Robert James Daw as I have never been able to find out what happened to him.

We were also impressed by the Gode family plaque.  The Godes are related to the Daws by marriage.  Thomas Daw's brother Edward married Alice Sophia Gode after whom Robert's Aunt Alice is named.

Here are some links to other posts about other cemeteries that I have visited over the years.

Last but not least here is my advice for what it is worth for visiting cemeteries:

  1. Take water
  2. Take a hat
  3. Wear sunscreen
  4. Make sure you have the phone number for the sexton/local Council so you can call them on your mobile to check position of graves as they are often unmarked.
  5. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged!
  6. Take your camera and make sure you have spare batteries or it is fully charged
  7. Take a companion to help you look for the grave
  8. Reward yourself with lunch afterwards  - it is thirsty work
  9. Don't forget to stop and take in the view and reflect..
  10. Support local heritage groups to maintain the cemetery

1 comment:

Ann O'Dyne said...

... and gumboots in case of snakes.
When I got myself far far west to Hamilton for lots of family graves I wished I had taken some gardening tools to tidy round them, but I love cemeteries.