Central New York Research. The eclectic ramblings of doing genealogy and growing up in that part of Upstate New York that is the central and Finger Lakes regions. With ancestors all over the northeast and beyond, there will be forays outside the area with trips and news on family history as well as local history.
The weather is getting better and more and more spring-like.
However, we are predicted to possibly get 3-6 inches of snow around Syracuse
this weekend. I was hoping to get out and visit some cemeteries and catch up on
photo requests. But now it looks as though that might need to be postponed.
If we can get out this weekend, however, let’s keep in mind
in our enthusiasm to get to all the relatives stones, that there are others to
be thought about as well.
Dennis Wooster in Jamestown, Indiana
It is a good thing if while we are taking our own photos we
can fulfill some requests for others on Find A Grave. People have requested
these photos for a number of reasons. Sometimes they are too far away to ever
get to that cemetery or if they can, it will be a long time in the future.
Others might be handicapped so that it is impossible for them to wander the
cemetery looking for the stone that they want to see. Take a few extra minutes
and see if you can find some of these and get the pictures.
While you are in the cemetery, be mindful where you walk as
well. I was taught as a small child that you should not walk across a
gravesite. It is like walking on top of the person. I’m not as mindful of this
anymore as I should be, but I do try to walk along the edge and not across the
center of the plot. It’s especially good not to in older cemeteries that might
not have used vaults! Imagine stepping down and the dirt compressing down on
the old burial creating a hole. Just another reason to be respectful and follow
the old custom-- it could be for your own safety.
While there, I try to notice if graves around where I am
need to be tidied up a bit. Has somebody’s flowers or a flag tipped over? If
so, I like to put them back to rights. It not only makes it look nicer, but also
shows respect for the deceased.
Jordan, NY Cemetery
Speaking of respect, I also try to avoid areas of a cemetery
that have a funeral going on or where friends or relatives of the deceased are
visiting the grave. Unless of course, if it was of a person I’m researching!
Then I would use judgment of whether it would be a good time to approach the
people or if they are too mournful to want anybody talking with them. I’ve
actually never had this occur, but at times have been hopeful that somebody
might be near the stones I’m researching.
There is one time that you should definitely avoid a
cemetery. When one is on private land and you don’t know who owns it to ask for
permission. I have seen some small family cemeteries that are now in the middle
of a field that has crops in it. I know there is no way that farmer is going to
give permission to go to that cemetery until after harvest! As disappointing as
it may be, you need to make other arrangements to see the plots. If there is a
pasture around it then an old joke may apply: “We don’t charge if you cross the
field, but the bull does!”
Fields along Owasco Lake, NY
I heard a person complaining last week about people
accessing a private family burial ground on their cousins’ land. Many people were
damaging private property getting to it and they felt as though they were
entitled to go there, as the people buried in this plot were somewhat public
figures. I’m not mentioning the names for privacy reasons, but there were
characters in a book or television show a number of years ago based on this
family. If a well-known person is in a public cemetery, that is one thing, but
in a case like this, please respect the family’s privacy and restrict your
viewing to photos that may appear in books or online! One or two people walking
across an area might not be a problem, but with many, even being very careful
it soon becomes a big problem.