28 November 2009
A little boy whose grandmother had just died wrote the following letter that he duly posted: Dear Angels--We have just sent you grandma. Please give her a harp to play, as she is short-winded and cannot blow a trumpet. "
25 November 2009
Luxengen Genealogy and Family History blog from Canada included us in their list of 7 blogs worthy of the award. And shucks! We are only a couple months old. Guess we have something to live up to now.
The rules are that we have to tell 7 things about ourselves and then nominate 7 other blogs we think are worthy. So here goes.
- We are both from small towns in Newaygo County Michigan. If you look at the palm of your right hand, we located about half way up the left side of your palm, (The Lake Michigan side)and in about an inch. Living in a hand-shaped state can be so "handy."
- Linda, the quiet and shy one, also has a passion for many fiber related pastimes such as spinning and knitting. She also loves NASCAR. Her blog is FarmMomMusings.
- Sandy, the boss of the room, (who is not nearby as I type this) is an animal lover. She has been the proud owner of many dogs, as well as cats and whatever crosses her path. She has even recommended inspecting the pouches of road-kill possums, to check for surviving babies.
- Our domain is the local history room of the Fremont Area District Library. We collect vital stats from the weekly papers and microfilm of old papers. Check the link for our room on the left of the library site, and then the Local History Room databases for names of family members.
- One of us absolutely LOVES snow and cold and can't wait for it to come. Got lots of wool to wear you know. Oh, did that give me away?
- The other of us is currently waiting both the completion of her new house and foot surgery. Mixed blessings there.
- We recently attended a genealogy seminar together. And we made it all the way there and back, without stopping at a cemetery. Of course, we were running late on the way there, and it was very late on the way home. But still......I can't believe we passed them all up.
And now---7 blogs we recommend for the award. Actually, we are presenting 8, so we each could have 4 to pick.
- Pink Lemon Twist by Melanie. A great blog with knitting and family. Patterns and pictures. She features "Knitting, Spinning, and My Crazy Life." Fun read.
- WendyKnits from, who else, Wendy is another favorite. Its about "Adventures With Sticks and String", with some pictures thrown in of her adorable cat Lucy. Patterns and tips. She is famous for her toe-up socks.
- A Year of Crockpotting is from Stepahnie Ok, so I discovered her in 2009 after the year was over. She still posts regularly and all the recipes from the previous year are searchable. Do I like the blog. Well-I bought 2 crock-pots--a 6 quart and a 4 quart since I started reading her. And I bought her book--Make it Slow, Cook it Fast.
- My friend and fellow spinner has My 8 Kids Mom Gets Crafty. This fearless woman homeschools, makes her own cheese, spins, dyes fibers, and knits among other things. They have one dairy cow (at this time.) And chickens, sheep, dogs, and...oh yes--kids.
These are some of my favorite blogs to read. I also read some genealogy ones, but most of what I read has already been nominated.
- Granite in My Blood. Its a great resource for gravestone photography, as well as genealogy and family history. A charter member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
- Life is a Spectacular Mess is a blog we can relate to. Her emphasis is scrapbooking with a vintage flair.
- The Graveyard Rabbit is another favorite. Its association is "dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, gravemarkers and the family history to be learned...."
- The Cemetery Club celebrates the art and history of cemeteries across the country and even the world.
Now, we just have to notify these of their award.
24 November 2009
Surrarrer Cemetery is far off the main road it is on a dusty seasonal road that follows the power line in Newaygo County. Several years ago Terry Wantz a local historian and friend ask me to help out trying to find names of people buried there. It is a lonely place but beautiful, it is sandy and forgotten and hard to reach.
The prairie was known as a place that many Native Americans called home and was a large village since it was close to the river where it was narrow and easy passing. It was also a rich hunting ground. Many believe the cemetery started out as a Native American burial ground. We also seen signs of burial mounds in the area. The area was also known as a place where two major trails leading to the Mackinaw area crossed according to maps of Native American trails that were found.
We have the names of about 8 people but that list is uncertain. You can see where several more people are buried by the indentations in the ground. Many people were moved to Oak Grove in Croton when the area was abandoned. Searching in the nearby fields you can see where a old building stood. A lilac tree plated there by someone years ago dreaming of what her new home will become. A few of the families who were buried there are English's, Overly's, Saunders and a Mr. Boyd.
When looking for information neither the Newaygo County Goverment offices nor the Brooks Township have any records of this cemetery. It is also believe that Mr. Surrarrer was buried here. Ransom Surrarrer made the first purchase of the land thus its name. On the 1880 atlas shows a Phillip Dickinson and his wife Sophonia Tibbits owning 160 acres on the edge of the prairie. It also shows records that they sold a piece of land for a new school that was to become Dickinson school.
Many families had moved here since it was a logging area and a days trip from Grand Rapids but this area was developing and many families moved on to more fertile land.
Terry has worked for several years keeping the area neat and trimmed up. Cutting the grass over the burial site. Putting a fence along the edge to keep Orv's off the burial area. Building and installing a sign and putting benches to rest on. It was a job that he took on as a sign of respect for his ancestors the Dickinson's.
The spelling has changed many times over the years from Serrarrer, Surarrer, among other spelling hence you will see spelling changes depending on the source used.
Of course I am not related to everyone there. The stones are varied while some are almost hidden in the tall flowers.
19 November 2009
From 7 July 1910.
Mrs. Mary McIlveen (Wallace), consort of Hon. robert C. Wallace of Ashland township, Newaygo county Mich, was born at Cogneaut, Armagh Co., Ireland May 12 1841, and together with her father, John McIlveen and mother , Nancy (Austin) McIlveen, emigrated to Chester, Ottawa county, Michigan, in 1847, where she resided until July 16, 1876, when she was married to Robert C Wallace and moved to the farm home in Ashland where they have since resided and where she departed this life, after a lingering illness of some months, June 27 1910. (Whew1 Note that this is the first period so far.) In the many long years of life in Ashland she had endeared herself to the entire community by the native goodness always characteristic of her. Educated in the sturdy old Presbyterian faith of her parentage, hers became naturally a religion of good works, for which she became known as one of the foremost, in her home life.
The great esteem in which she was held was attested to by the large and sympathetic audience who attended the last sad rites at the Baptist church, Ashland Center June 29 at 2 o'clock p.m. After a brief discourse by Elder Charles W Gardner of Bailey, the services were taken in charge by the Daughters of Rebekah, of which she was an honored member, and the closing service performed by the beautiful and imposing service of their ritual.
The sympathy of the entire community is extended to Mr Wallace in his bereavement.
18 November 2009
We have been trying to research the phrase and found that The Black Camel was the name of a 1929 book by Earl Derr Biggers, the fourth in the series of Charlie Chan novels that he wrote. The phrase was also used in the 2nd Charlie Chan movie that came out in 1931. ("Death is a black camel that kneels unbidden at every gate. Tonight black camel has knelt here.") Can't you just picture Charlie Chan solemnly intoning those words?
But our local newspaper quoted those words years before the book or movie. Do any of our readers know if this is an older saying? If you do, please enlighten us.
Until then, --watch out for black camels. They should be easier to spot than black cats.
17 November 2009
16 November 2009
13 November 2009
12 November 2009
Each gave 3 presentations. I was in the 3 presented by Mr Morgan and really enjoyed the whole day.
The titles of his talks were: The Genealogist as CSI (a great reminder to leave no stone unturned.) Bring 'em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor Profile (a reason to make timelines on your family members, or at least the most interesting ones.) and last Planning a Very Successful Genealogical Research Trip. (tips for planning ahead, as well as calling ahead.)
Last of all was a session where the two together recorded their "The Genealogy Guys" podcast, fielding questions that had been submitted by attendees.
All in all, a great day.
If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he will find a companion to take with him.
Place a quarter in the coffin of a dead person so he can pay his toll across the River Jordan.
If several deaths occur in the same family, tie a black ribbon to everything left alive that enters the house, even dogs and chickens. This will protect against death’s spreading further.
Pull the shades at a funeral. If the sunshines on the face of a mourner, he will be next to die.
Cover mirrors in a house where there is a corpse. The person who sees himself will be the next victim.
Never allow a child under the age of one to attend a funeral.
Do not attend a funeral if you are pregnant.
It is bad luck for a bride and groom to meet a funeral procession.
Do not wear anything new to a funeral. Especially shoes.
A corpse must be taken from the house feet first. If his head faces backward, he may beckon another member of the family to follow him.
If the deceased has lived a good life, flowers will bloom on his grave; if he has been evil weeds will grow.
It is bad luck to meet a funeral procession head on. If you see one coming turn around!
Never arrange a Friday funeral. This is apt to mean another death in the family during the year.
A person who transplants a cedar tree will die when the lower limbs of the tree reach the length of his coffin.
If a broom is rested against a bed, the person who sleeps there will soon die.
Taking ashes out of a stove after sundown will bring death to the family.
A person who sees thirteen white horses at the same time will soon be carried in a hearse.
Large drops of rain warn there has just been a death.
Count the cars of a passenger train, and you will hear of a death.
Stop the clock in a death room, or you will have bad luck.
You will have bad luck if you meet a white chicken when you are on your way to a funeral.
To lock the door after a funeral procession has left the house is bad luck.
Bury a woman all in black and she will return to haunt the family.
If rain falls on a corpse, the deceased will go to heaven.
If you hear a clap of thunder following a burial, it indicates that the soul has of the dead person has reached heaven.
10 November 2009
As I mentioned I have parents and grandparents buried here. There is a couple of rather new areas, as well as the large older area. The stones are varied. One stone of a young farmer who died often has small toy tractors as a memory of the life he lived. Another more recent has a ornate monument that resembles the twin towers of the former Trade Center. They do help in locating other stones, as they are quite prominent.
03 November 2009
It is still an active cemetery and have just recently seen obituaries with Jewell Cemetery listed as the place of internment.
But as always it is the older stones I find the most interesting. Especially the ones that appear to have been made by the next of kin. Did Clarence's next of kin not plan ahead? Or were they someone who was simply struggling to leave some kind of marker, and doing the best they could?
This appears to be the front of this stone. I think I can make out carving near the top. Did the family plant a small bush as a remembrance? A reminder here to all, remember plants do grow, and sometimes bigger than you imagine.
I am quite excited about attending, as I haven't been to a conference in several years. It is always great to attend one of these events and get all inspired.
If you are in the area, I hope you can attend.
02 November 2009
At a cemetery walk we hosted two years ago Linda did a great job as Calico Jane the lumber camp cook from a script written by author Bill Jamerson for us. It was a success! Everyone loved Calico Jane. I did myths and lore of death and dying. I think it went well . I actually had a couple of groups ask me to come to their meeting and talk. It was fun and educational for all. We are starting to work on 2010 cemetery walk, so please contact us if you can help in anyway.