My favorite memory from a cemetery was when I found an ancestor's grave from the early 1800s in a cemetery in Linlithgow, Scotland. I was searching around the cemetery when I came upon the grave of Mary Glenn. I couldn't believe my eyes. But there it was, and the death date matched. I took a photograph and some video. Then, as I walked back to the car, people were coming out of the church, the men dressed in kilts. Apparently there had been a christening that morning.
I thought about Mary Glenn. Most likely she attended that church and may have been christened there (all I had with me was the names and dates of death). It was humbling to think I might be walking the same ground my ancestor did so long ago. I had touched the gravestone, and in doing so I touched a piece of my personal history.
The roots traveler isn't always so lucky. At two or three other cemeteries I went to in Scotland, I didn't find any of the people I was looking for, although I did find graves with the same last name. They may have been cousins and that thought made the trip worth it.
So if you're planning on visiting a cemetery during your roots travel, make sure you do your homework before hand. Finding a gravesite of an ancestor is worth the time and research you put into it beforehand. You may still not find the grave you are looking for, but the search is part of the fun.
Have you found an ancestor's grave while roots traveling? If so, what did the experience feel like for you?
|Old Church Cemetery, Cobh, Ireland|