Notes from the past…

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To be a volunteer

By now, most of us have probably heard the sad news about the death of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness founder Bridgett Schneider over this past weekend. The RAOGK website has been down for about a month due to Bridget’s illness.

I have been a RAOGK volunteer for a few years now, although I haven’t been able to do much volunteering lately do to my work obligations. I joined RAOGK as a way to “pay it forward”, to return the help and kindness shown to me by others around the country. If I could get up tomorrow and jump in my car, just me and my laptop (and a couple of cases of Dr Pepper) and travel all over this land of ours in search of genealogical data, I would in an instant!

Unfortunately, that isn’t possible for me and probably most of you. So to get some of the documents and images I need for my research, I have used RAOGK many times, usually with exciting success! The volunteers that I have dealt with over the years have been selfless and diligent, frequently providing me with much more data that I had originally requested. Bridgett’s dedication and hard work made it all possible. She will be missed!

I hope RAOGK will soon be up and running again, but in its’ absence there are still many things that we can do to help each other. For my part, I am uploading headstone photos to Find A Grave. I joined up about 3 years ago, but really didn’t do much. About 5 years ago, I spent several weekends during the hot Texas summer inventorying and photographing headstones in 2 rural Hill County, Texas cemeteries that are the final resting places for several ancestors. I intended to upload these images to Find A Grave, but then I am an outstanding procrastinator

Today, at about 3am, I uploaded my cemetery images to Find A Grave. I couldn’t sleep, might as well get some work done. As it turns out, for one of my cemeteries, a gentleman had already added his own images. All except one. I have that image! When I took those photos several years ago, the headstone in question was broken and difficult to read, but still there. Sadly, it is now gone. I am so glad that I had taken the time to get those photographs!

Pay it forward!


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A morning of volunteering

I am a proud member of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) and my act of kindness involves taking digital photographs of headstones in cemeteries in Tarrant and Hill Counties, Texas. A person from somewhere besides Tarrant or Hill County (usually out of state) sends a request to me through RAOGK for photos, and I do my best to find that headstone and get a picture of it, and send it back to the requesting person. It is a lot of fun and it gives me a way to “pay back” the efforts of the many vounteers who contribute so much to the genealogical community.

So, this morning I made a trip to a local cemetery, one that is also the final resting place for many of my own ancestors. It is a quite large cemetery, so my first stop is usually at the office, to get a map for the exact location of my headstone. The ladies in the office are always very kind and helpful, and I certainly appreciate their assistance.

I also stopped by the gravesite of my Uncle Ladd, who died last September. I was very pleased to see that his permanent headstone is now in place. It is a simple headstone, containing on either side of his name the image of a cowboy holding a saddle. Very appropriate, as Ladd was the embodiment of The Cowboy. I think he may have been born 100 years too late:

Ladd Clark stone1
After paying my respects to Uncle Ladd, I then found my 2 RAOGK headstones (after I waited for a nearby funeral to conclude), snapped the pix, and returned home and emailed the images to the gentleman who requested them.

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And where have I been?

Oh, I’ve been around, just not blogging for a few days.

I’ve been working on my Mom’s Red Photo Album, I’m trying to do at least 2 pages/day. Gotta pace myself, don’t want to hit the wall, you know!

Last week I also got a RAOGK request for a cemetery photo here in Tarrant County, TX. It’s the first request I’ve gotten in a long time, actually.

So this morning I went to the cemetery in a nearby town and got the photos and sent them out. I also found a second RAOGK request waiting for me in my gmail inbox, this one for neighboring Hill County. When it rains, it pours! I’ll be headed down there on Wednesday. Not enough time today, as it’s about a 2-hr round trip.

That’s about it. It’s Ragweed Season in Texas and my allergies are driving me nuts, so I really haven’t gotten much done lately.