Saturday, August 23, 2014

Planning a Cemetery Tour

I haven't gone anywhere out of my home area all summer.  And how did it get to be almost September already? My psyche can't stand it anymore.  I'm planning a cemetery tour of family graves in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. I will be looking for Winchell family members, as well as those with different surnames from the spouses they married:  Baily, Boyes, Brazee, Church, Elsden, Lee, Oaks, Schwab, Snyder, Strong, Suriner, Thatcher, Warner, and Wylie. Happily my cousin Susan plans to come with me.  I hoped it would appeal to the family archaeologist.  

I thought it would be good to have a list of who was buried where.  I discovered that I could download comma-delimited data from to create a spreadsheet.  It would be fairly complete since most of the information I had came from there originally.  As I started formatting the spreadsheet, I realized I kept missing family.  Every time I thought I had everyone, I found more, four times!  I think possibly I have all family members on Findagrave now included.

Grouping the information in an understandable manner is a challenge.  I have several generations and different branches of the family involved, too many to use color coding.  I decided to group people and use different types of lines and boxes.  

There are still relatives whose resting places are still unknown.  They may be missing from the transcriptions or, and I suspect it's more likely, they have no tombstones.  At some point I'll have to go to the two towns to ask about the cemetery records.  I know Henrietta Winchell Suriner has to be there somewhere!  

It is possible that I may find new information by consulting the records, a happy thought.  A couple relatives are listed in two different cemeteries as well.  I hope I'll be able to find out which are the correct ones.

I plan to take equipment along in case some of the stones need cleaning.  It looks like this one for my great-great-grandfather may need cleaning.

Photo by Brenda L. Struthers

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