Digging Graves

Digging Graves

No, seriously.  I have always been fascinated by old graveyards…I’ve spent many an afternoon walking through old cemeteries, studying tombstones…these markers can be very telling of the lives lived in that dash between the dates.  Recently I had the opportunity to visit the family plots of my paternal ancestors….who hailed from both Irish and Scottish descent…this particular clan lost the ‘a’ in their surname, MacDonald somewhere along the immigration route.  Even though they spell it now with the Mc , it’s interesting to note their offspring, cousins my age, even, still pronounce their names “MacDonald”, regardless of that missing vowel.



  1. We stop often when we find those small out of the way places, Lady Deidre HurlsWaterballoonsLikeAPro​. I think one of my favorite places to explore was at Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans.


  2. In the home that we lived in off Rome Road in Chillicothe, our house was next door to an old Cemetery David Thiery​. That’s when I was in high school, too, and I used to spend a lot of time walking through there.


  3. I love to find those old old markers, with fresh flowers, candles, the occasional trinket left by a friend or loved one.
    I found a very unique cemetery up in Michigan a couple months ago. There were numerous hand carved stones made of poured concrete and other stone materials. I need to find those photos and share some of them when I have more time.

    I thought you might know the place David Thiery. My parents built a Wausau home on McCabe drive…a one lane neighborhood, backing up to the mobile home park and that cemetery.

    I still drive by when I find myself going to visit friends in Dunlap and Peoria.


  4. Some friends of mine were hiking in the snow in Michigan, and came across an old cemetery such as you described. There was a marmalade jar, with fresh, unfrozen water and a carnation in it. He wrote a blog about it several years ago and I was inspired to write about it myself. The stone was a lambstone, and the child had lived for only 3 days….60 years ago

    And it was still that fresh in his mother’s mind.


  5. BobbieZen​ I will have to find my response to his. The blog is gone, because we were part of a community on MySpace and it’s gone. While many of us begrudgingly went to FB at that time, he did not. I really miss his writings. He was a strong, blue collar manager in a factory, that was the most amazing writer; which you wouldn’t typically expect. But his life stories were mesmerizing, and he was one that encouraged me to continue writing. I will keep looking..


  6. Most interesting BobbieZen!  Several years ago I read about a little cemetery where there was one family member buried — a young girl named Ida May Parmley who had died at the age of 19 days in 1891.  I made contact with a gentleman who knew of the location and who took me there, which involved a long hike through the woods in the Shawnee National Forest.  Ten years later I repeated that trip (thanks to data still stored on my old GPS receiver), and that set me off on a long bit of genealogy research, tracing the family back to before we arrived in America in 1635.  As a part of my research I learned that Ida May was a cousin of my paternal grandfather, and was buried with the family of her maternal grandparents.  Anyway…  Just the past weekend we paid a visit to the graves of my great great grandparents.  For the first time it hit me that almost all the names in that cemetery are English.  That was particularly noteworthy to me since it seems that so many of the old cemeteries in this area that are full of German names.


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