I know it is still August, but this morning when I went outdoors to get my newspaper (yep, I am old enough to still like the feel of newspaper in my hand with my morning coffee) there was an unmistakable coolness to the air.
Made me think of my favorite season, autumn!
This also got me thinking about how, in my early days of genealogy and family history I wasted some precious time because of one mistake. So I bring you a review of an article I wrote earlier here on my blog back on July 13, 2011.
I have been reading genealogy articles, blogs, websites, magazines, etc. on a variety of genealogy and family history topics for years now. While most are very good and very well written, I am struck by one thing many have in common.
When they talk about ‘how to’ and tips and suggestions they frequently go into such mammoth detail, have such a laundry list of actions, items, expense, etc. that I soon lose interest. As I was reading a couple recently, I think I hit on why:
First: I realize that I only have so much time in the world and if I did everything all these articles suggest, I would never have any time for doing actual genealogy!
Second: I also realize that while many of the lists and suggestions are valid, they all too frequently forget the first (and often the most crucial) step!
For instance: One recent article dealt with what you need to do and to have to be ‘prepared’ for a visit to a cemetery. Great article. Wonderful in its’ detail and focus, although I take issue with all the packing they insisted you had to do to be ‘properly prepared’. I have traveled the world over and take less with me for a month out of country than they said I needed for a day in a cemetery!
Plus I noticed that they missed one, to me, crucial item: Step one: CALL AHEAD! I know of precious few cemeteries that have staff on-site anymore. At least that is true out here in the Midwest. Maybe in your area every cemetery has on-site staff to help and provide maps, directions, etc, but not here! Most that I frequent do not even have maps on site. Sadly they often do not even have an overall map of the cemetery itself posted anywhere.
If you don’t call ahead, it won’t make any difference how wonderful your ‘kit’ is, because you will spend all day meandering around looking for where the one gravestone you are seeking might be located!
Now for an extra little hint ….. no matter what time of year, no matter what weather, no matter your car or a rental ….. keep the ice scraper/brush in the car!
I have found no better universal cemetery tool than the common car ice scraper and snow brush combo! I keep mine in the car 24/7/365 and find that most rental cars supply one too (you just have to search a bit in the glove box, under seats, or in the boot.
This universal item can help you out in more ways than one! Here is a real life story about how it helped me out!