Friday, October 31, 2008
Here I am pictured at my grave site at the Northwood Cemetery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. All I need now is a headstone. I haven't decided yet on what I want for my permanent memorial. I do know that I want something unique for my counterpart next century who will be researching me. Yep, my new passion (actually an old one that I've revived) is cemetery trolling. I don't know why, but I've always enjoyed walking through a cemetery (preferably on a nice sunny day - not at night) and reading headstones. I can't explain it, but I feel a sense of completeness when I read the headstones and wonder about the people below and their history, their life. I first started exploring cemeteries looking for dates to back up my genealogical research. However, I soon discovered a relaxing karma (no better way to explain it), as I walked and communed with the departed. Recently I discovered a web site devoted entirely to graves called Find A Grave.com. How ironic to discover that the man who started this web site was also a Tipton. Jim Tipton is his name. I haven't contacted him yet but I will. I think his interest is more in finding graves of famous people, which is find. That is also interesting. My focus right now is finding and recording as many graves of my ancestors as I can in my remaining lifetime. Oh how I wish I had started doing my family research when I was younger. However, it was much more difficult then without the advent of the Internet. The Internet has opened up so many more avenues of information that it almost overwhelms me. But that is good. I firmly believe everyone must have a passion in life. Mine is my family research and recording as much of that information as I can before I depart from this planet. Even though I'm getting a lot of my information from the Internet and other Tipton researchers, nothing replaces the "in person" visit. Visiting distant relatives and recording their verbal history before it is lost. Also, if I'm lucky, those distant relatives will have pictures of our common ancestors. That's how I found the picture of my great grandfather Hiram Tipton. I had never seen a picture of him before. What a thrill that was seeing it for the first time. I look forward to my remaining days knowing that I have so much history to uncover. I'm not a religious person but sometimes I do think a greater power put me on this path. Just maybe.
Friday, October 24, 2008
My distant cousin (our great-great-great-fathers were brothers) Tim Tipton has a passion. He searches for Tipton graves to take pictures for his book he hopes to publish in the future. For many years I have also trolled through cemeteries in search of my Tipton ancestors. I have also search for my maternal ancestors, the Hadfields and Hickmans. Over the years I have accumulated a many pictures. I have also discovered facts that surprised me. For instance, I found my maternal great-great grandfather and grandmother's graves less than a mile from my Pennsylvania home. If I hadn't began my grave search, I would never have known this fact. Recently, Tim pointed me to a very valuable web site. It is called Find A Grave.com. Finding this web site is like finding a chest of treasure at the end of the rainbow. Yes, I admit it. I am weird. Hey, another good friend, Larry Meredith also like to troll through cemeteries. Larry and I have made several such expeditions in the past. Now here is the best part. This morning I was reading the background information on Find a Grave.com. Much to my surprise I read that a fellow Tipton founded this website. His name is Jim Tipton. Now my question is to my friends Tim and Larry, why didn't we think of this?