It’s been a real pleasure for us at RestingSpot to interact with all our users. Genealogists have a true passion for uncovering hidden stories and connecting the dots between them. One person we’ve enjoyed getting to know is Russ Worthington. It started with his terrific blog: My Tombstone Collection, and now having gotten to know the man, there are so many great things we could say about him. But we thought you should hear from him directly, so we asked him to write a guest post for us, and he graciously accepted.
In his own words:
I live in the beautiful North West corner of New Jersey that most people don’t know exists in our beautiful state. (no exit numbers) and I “retired” after 30 years with a major corporation.
I started my “collecting of ancestors” about 15 years ago (1996) when my youngest daughter gave me the Family Tree Maker program as a gift to “give me something to do.” Little did I know where this would lead me and the people I would meet.
I am excited about the changes in the research being done. I enjoy helping others in their “hunts” and in building their “family relationships.” I am still learning too and like being a part of a group helping not only myself but others along the way. The ability to locate Cemeteries is one of those research options that are available to us.
Although I have not been doing “genealogy” for that long, I have seen some changes. It’s no longer about collecting names, but more toward putting stories together about who these people are. Over the past couple of years, I have been asked to speak at a couple of Historical Societies. I didn’t make the connection until I started to put my presentation together. They are preserving the stories about a location, while I am trying to tell the stories of some of my ancestors.
One of those talks was about a house. Not being a house historian, nor an architect, nor one who plays one on TV, but I did know the story of the people who lived there and the impact of those folks on the community.
Now, none of my family ever lived in the area where I live now, but other families have lived here. What those families left for us, is pieces of their story in the local cemetery. I did a little research project for a friend of mine. All he had was the a name and a cemetery name where he “thought” he was buried. I went there, found a very small plot, but it didn’t include my person. Walked around a little more and found a plot where 20 or so people were buried, with a monument with names and dates, and some times relationships. Putting that data together and looking through some census records, I had a pretty complete picture for me to provide my friend about his family.
I have been taking Cemetery Photos for about 10 years, when my wife and I would visit the cemeteries where her ancestors were buried. But, for the past 2 and a half years, I have been taking pictures and posting them from the cemeteries in the local area. Most of those pictures were at the request of another family researcher. Folks that are not from here, but their ancestors are buried here. Dates, other names, relationships help them confirm their research or cause other research projects to try to find more about their family.
Like the project for my friend, why was there a small plot, with only a few people in it, at a much larger plot with everyone else. There has to be a story there.
Some one had, like me, had taken some random cemetery pictures, put them online, and I found them. It was family in Kansas. I will probably never get there, but I have the resting place for those family members.
What I really like about RestingSpot, is the ability to help put more of the story of the person who is listed on this website. Who was this person, why did someone take the time to post the name, take a picture, and post it on the RestingSpot website. For me, it’s another way to help tell the story of this person.
Technology today is allowing us to help gather the stories of our ancestors, and provide us with hints of who we are. I have said ‘so that’s why’ or ‘no wonder’ something has happened. All I needed to do was to look to the past.