22 March 2013

Follow Friday: Find A Grave

Follow Friday is a GeneaBlogger prompt in which normally one talks about or promotes other genealogy blogs. I chose to adapt the heading to fit my promotion today of Find A Grave. This site is awesome and filled with people willing to take their time and help by taking photos of their local cemeteries and thus graves local to them.

I first heard of the site thru Ancestry.com. Some of my searches showed up with pictures of graves from the Find A Grave network. I was able to actually add a photo request already simply from my own database. Someone had a request for a photo from my own church cemetery!

Today I also got results from a request. Thank you again Stephen Lignowski! My great grandmother (Bessie Matys Hruszczak) came over and joined her brother (Frank MATYS) and his young family. They were in New Jersey for a short time then to Coatesville where she met my great granfather (Panko Hruszczak).

Frank passed in 1942 while in New Jersey so while I knew his oldest daughter well, I never met him obviously. His wife was Helen. They had three children: Catherin, Michael and Ann. It was Catherine whom I knew personally. We wrote each other often with her telling me stories of my great grandmother (her aunt)! It is so nice to have those first hand memories.

Catherine married Emeril ROTHERMEL. To my knowledge they had three children: Helen, Lucille and Robert. No Frank but perhaps (looking at the dates) the second Frank on the stone is Emeril's father??? I am also assuming (yes I know!) that the names are in order of the surnames (Frank Matys is confirmed and documented 1880-1942). So therefore the second name - also Frank - could be Frank Rothermel (1880-1956) and the third name - Stanislaus - would be Stanislaus PIETRZYK (1911 - 1980).

Find A Grave is maintained by many many people. To all of them "Thank you". One can also leave vitual flowers or memorials, if you choose. The information on each entry varies depending on the contributer. Some people include obituaries. Others simply have a photo of the tombstone. Some have the vitals (birth and death dates) and a general cemetery photo.
Search Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman's cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:
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What is it about a grave that adds a sense of closure? Or is it a sense of connection? I know for example that I can talk to my grandparents anytime and anywhere. However there is a different sense I get when I go to the cemetery and kneel before their stone and talk to them. Even tho I touch-kiss the stone before I go instead of giving them a kiss ... I somehow feel their presence a bit.

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