Ever since my grandmother passed away in 2009, I have really delved into our family genealogy. My poor husband has been “roped into” going to cemeteries all over the northeast in search of the resting places of passed relatives. The search slowed down when we had our daughter, yet we are now going to cemeteries to show her where her ancestors rest. She really enjoys it and I enjoy the connection to them I feel when I take her.
These days so much is done on computers and there are vast records on websites like Ancestry.com or Find a Grave. However, there is still no set of records better than going to the physical cemetery and finding the grave of someone who came before you. It also helps verifying the info you happen to find online. Without that grave and cemetery burial records, who knows what kind of information could be lost.
These days people tend to forget about memorials and the record they leave behind. Focus seems to be all about cheap and convenient, so people skip the burial, get cremated and sit somewhere in a closet or on a mantle. But what will happen when, three generations down the road, someone comes looking for you and there is no permanent record? Chances are your cremated body was lost in a move or forgotten. If this happens the ability for your future relatives to research genealogy ends. Your digital footprint, such as Facebook or Instagram, will only last so long then you are left with nothing for your life and legacy.
It has been proven since the founding of America that cemeteries are the best way to keep record of those gone before us. Look at how many are still in existence today. The first immigrants that came to America are still able to be traced through genealogy because the sites where they are laid to rest are still preserved as historical record as well as a place for remembrance.
Sometimes it is hard to wrap our heads around the idea that in 200 years someone will be looking for us or want to visit your gravesite to have that connection with you; trust me it will very likely happen. Don’t be the one to end that cycle! Be the one who leaves a record and brings joy to that great, great, great grandchild, and connects them to their past. I am so glad I have a place to go and take my daughter to show her where she comes from. It brings me so much joy to see her smile and ask me about them! I hope she will pass that down to her kids and grandkids, and they will visit my grave and know their great grandmother is happy they visited.