Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ and a Lesson in Why I Should Write

I’m not even sure why we stopped at the cemetery that day. After all, I’d been there twice before – once when my Dad and I made the thrilling (for me anyway!) discovery of my 3x great-grandparents Anna & Jacob Zaugg’s gravestone and once, much later, when I happened to be in the area and wanted to re-take the picture with my digital camera.

This time we had been out doing non-genealogy things…shopping in quilt stores and browsing through places like The Ashery. We happened to be driving through Mt. Eaton (Ohio) and started talking about the time we found the “old” cemetery. On the spur of the moment I said, “Let’s stop.”

Since I didn’t have a specific agenda, this time I looked around more – noticing names and taking some random pictures of stones that caught my eye. I happened to notice a small stone in the same row as Anna & Jacob’s and as I looked more closely I was amazed to read, “Elmer Graber, son of R & E Graber died May 7, 1890 Aged 6 m 14 d”  I can't believe that I never saw that before!  

Before we came on this trip I had been thinking quite a bit about Elmer and Clara Graber - the two children of Emma [Zaugg] Graber's that did not live to adulthood.  I had even wondered if possibly these children were buried on the family farm somewhere, although I didn't even  know (and still don't) if the Grabers were living on the farm during those times.

The reason I had been thinking so much about Emma and her children was that I had been trying to write about her. Based on a talk I heard Lisa Alzo give at FGS 2011 called Write Your Family History Step by Step I was writing about Emma 15 minutes a day.

It was interesting because Emma was someone I really thought I knew. There was no mystery or brick wall there. I knew who her parents, grandparents, husband and children were. But I found out that it wasn’t the same thing as knowing her. When I started to put together a few paragraphs each day, it just made me look at things differently.

I truly believe that I found this stone because I'd been writing about Emma and had these children on my mind. So thank-you Lisa for that!! And now that one of my biggest excuses is no longer there, I really need to start again with my 15 minutes a day...


  1. What an experience....

    I believe our ancestors lead us to information sometimes. It has happened to me on occasion where I have been stuck and the person is weighing on my mind then all of a sudden out of the blue I stmble upon some information that opens up a dead end for me..

  2. Diana,

    You're welcome! I'm glad that my presentation has continued to inspire your research and writing about Emma! Keep going. Remember--even just 15 minutes! You can do it!


  3. Wonderful serendipity. Gave me chills. So glad you stopped!

  4. Souse ~ Thanks so much for stopping by! And I agree, it is amazing how these things happen. I'm just always so grateful when they do!! :-)

    Lisa ~ I'm working on a new strategy now....I'm going to work on Emma a little bit more and then FINISH a short sketch on her that I could add to a photo book I'm working on right now. Rather than thinking of it as a piece of a huge project, it's going to become the project!

    Marian ~ I have to admit...it gave me chills to when I saw that stone!!


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