Have you ever heard the one about how there are only two things that are certain to us?
The first one being that we are all subject to some form of taxation and the second is that one day we WILL all die.
As a genealogical researcher I can often spend a lot of my time grappling with the mystery of death for if I’m not in search of a missing ancestor on behalf of a client, I can be poring over the details on a newly discovered (and often indecipherable!) certificate of death or else trawling through parish records in search of a burial entry or firing off email inquiries to the Registrar of a crematorium.
However, if you struggle with the thought of death and have no wish to contemplate it – MY world is probably NOT for you!
For as well as sharing the tales of and triumphs of family history – I will be sharing the images of my wanderings among the dead as I love nothing more than a ramble through a cemetery and have been pottering among the tombstones for as long as I can remember…
And imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled upon the blog Beneath Thy Feet and discovered that far from being the only ‘Tombstone Tourist’ – I counted over 45 fellow GeneaBloggers listed on this wonderful site who all share their wanderings among the dead!
It was the author Lailah Gifty Akita who said “The graveyard is an everlasting home of every man” and I couldn’t agree more for within most of our cemeteries, you can discover evidence of spectacular craftsmanship, awe inspiring stonework, history, sublime words of poignancy and the occasional flashes of humour!
And being able to locate the final resting place of the individual associated with my research endeavours has always been important to me and when my search is unsuccessful, I usually feel a sense of disappointment as if the final piece of the jigsaw is missing.
The elusive Clarice Tibbett is a case in point for not only is she the ancestor who having ignited my curiosity years ago leading to an irresistible urge to discover more about her and having been desperately seeking her through the mists of time ever since – I still do not know what has happened to her cremated remains.
For having discovered the burial entries for her parents earlier this year in the City of Hull, I managed to convince myself that her ashes had been interred with them, but alas, after ploughing through more records in the Hull History Centre – my theory was dashed along with what remained of my clear vision and a sense of hope.
However, despite this disappointment over the elusive Clarice – I have recently discovered the whereabouts of numerous Edesons who having filled out the branches of my maternal family tree very nicely; are all to be located within the cemeteries of the coastal town of Scarborough and so armed with the burial records and grid references, my journeys with the dead will begin another exciting chapter!