Waking the Dead? Good Grief!

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 my time is spent grappling with the mystery of death.

And if I’m not in search of a missing ancestor or researching another life long lost to history – I will be poring over the details on a newly discovered and often indecipherable certificate of death or trawling through the parish records in search of a burial entry.

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…

Sheltering from the Rain at Undercliffe Cemetery in Bradford West Yorkshire.

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!

Pausing at the Grave of Lord Byron’s Spouse in Kensal Green Cemetery London.

And when I discovered the Graveyard Vlogs of my friend, author and fellow Byronian Amy McLean – well, let’s just say that my plans for an afternoon of  research mysteriously vanished.

The author Lailah Gifty Akita once said that – “The graveyard is an everlasting home of every man” and within most of our cemeteries – evidence of spectacular craftsmanship, awe inspiring stonework, history, sublime words of poignancy and the occasional flashes of humour are ALL just waiting to be discovered!

Being able to locate the final resting place of those from my research endeavours has always been an important task and an unsuccessful search is disappointing as the final piece of the jigsaw remains missing.

AND having NO idea what happened to the cremated remains of the elusive Clarice Tibbett remains a sore point!

The Remains of Clarice Tibbett Left Here in June 1962 to Where – Who Knows?

For having discovered the burial entries for her parents in the Hull Northern Cemetery – I was convinced that her ashes had been interred with them but after a day spent ploughing through the records in the Hull History Centre – my theory was dashed along with a sense of vision and remaining 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 dotted about in 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!

"Pity is for the Living. Envy is for the Dead." ~ Mark Twain

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