Thursday, October 13, 2011

Discovering Connections in the Cemetery

Tuesday several members of our Genealogy Discussion Group visited New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. I have written posts about this group and how we are taking field trips.

Upon receiving the email about the upcoming adventure I was ecstatic! There are many members of my mother's family buried in this historic cemetery.

New Cathedral Cemetery has a wonderful website providing history, photographs and access to the cemetery map. Most importantly for the family historian is the genealogical information provided on the website.

There are several options for obtaining help from the cemetery office staff. Free of charge they will search the database to confirm your ancestor burial in New Cathedral Cemetery. Additionally, they give location and directions to the grave.

Here is an example of the information offered for my mother's Gaphardt family. Notice the cemetery gives names for the entire lot. With these additional names I was able to link several family lines.

Julia Greeley
Died Nov. 10, 1923
George F. Gaphardt (great-grand uncle)
Died Feb. 15, 1943
Sadie E. Gaphardt

Died Aug. 7, 1914
Mary E. (wife)
Died Dec. 18, 1926

Returning home after this trip I put the information gained from the headstones into Ancestry. Here are the facts discovered :

*Maiden name of my great-grand aunt Sadie Gaphardt was Thompson.
*Her parents were Julia Goldie and John Thompson.
*John Thompson died in 1872. Julia then married Patrick Greeley.
*John and Julia had a daughter named Mary Greeley.
*Mary Greeley married John MacDonald.

Because of a spur of the moment trip we have answers to many family questions! This my friends is why genealogists spend so much time in cemeteries.

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