Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:
Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)
Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)
Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)
Title: The Connection of Stone and Graves
Snippet: I can’t recall the first time I visited a grave. It was long before I became interested in genealogy. But even then, I knew—from movies, books and photographs—most graves were marked with headstones. Many resting places had wooden crosses, but they didn’t last generations. Stone—whether marble, granite or limestone—could withstand centuries of abuse from environmental conditions.
A large cemetery might have hundreds of graves that were once marked with pretty, white crosses, but after a decade or two, the wood decomposed, leaving the graves unmarked. The graves marked with stones remained and dominated the landscape.
I learned the life span of wood compared to stone when I was a youth. By the time I was twelve, I had a pet cemetery beneath a broad-top birch in my backyard. Every animal we owned or tried to save (robins, blue jays, mice) found a home there when it expired. I even buried my friend’s gerbil when it died.
I outlined the small graves with stones the size of tennis balls and placed a cross with the name of the pet painted on the wood. A good, healthy winter could destroy a cross or two, but the stones remained to mark the spot, and I’d make up another cross.
. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.