Random acts of genealogy found in cemeteries

Diana
Diana Tibert
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Once again this year, a stranger is doing unusual things in Nova Scotia cemeteries. It happened last year and made the local news, much to the surprise of genealogists near and far. This person, who prefers to remain anonymous, visited unsuspecting graves and left behind zip-lock baggies containing genealogy information.

Once again this year, a stranger is doing unusual things in Nova Scotia cemeteries. It happened last year and made the local news, much to the surprise of genealogists near and far. This person, who prefers to remain anonymous, visited unsuspecting graves and left behind zip-lock baggies containing genealogy information. According to news reports, the enthusiastic genealogist visited cemeteries in Kings County, chose headstones at random, gathered information on the individuals buried there and attached it to a stick beside it. Contained in the waterproof bags were typed sheets with census data and other genealogical information. Last year, those encountering the mysterious baggies were instructed to, Open me, but put me back, thank you. In this way, everyone who visited that particular stone could read a bit of history on those buried there. It was reported that the reason the anonymous person was doing this was to bring attention to the historical and genealogical significance of cemeteries. In the broader picture, it might inspire others to learn more about those buried in the cemeteries, the cemeteries themselves and the history of the local community. Personally, I think its a great idea. After researching for years myself, it would be interesting to see what another might learn about a particular family member. Im sure it must impress and surprise even those who have never considered researching their family tree to find information about their ancestors that they may have otherwise not known. Imagine for a moment if everyone who visited a cemetery transcribed one headstone then spent a little time gathering information from census, vital records and other sources then left it behind for others to find. Those cemeteries would hold an incredible amount of historical data. Those chosen wouldnt have to be related or known. In fact, it might be fun to choose strangers. Actually, I think this would be a little too much. Eventually, the baggies and paper would become litter. However, if this process was done and the information deposited at the local museum, historical society or archives, then a wealth of information could be obtained and preserved. A notice at the cemetery could direct interested parties to the location where the information would be found. A few baggies in a cemetery are enough to generate interest and inspire others. Maybe someone hearing the story in another county or province will think it is an excellent idea and drop a few genealogical mystery bags at their local cemetery. Anyone considering a similar random act of genealogy, should also include the sources where the information was found. If the individuals finding the mystery baggies are interested in researching further, theyll have a place to start. You dont have to include your name - thats all part of the fun - unless you want to be contacted. Researchers File Who were Catherine Browns parents? Catherine married John Langille. She had a brother, David Brown, who married Margaret MacKeand and lived at Wentworth, N.S. in 1871. Catherines sister, Elizabeth, married Samuel MacKeand. Contact Catherines great granddaughter: Shirley Langille, email: salangille@ns.sympatico.ca Diana Lynn Tibert is a freelance writer living at Milford, NS. Submit queries to: RR#1 Milford, Hants County, NS B0N 1Y0; email: tibert@ns.sympatico.ca

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Kings, Hants County

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