26 August 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: a milestone/millstone

"Sisyphys" by Titian (Wikipedia.com)
I've been absent from blogging during the last two weeks. I had good reason. During that time I vacationed with my husband in a location that was Internet challenged and photographed all gravestones in the First Hebrew Congregation Cemetery in South Haven, Michigan (and created and submitted a spreadsheet to the JewishGen Online World Burial Registry). But, part of the reason for a small hiatus in the Tombstone Tuesday posts is that in the last 1-1/2 years I've managed to blog about every family gravestone I've thus far recorded.

There are more family graves to record, but they are located in a variety of cemeteries and will require special effort to photograph (if you are a family member, I will repeat my usual pre-Jewish New Year plea: if you will be visiting family graves, please take digital photos of all relations' tomstones and, then, share the images with me.)

My goal* in posting all these gravestone images has been three-fold:
  • to share the images (and make them locatable via search engines on the Internet, i.e. cousin bait);
  • to tell a few stories about these relatives and the major events in their lives;
  • to examine records for the individuals buried in these graves and develop citations for my sources (if I'd not done that before); and
  • to keep me on a blogging schedule (good medicine). 
Early on in my research I found that tombstone records were useful documents. When I first visited the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plots in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY, I knew that some relatives were buried there. Since recording all graves in both plots, I've discovered several more relations within the plots. One of the big advantages of traditional Jewish gravestones is that they list the Hebrew (and sometimes Yiddish) names of fathers - a great way to make family connections among those hitherto unknown relatives.

With regard to the last goal of consistent blogging, this effort has been a success and I will not tamper with it. So, I've decided to celebrate the milestone and not the millstone of work yet to be completed.

In keeping with one of my research goals of learning about and documenting the town of Labun/Lubin/Yurovshchina (my father's family's community in Ukraine), I will proceed with Tombstone Tuesday posts. I have many more gravestone photos from First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association (FLPBA) and the United Old Konstantin Benevolent Society burial plots in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY and the FLPBA plot in Beth Moses Cemetery in Pinelawn, NY; the cemetery in Yurovshchina, Ukraine; and the Polonnoe Cemetery on Baker Street in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. If you, dear reader, are a Lubin descendant and have relatives' gravestone photos from other cemeteries in other places, please share them with me so that I may post them, as well.

And to all of you conducting research: when you visit a cemetery, take your camera or cell phone and record all the graves in a plot or in the cemetery. Photos and inscriptions are key to our research. There are too may graves recorded on the JewishGen Online Burial Registry and Find A Grave and other sites like them without photos or dates of birth and death. Full records may help us link to others that may support our research findings.

Just do it! I would not be at all surprised if your effort results in more family connections.
* And special thanks to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers for suggesting Tombstone Tuesday as a blogging prompt.

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