Thursday, April 1, 2010

Met a Fifth Cousin Today

Several months ago, a woman contacted me through one of my memorials on Find A Grave. Turns out we are both the fourth great granddaughters of a common ancestor, but from different sons of his. She was planning a trip to Texas so we arranged to meet at a family cemetery where her third great grandfather and several of our other relatives are buried. I don't think her husband had planned to come to the cemetery as genealogy isn't really his thing, but he decided to come and Hubby decided to come too. Her mother and son were also there and I think they enjoyed exploring the cemetery and trying to read the names and dates on the old headstones. She is younger than me, pretty, with perfect teeth and hair, which is totally unfair because it proves my theory that all the good genes went to the rest of the family. But I liked her and her family anyway, even if they did hog the best genes.

Hubby brought some dowsing rods he made and found several unmarked graves. Her mom and husband were skeptical of the rods at first until they tried them, and now they both want a set. *chuckle* What, you've never heard of them? How about by the names witching rods? Divining rods? Doodlebugging? (Yes, that's a word, I didn't make it up, though I'm not past that.) People have used them for hundreds of years to find water, buried metals, oil, gravesites, and other buried objects. It's pretty cool, and pretty freaky. You should try it.

This cemetery is on land originally owned by our family when they came to Texas soon after the Civil War, and the current owners of the land are great. They welcome our visits and I suspect they are the ones who really take care of the cemetery even though there is an abandoned cemetery association in that county that mows it twice a year. It just happened that the cemetery association was there yesterday and today, probably mowing and weedeating, and they also cut some damaged tree limbs from that last storm. When I was last out there about five years ago, it needed a lot of work. Today it looked well-kept. Even though several headstones have broken over the years, it is nice to know that the headstones aren't going to be bull-dozed for "progress".

There's something special about going to the graves of my ancestors. When I stand next to their graves, I know that is one place my grandparents, great parents, and even great great grandparents once were. They stood on the same ground, breathing the same air, looking at the same headstones, and right then I feel very connected to them.

After Hubby and I got back to town, we stopped at his parent's home and there I noticed a bug crawling on Hubby's shirt. It was a tick! I got an instant case of the creepy crawlies and we came straight home. Snakes are scary, spiders are creepy, wasps hurt, and chiggars itch, but I'll take all of those over ticks. When we walked in the door, I grabbed a trash bag for our clothes and we stuffed them in the freezer and ourselves in the shower. After a tick check and a lot of scrubbing I felt a little better. But I'll feel better after another shower. I think.

Until next time, may you have blessings and connections to the past,


judemiller1 said...

I love hunting for ancestors in cemeteries. Some people think I'm weird. "Our" over the years was run by my family, so I have a real connection to it and where I will be buried. I have 5 generations buried there--fascinating. I am lucky as my family still lives on the farm that my ancestors settled in 1850.

Marti said...

I love finding family plots where there are multiple generations. Such a sense of unity.

Grandma K said...

I had never heard us using a dowsing stick for anything but for water. Shows what a city slicker knows!! I love meeting far removed relatives. I am such a nut for genealogy. I am looking forward to May when I get together with one of my MIL's cousins to compare notes on that family.

Ugh! Ticks. I think I want to shower now too!