Follow along with my husband & I as we go traipsing through cemeteries photographing grave markers and transcribing tombstones. Hopefully, we'll learn a little about burial customs and the study of cemeteries along the way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Adventures of Tombstone Jack

At Pioneer Memorial Cemetery (photo by Tombstone Jack)

I've managed to get my husband addicted to genealogy.  It really wasn't that hard.  Getting him to go trudge through cemeteries to take pictures?  That was more difficult.  Until I told him I was considering joining the  Association of Graveyard Rabbits.  Which, I joked, would make him a Jack Rabbit. 

We're only a few blocks away from the Mt. View Cemetery in San Bernardino. I had a class to teach Monday morning and Jack had the day off since he's lucky enough to get Columbus Day as a paid holiday.  Much to my surprise, he was up and out to two different cemeteries to take pictures and try to fulfill a few photo requests from Find a Grave before I got back from class!

I was told that it's harder than you would expect it to be. He visited the main office and got a map of the cemetery.  Only one request had a plot location, so he asked if there was a way to look up where the other requests were buried. They kept his list of names and said they'd call him when they found the locations and showed him on the map where Mary Snouffer's grave was located. One small problem... it wasn't there. He searched all through Lawn K and there was no Mary Snouffer.

Since he didn't have any luck at the Mt. View Cemetery, he drove over to Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, which is apparantly under the control of the County. Which means there was no one at the front office to get a map of the layout from. Pioneer Memorial is huge. It wraps around an entire apartment complex. Without a map, there is no way to locate any particular plot. So he went home and logged onto Google Maps and printed an aerial photograph of the cemetery. (Which, I must admit, would never have occurred to me!)

By this time, I was home. So off the two of us went, back to Mt. View Cemetery since he noticed that the plot was listed as "BUBA, Lawn K" and there was a Bubah section listed on the map. So we both hopped out of the car and searched. Still no luck. Mary will have to wait until they call us back with the other grave sites.

Once we were at Poineer Memorial, he handed me his aerial map and a pen and informed me that we were going to create our own map. We spent the next 45 minutes or so driving through the entire cemetery looking for the curb markings to create our masterpiece.

Unfortunately we had to leave since I had a dentist appointment, but with the help of our map I'm betting our return trip will fulfill several requests for gravestone photos.

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