Have you ever noticed how many ways there are to say someone has died, without actually having to say some form of the word “dead”? They have passed on, gone to a better place, met their maker, bought the farm, kicked the bucket, bit the dust, cashed in their chips, pushing up daisies, their number is up, riding the pale horse, six feet under, sleeping with the fishes, taking a dirt nap, shuffled off this mortal coil, etc… Maybe we, as a society, are afraid to talk about death. Or maybe we just like to find clever ways to say the same old thing.
But our LIFE class isn't afraid to talk about death, or even loving the dead (as Claire hilariously stated – maybe we’ll have a class on that later, or maybe not). Library Director Mick Stafford hosted this week’s LIFE class, all about Graveyards and Genealogy, a topic that might have bored us stiff if Mic hadn’t knocked us dead with his grave humor. (Nudge, nudge, wink wink.) See, Mic isn’t the only one who can make bad puns about death. (For more bad puns about death, check out our earlier LIFE blog on the National Museum of Funeral History.)
You see, sometimes when you are researching your genealogy, you reach a dead end. (I’ve got a whole bag of these puns, folks). Maybe you are searching for a death record or a burial site. Maybe you are looking for an obituary. Or maybe you are just trying to find out about the lives of the people who made you eat peanuts with a spoon while sitting on plastic covered furniture when you were a dirty little kid. Gather as much information as you can; death date, death location (city, state, county) and start searching the web. But you don’t need to spend an eternity searching the web; links to helpful websites are below.
Ancestry.com – church records, obituaries, state death indexes, some international records
Legacy.com – find obituaries, may charge you
Internment.net – search for a grave site
Findagrave.com – search for a grave site, and Mic’s personal favorite!
http://www.usgwtombstones.org/ - US GenWeb Tombstone Project -
Gravelocator.cem.va.gov - find the grave site of a US Veteran
http://www.abmc.gov/home.php - find the grave site of a US Veteran overseas
Library Databases - use the newspaper database or access archives database
Check out this SlideShare Presentation: