Friday, October 31, 2008
Most cemeteries in California are located on the outskirts of town. My feeling is that it was done this way because having to look at a cemetery all the time is bad for business and new housing developments. "Out of sight, out of mind". It is too sad to have to look at a cemetery everyday. West Coast people only want "Happy Thoughts". Yes they deal with death, but they deal with it as quickly as possible and then try to forget about it. My father died in 1988. He is buried in Fresno, about 3 hours from where I live. I am ashamed to tell you that I have not been to visit his grave since the day we buried him.
I was very nervous about just driving right up to a headstone, get out of the car, take pictures - like I was a tourist on vacation. Where I come from, you just don't go walking around in a cemetery. Not unless you have been double-dog- dared on a cold and windy night by a bunch of juvenile delinquents. Or so I am told.
Unlike most West-Coasters, the East Coasters like to keep their dear ones close to them. Even if they've been dead for over 150 years. I notice that the people in North Carolina have a way different attitude towards death than most people I know in California. Death isn't a scary thing to them. The graves I saw in these 3 counties were all well cared for. Most had fresh flowers. It didn't seem to matter if the person had died 1 day ago or 100,000 days ago. Visiting kin at the cemetery is something you do.
After spending a couple of weeks in these counties I got over the creepiness by telling myself , "Self - you are a professional and you are here doing your job. Remember that job you love so much?" Slowly, without my even noticing right away, I was pulling a weed or two, bringing flowers with me in case I found an ancestor that day and felt myself connecting with these people who basically gave me life.
Each one that I shared with you was a pioneer in the tri-county area - John Teeter Beam and his son John Beam, Peter Hoyle and his son Michael Hoyle, Sebastian Bess and All arriving around 1740-1760 and there are descendants of all these men still living on the same land to this very day!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The pictures I took when I was there in 2005 came out horrible. It was late afternoon and the lighting was nonexistent. I would like to thank Mr. Richard Jordan who is a volunteer photographer at http://www.findagrave.com/ who went out to the cemetery for me and took the photos for me.
This is the entrance of Whitesides Road. You drive up this gravel path and the cemetery is on the left.
A group of descendants put up the brick wall around the stones.
In memory of John Beam, who died October 24, 1822, aged 52 years. "O yea whose cheeks the tears of pity stain; Draw near with reverence and attend; Here lies the husband's dear remains; The tender father and the generous friend."
Mary Hoyle Beam is the daughter of Michael Hoyle and Margaret Dellinger. I was only able to make out her name, birth - 1768 and date of death - 17 January 1847.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
In memory of
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This cemetery is the home to a monument placed to honor my 8th great grandparents Peter Hoyle and his wife Catherine Dales.
The monument was originally located at the Hoyle Homestead just outside of Dallas, Gaston County, North Carolina. The Hoyle House was built between 1750-1758 by Peter Hoyle and his sons and features rare corner post construction. It is the only known remaining structure in North Carolina with this type of construction and is listed on the National Historical Register.
For those who live in the area, the Gaston County Museum has a new exhibit - "The Hoyle House" which runs until October 25th. Better hurry!
If only all my ancestors left behind this kind of information.....the thrill of the hunt wouldn't be there, would it?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I made a trip to North Carolina back in 2005 and visited with quite a few of my ancestors at their final resting places. I had never before been to visit an ancestor. The feeling I got from each and every one I went to was special. I told each of them thank you.
It still is mind-boggling to me that it took all of my ancestors - hundreds of them - all being in the right place at the right time for me to exist.
While most of the Graveyard Rabbit websites you come across are specific to certain geographical locations, The Educated Graveyard Rabbit will take you to cemeteries located across the United States.