Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery at FindAGrave.com

This Memorial Day I honor my maternal and paternal ancestors (veterans and non-veterans) virtually with the launch of the – Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery– at FindAGrave.com! [1]

Click to visit virtual cemetery online now!

I actually established this “on-going” virtual cemetery New Year’s Day of this year, but did not want to release it online until –

1) I had 20 or more ancestors listed
2) I had a chance to verify each ancestors’ connection to me and my family

The purpose of this new virtual cemetery is to link the interments of all my maternal and paternal ancestors together despite the geographical location of their graves. Those of you who have been following me for a while know FindAGrave.com  is one of my favorite online resources to use with my family research. I started creating virtual cemeteries last year with the launch of my “on-going” Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery and when I see the number of visits that post has received via my blog’s Google Analytics dashboard widget and Feedjit live traffic feed, I hope that this post about this new virtual cemetery will do just as well too!

According to the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, on May 5, 1865, Decoration Day was established for our nation to decorate the graves of veterans with flowers. The first observance of this federal holiday took place at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. But by the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 across the United States. By 1971, the US Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday and it was at that time that it would be observed on the last Monday in May.

With so many Americans honoring the deaths of love ones who were not veterans on Memorial Day, in December 2000 Congress passed and the president signed in to law — “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” — so that veterans are particularly not forgotten on this national day!  [2]

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.”

To my family and friends, have a wonderful Memorial Day and if time allows, visit a local cemetery today! If you cannot make it to an actual cemetery, then I invite you to take a virtual stroll through the Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery by clicking the link or the graphic above; feel free to leave virtual flowers if you like!

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Source Citation:

1.   Taylor-Harris, L. (2013, May 25). Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery. Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=vcsr

2.   U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2012, November 30). Memorial Day History. Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp

First Cousins Meet At Last!

On this day . . . November 23, 1863 . . . the color photo process was patented. So to celebrate this day in history as well as celebrate an invention that definitely changed our lives, I share a  color photo I took with some First Cousins I met for the very first time this year!

First Cousins

From (l. to r.) Juska Ann, Liv, Roland, Mom, Bettye, Reginald, and Ralph

Earlier this year, I blogged about the murder of my mom’s sister, Aunt Estella Chapple Thomas (read, “Blue Monday: Woman Killed,” for more information). At the time of her death, she was the mother of 5 children (Carolyn, Charles, Roland, Juska Ann, and Donna Marie) – ranging in ages 1 to 7. After Aunt Estella’s  death, her children (with the exception of the baby, Donna Marie, who died 2 months after her mom from Nephritis) were sent to live with their father who was a soldier in the United States Army overseas. Some years passed before they would return to the US and Texas. Because they were so young when all this happened to them, they literally did not remember any of their mother’s side of the family by the time they were stateside.

Well, some recent Chapple Estate matters have made it possible for me to finally meet my first cousins Juska Ann and Roland Thomas for the very first time on August 25, 2012! This meeting also made it possible for my cousins Bettye, Ralph, and Reginald (my Aunt Ella Louise‘s children), to meet them for the very first time as well . . . woo-hoo!

First Cousins

From (l. to r.) – Juska Ann, Roland, Bettye, Reginald, and Ralph

But the most important point in all this is that my mother got to spend time and see the smiling faces of  all her sisters’ children. This was such a wonderful reunion and a day we won’t forget!

Mom with Nieces and Nephews

From (l. to r.) – Juska Ann, Roland, Mom, Bettye, Reginald, and Ralph