Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Helpful Hints for Visiting a Cemetery

The following was taken from the Dallas History Examiner, written by Leslie Wagner, and posted on 23 Feb 2009:

If you’re planning a cemetery outing, prior preparation will make the search easier. A call to a funeral home in the area you’ll be visiting can help you determine the cemetery layout, information that we lacked before our visit. We were fortunate to find someone who could help us on a weekend. Visiting during the week, if possible, would allow you to check with the local funeral homes in person.

Here are some practical tips for gravesite searching:

Take a camera to photograph the headstone. Headstone rubbings will actually cause chemical damage to the stone. Take photographs from several angles to help place the gravesite for future visits.

Dress comfortably, and plan for changes in the weather. During our visit, a cold front was blowing its way through and the temperature was dropping throughout the day. It was also quite windy, adding a considerable wind chill factor that had us jumping back into our car frequently to warm up between section searches.

In warm weather, be sure to have plenty of drinking water and wear a hat. Wear practical shoes for all the walking, and protective clothing as well. While most cemeteries are well kept, as was this one, I backed into a spindly tree trying to include the Parker County Courthouse with the gravestone in the same photograph. Ouch!

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