Saturday, September 12, 2009

The September 7 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle has a heart-warming story by Carolyn Jones on the restoration of an East Bay cemetery and its gravestones. Situated on the slopes of Mount Diablo, Rose Hill Cemetery is within the boundaries of Black Diamond Mines Regional Park now, and dedicated staff members there have been reassembling neglected and vandalized tombstones bit by bit, for several years. The cemetery served an old coal-mining community and closed in 1900.

"It's detective work," said one specialist. "What's kept me interested is meeting the descendants, hearing their stories. They're excited that someone cares."

You can find the article by entering the word “tombstones” in Google, and clicking on the word “News” in the upper left corner. (A good way to find some other interesting stories on the subject as well.) You can also go to and look for it there.


I will be away until early October, on a non-genealogical trip, part Elderhostel and part on my own. But, as with last fall’s Spain trip, there are sure to be tokens and reminders of genealogy everywhere.

In London’s National Portrait Gallery there are all those paintings of family groups. When I see typical Dutch homes along the canals of Amsterdam, I won’t be able to help wondering who built them, who lived in them early on, and who lives there now. When I go to a thrift shop or stop by a booth at an antique fair, it comes to me that SOMEONE owned this or that bit of lace or cloisonne, someone’s home was adorned by a particular 18th century tile and its partners, and someone read this dog-eared book, wrote in the margins, carried its words around in his head.

Who are these individuals? They are someone’s ancestors and relatives. Why do I care? Because, like you, I love family history!

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