Thursday, January 6, 2011


Hello, everyone.  This is my first time blogging here.  Russell asked me to write something about my latest trip to Scotland, which was a personal research trip for me and a golfing and fishing trip for my husband. Russell is an old cemetery hunter, so his jealousy over my adventures prompted him to "order" me to post. Ha!

I spent a lot of time in three old Scottish cemeteries, some of the graves dating back to the 1500s.  I noticed some things I had not noticed before and I wanted to share them with you.

First, I have never written down EVERYTHING on the headstones before; usually, just the names and dates.  But I decided to write down everything this time and, boy, did it help me out! 

For an example, one woman relative had "Wife, Mother" on her headstone.  I wrote this down and wondered why I was and then when I got back to the motel room, I got on my computer and checked and I did not have any children listed for her.  But she obviously had children.  But all the other genealogists in my family, and me, had never found any children for her.  So I spent a day in the city archives and, lo and behold, I found birth records for two daughters.  One of these I also found a death record for at age 17, FROM CHILDBIRTH!  This added yet another generation to this branch of the tree.  In the future, I am going to look for more of her descendants. I would never have known about this family if I had not written all the words from the stone.

The second tip for the day is to take photographs of the headstones. A lot of vandalism had occurred in one of the cemeteries I visited.  So when I got there, there were stones that had been broken to pieces.  I was very disappointed, but when I visited the local library, some kind soul had taken photographs of all the headstones in that graveyard before the vandalism. So I had photographs.  This has prompted me to plan to take photographs of all the headstones in the small cemetery that is a few miles from my house here in Wisconsin.  You never know when something natural (flood, rain wear-and-tear) or man-made can ruin the stones.

So there you go!  My first post on this blog and I've already given two tips.  Yes!!!!!

Mrs. Olivia Ferguson McDaniel
The Genealogy Dude


  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. I struggle with impulses to write down everything when I am researching--the whole frustrated perfectionist thing. It was a delight for me to see that your thorough notes had paid off in the end.