The research into our family’s genealogy has taken me on a ride with surprising twists and turns. Part of the process is finding places and dates where ancestors were born and died.
Which led me to graves and gravestones.
Find A Grave is a wonderful resource and where I found this picture. To put it in perspective, Stephen R. Bradley, a patriot in the Revolutionary War and Senator from Vermont, was born in 1754 and died in 1830.
Two of my children think this is so very interesting and important. I was mildly interested when I was younger. Now I’m profoundly moved by this knowledge.
I have gone back to the 1600’s on the maternal side of my family here in the US, and to 1851 on my paternal side.
So how does this fit into my summer cemetery tour? We can read about our ancestors, travel or search documents, but while important, that is dry information.
But not cemeteries.
Gravestones and what lies beneath them, are tangible connections to our past. This summer, when I stand at the Bradley family vault in Vermont, I will be reminded that the bones interred here are the people whose DNA I share, whose stories are past down through our generations. Who, if a moment in history was changed centuries ago, would not have had a connection to me, to my children, to my grandchildren. We would not have existed.
I am awed by the gravestones of my ancestors and what they represent.
Hence, I am looking forward to my cemetery tour this summer.