Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tombstone Study: Samuel L. Dugger Headstone

Out in Carter and Johnson Counties of Tennessee, many of us Duggers know the name Samuel L. Dugger  (Dugger is my father's last name - but I was given my mother's last name of Doerflinger...but I still consider myself a Dugger).

Born in 1806, Samuel was the son of John and Mary Engle Dugger.  John and Mary Engle Dugger were the parents of a large number of children (the exact number of children is still being disputed, but the number of children ranges from about 15-20 children).

Samuel is my ancestor, along with his wife Hannah Ida Potter Dugger.  Samuel married his wife in 1830.

Samuel died in June of 1890 and was buried, along with his wife Hannah, at the Julius Dugger Cemtery in Johnson County, Tennessee.  Below, you will see a picture of his headstone (however, the words are very difficult to read because so much time has passed since it's creation).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holidays Are A Time To Spend With Family

Hi everyone.  With Christmas less than a week away and one very family packed schedule for me - I must tell everyone that I will mostlikely not be posting any articles until after Christmas.  I just have so much to do and I have very little time to do the research that I think these articles deserve.

So I'd like to take this time to tell everyone Merry Christmas (Or Happy Christmas if you are from the U.K) and happy holidays.  I hope everyone enjoys their family during this wonderful time of year so that you have some memories to pass down to your descendants someday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cleaning Stone Grave Markers

Part of preserving our cemeteries is to try and preserve the stone grave markers that show the final resting places of our ancestors.  Part of taking care of these cemeteries is to keep these stones clean, which can also help when trying to read the stone grave marker.

Since I am far from an expert in this field, I decided to do some research so that I can try to provide you with the best possible information.  One of the things I found was this wonderful video that was made by a man named Jason Church.  This video shows how to properly clean a grave marker and also comes with an accompaning pdf document that gives the same information.  You can find this video at:

After all my research, I've noticed that one thing has rang true:
Never, ever, under any circumstances, spray, pour, scratch, or rub anything onto the stone.  This could cause further damage.  Contact an expert in cemeteries and stone work and ask that person to help.  If you have the money, the best thing might be to have a new stone created that lists the same information and is placed slightly in front of the old stone.  This way, there is a new stone that will probably last a bit longer than your old one.

For those of you who want to have a rubbing of the stone, please - buy a kit.  I know that these kits can get a bit pricey, but if you are going to rub the stone then you midaswell do it correctly.  By buying a kit from a genealogy store and following the instructions that are included, you can rest easy knowing that you are not furthering any damage to the stone.

Remember, these stones are old and fragile.  Time, weather, and pollution has probably damaged these stones and it is best to make sure that you take all the cautionary steps.  By doing all of these things, you will be making one of your descendants very happy when they come searching for the stone.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Using Interment.net to Find Your Ancestors

Are you trying to find where your ancestor was buried?  Do you know where your ancestor died and you are pretty sure he/she was buried near that town/city?  Well...I have one option to try and find your ancestor.

Try going to http://www.interment.net/us/tn/index.htm to look at some cemeteries by county.  Since this website goes off of volunteers, not every cemetery is listed.  Infact, not every county has a cemetery that has been transcribed.  But, it is still worth a shot because you might find a possible match.

If you are lucky enough to get a possible match then you can ask a volunteer to go over to the cemetery and take some pictures of the tombstone for you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Using Ancestry.com's Picture Collection To Find Headstones

Have you ever sat on your computer, daydreaming about finding that headstone of your great-great grandfather who lived on the opposite side of the country from where you do?

Well...you could fly to that side of the country, spend your days searching through cemetery after cemetery in hopes of finding his headstone, finally find it and snap a photo of it.

Or...you could try Ancestry.com's Picture collection in hopes that someone took a picture of said headstone and uploaded it onto Ancestry.com.

So now you are probably wondering how in the world you search through Ancestry.com's picture collection.

First, go to www.Ancestry.com. Then, go to the top part of the page and click on the link called "Search". On the left, click on the link that says "Go To The Card Catalog". On the left, clink on the link that says "Pictures".

Now, you have 18 databases to choose from. Go ahead and search these databases and see if maybe you can find your ancestors headstone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Sister He Never Knew Of...

While I was in Tennessee, one of my wondeful missions was to go into the mountains to take pictures of some gravemarkers and gravestones. I was so thrilled to enter into this rugged country of sorts, into the world of dirt roads and unmarked cemeteries. As odd as it sounds, I was so thrilled to be in something so opposite of my California lifestyle.

When we finally made it to the cemetery, we had to park below a hill and walk up the rest of the way. My Aunt Phyllis warned us to look out for snakes as we walked up the hill full of overgrown grass. When we finally reached the top of the hill, there was a small metal fence that surrounded the cemetery. Most of the place was overgrown with grass, weeds, and bushes. The trees made it so very little light made it into the cemetery and it was a bit hard to see in most places. I certainly wished at that moment that I had brought a flash light so that when I took a picture of the stones, you would actually be able to read them.

So as everyone began looking around, I began taking pictures. My Aunt Deb had the job of writing down what was on each stone. As I was kneeling and bending and twisting every which way to get a "great" picture of my great grandparents' gravestones, I noticed something shiny on the ground. When I reached down, I realized that it was a small stone that had been covered by a bush.

As I pulled the bush back and read the stone, my eyes lit up. "Look what I found!" I shouted out to everyone. As they gathered around me, I read the words on the small stone, "Inf. Dau of Monroe and Matilda Dugger".

I looked at my Aunt Deb and she shrugged. "Dad nevered mentioned nothing to me about a baby sister of his that died young, but then again, he never mentioned much about his family to us."

Everyone looked at my Aunt Phyllis. "I never heard a word about this," she said in suprise.

I was thrilled and ideas were rolling through my head faster than I had time to process them. I suddenly lost interest in the cemetery and was desperate to get back to my Grandpa's house. I had to see him, I had to ask him, I just had to know.

When we finally made it home, I instantly ran into my Grandpa's room to ask him about it. Before I had the chance to tell him what I was so excited about, he smiled at me and tried to calm me down. "Baby Girl, you're going to have to calm down if you want my old ears to hear a word you're saying," he said with a smile. As I told him the story though, his expression changed to one that was difficult to read. "Well, I am sorry to say that I never knew of this 'sister'. My Old Man never mentioned him, but we never talked much. Now, Baby Girl, I'm sorry I can't help you any. But it is time for this old man to get some rest." I gave him a quick hug before leaving his room and that was that.

To this day, I don't know if my Grandpa knew of this "infant daughter" or not. He was never very fond of me researching his parents side of the family. I think this is because he did not get along with his father after his mother's death. He always felt like the black sheep of his family.