Monday, May 21, 2012

Find a Grave Cemetery Hunt Part 1

Last week Bill and I embarked on our "Great Adventure" which in reality was to give Bill a taste of the mountain scenery, which he loves and me an opportunity to search for old family graves in the mountains of western North Carolina, where my father was born and grew up until he was ten years old.  Wow, that was a long sentence.

As regular readers of this blog know I am a Find a volunteer.  That means I search for cemeteries and take photos of headstones and record that information on the website Find A  I have been a member of Find a Grave ("FAG" for short, see the irony?) four years, two months and fifteen days as of today.

Searching for those out of the way, family cemeteries and taking photos and recording that information on Find a is my passion in life now. Perhaps to some that may sound like a weird hobby but again, as regular readers of this blog know I march to my own drummer.  Just last week I received a comment on my blog (which I didn't publish) from a person who felt the need to inform me that they "cringe" sometimes at what I write and that they no longer will be reading my blog.  You know what I say to that don't you?  BYE!  Of course this person signed as "Anonymous".  Notice at how cowardly the negative commenters are who feel the need to disparage what I write about?  I never cease to be amazed at how some people constantly try to tear down.  But I digress.

Back to something more positive.  This morning I posted all the videos I took with my iPhone while on vacation.  I'll be posting those videos to this blog and future blogs.  The video I'm posting today was the first cemetery Bill and I came across our first day out.  Oh, by the way, it was raining the first two days we went cemetery hunting.  That didn't deter us though, I had my hat and rain proof jacket and Bill had his rainbow umbrella.

The first cemetery we discovered was off Pigeon Roost Road in Green Mountain, North Carolina.  Bill and I stayed at the Hampton Inn in Johnson City, Tennessee which is right across the border from North Carolina.  The mountains form the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.  My father was born and raised (until he was ten years old when he and his eight brothers and mother and father left for Pennsylvania to work as farm laborers on his uncle Don Byrd's farm) at the Bailey Settlement, which was the next road ("holler") over from the road we were on last Monday.  His mother, my grandmother, was born and raised on Pigeon Roost Road, Green Mountain, which was the road we were on this day where I took this video.

The cemetery where I took this video was up Elvis Edwards Road.  How is that for a pure hillbilly name?  Sure fits doesn't it?  Well, this is pure hillbilly county of which I am very proud to announce as my roots.

Bill and I drove up the narrow lane, past the double wide (which obviously thee Elvis Edwards lived in) and hopped the fence to the cemetery.  We were met by a friendly dog (which is featured in this video).  A short while after we were in the cemetery a black T-shirted sheriff and his likewise black T-shirted deputies came up the road and asked me "Are you Elvis Edwards?"  Oh God no!  I'm thinking to myself "Do I look like an Elvis Edwards?" (now no negative "cringe" comments please because I won't publish them).  I told him I wasn't Elvis Edwards.  He then asked me if I knew where he was.  I told him that we were from Delaware and visiting relatives (which we were actually, my second cousin lives up the road).  By the way, their T-shirts had "Sherrif" and "Deputy Sherrif" emblazoned in white on the front.  Some adventure huh?

After they left we heard church bells.  We turned around and saw the small church summoning its parishioners for the Sunday service.  We had forgotten, this WAS Sunday.

Bill roamed around the cemetery while I took my photos (in the gently falling rain) of every headstone.

Thus we began our first day of our Find a Grave Cemetery Hunt.  I love it!


  1. Your story reminds me of a great quote from Ghostbusters: "How is Elvis, and have you seen him lately?"

    I want to say that I think men who march to their own drummers are the best men of all.

    1. Cubby,

      I've always marched to my own drummer. I cannot do otherwise. My inability and unwillingness to change has often caused me problems but I recognize that is the price for being my own man. So often others have tried to control me. Tell me what to think, how to act. It has always puzzled me why they think they find this necessary. The only thing I can figure out is that these people are used to control others. Doesn't work with me. Not even Bill controls me. Ask him. :)


  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your recent travels and seeing the photos. Glad that you both got home safely. I didn't leave any comments while you were on the road - but I was indeed a silent traveling companion.

  3. Jon,

    Thank you for your kind and generous comments. I appreciate them. Don't feel you always have to leave a comment. I'm glad you're enjoying our trip along with us. :)


  4. Ron,

    You know you're in country when the names are Kettie and Annie Mae Pace. Real people.


    1. Lar,
      Yes, I was in REAL country last week. We're going back in the fall. I'm looking forward to it.



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