A Nifty Site!

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Thursday, August, 23 2012 06:10:00 pm   , 689 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 30484 views



As one can rather readily see from this website and blog, I love to do historical research.  I sometimes contribute information and photographs to a really useful and fascinating website called Find A Grave. Thus far my involvement with the site has been mostly the provision of headstone photographs, but I have added a few items of historical interest.  The site is very useful for historical and genealogical information, and contributions from site users are an important factor in making the site one of the web's most popular.

Find A Grave is interesting in so many ways. It has a section, for example, dedicated to the truly famous and to "celebrities."  Searches of the site reveal not just information of where a particular individual of renown is buried, but usually some pretty extensive biographical information and portraits of the figure.  Details often include photographs of the grave site, as well.  The site managers generally decide who fits the term "famous" and who does not, so if you report a burial and therewith contribute a biography, you may just find that the person about whom you submitted data is not so much celebrated, even though highly estimable.  Take, for example, Lawrence Deger.

Larry Deger was the owner of a lumber yard in the newly-platted rebuilding of Velasco, Texas, four miles up the Brazos River from its older version (the Velasco of "Battle of Velasco" fame and of the "Treaties of Velasco").  Ok, a lumber yard owner, you say, interesting enough.  But this Lawrence Deger had earlier lived in Kansas and had been a marshal there. In fact, he was the first town marshal of Dodge City, Kansas.  There he became a personal and political rival of Bat Masterson, serving eventually as mayor.  But what was he doing in Velasco, Brazoria County, Texas?  Well, the building of a new Velasco was part of an ambitious plan, formulated by Kansas cattleman and eastern capitalists, such as William McDole Lee, to deepen the mouth of the Brazos and to remove its vexatious hindrance to development and commerce, its infamous sandbar.  (A blog entry elsewhere in this website concerns the "lighthouse" built as part of this grand enterprise to build a rival to Galveston.)  Deger almost certainly was lured south by the optimism and promise.  He even served  as the postmaster of the new Velasco from 1898 to 1914. Interesting, but not a claim to fame, sayeth the managers of Find A Grave. Anyhow, you can see my additions of Larry and wife Etta to the Find A Grave data.  Just go to the "Find Graves" section, click on "Search...[x#]  Million Grave Records" and type in "Deger" on the search bar.

I like the non-famous section for research, since generally the people I research are of local or state significance, and though they may have made significant accomplishments, are not regarded as of world or national renown.  You can do searches of both the famous and non-famous sections.  You can search for a cemetery or for the grave of a particular individual. (In the famous section, you can search according to someone's claim to fame, or infamy.) Considering, of course, the huge number of cemeteries, there is a pretty good chance, you won't find whom you are searching for, but you will often be surprised, at least the name and cemetery will quite often be listed, with possibly a pic or two of the cemetery, if not of the person's gravestone.

The forums section is very interesting and helpful to those interested in cemetery preservation and historical study.  One can make queries and share historical and biographical information. Cemeteries so often are the only sources extant to verify certain historical facts about an individual: when they arrived somewhere, that they arrived and lived in an area, and so on. Often, people are buried in places other than where they lived, and the reasons add to family history and often reveal relationships of which family researchers were not even aware.

Have a look at the site, read about the famous and the not so famous. This website will add to your appreciation of cemeteries and their preservation.

1 comment

Comment from: Augie Doggy [Visitor]
Augie DoggyI have a bunch of interesting grave site pictures. This goes on my list of things to do. I wish my list were shorter.
09/02/12 @ 13:25

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