Virtual Graveyards

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Tuesday, September, 04 2012 03:18:00 am   , 835 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 45921 views


Death, we could all sure live without it!  It may seem a grim and depressing topic to most, yet it is the ultimate reminder of the precious gift that is life.  It indeed induces the  fondest of remembrances, so often made manifest in elaborate monuments placed to mark the final resting places of our dearly departed.

I have commented in an earlier blog entry about a website called Find A Grave. That website has two sections of entries, the famous and the non-famous.  Both sections contain burial information and photographs of headstones, markers, and monuments, yet while one might only peruse the non-famous section in attempting to find an ancestor or for leads in historical research, one may more frequently be inclined to spend time looking through the famous burials data to learn interesting and perhaps even entertaining tidbits about favorite celebrities, historical figures, or even villains.

Find A Grave is but one of many websites featuring interesting data on the famous and the infamous.  Here is a selection of other fascinating websites which detail interesting facts and pictures of interments of celebrities.

The Political Graveyard

Got a question like "Who was that politician killed riding a streetcar?" Sure ya' do! Everybody wonders about politicians getting gored by bulls, shot by jealous lovers, pummeled by one opponent or another.... Oh, wait, those are people wanting to watch those events. Oh, well, never mind that part. Anyhow, if you want to know about circumstances of a politician's birth, life, death, and disposal, uh, well, I mean, interment, then this here be the place, I'm tellin' ya'!

The best way to use this site is with the alphabetical list (provided you already have a name to research to begin with). Otherwise, you can look through the categories listed toward the bottom of the home page to identify politicos who did or had done to them any number of things, many of which categories led to their demise.

If you have questions about the site itself, like who started it, how and why it was started, and "Who else helped out?," there's a "Questions and Answers" page, which by the way, lists Yours Truly in partial answer to question number 27.  (Yep, it's a nifty site and I spend a lot of time there!)

Beneath Los Angeles: The Famous, the Infamous, and the Just Plain Dead

The site is divided into three sections (as indicated by the title).

In looking over the site, one notes interesting facts such as that Irene Ryan ("Granny" on "The t.v. show "The Beverly Hillbillies") is interred in the same mausoleum crypt with Anna Thompson, a star of silent-films. Ryan and Thompson were sisters, though the site does not make note of the fact. Mostly this site shows headstones, crypts, and graves, without much in the way of biography.

This is a site concerned with the deaths (and lives) of the rich, the not-so-rich, the famous, and the not-so-famous. Though somewhat irreverent, its biographies are quite intensive and interesting. Have a comment or something informational to add? The site even has a message board.

Seeing Stars in Hollywood

Seeing Stars in Hollywood can be styled a "complete guide to Hollywood." This is a very in-depth site. Not only does it have a section "Where the Stars Are Buried," it has sections such as "Hollywood Museums," "where the Stars Shop," "Hollywood Movie Palaces," "Where the Stars Live," and much more.


This site is very interesting, though its home page is rather "busy" and thus somewhat off-putting initially!  The best way to view the site is probably to go to the site map and go to the list of burials. But by doing so, you may miss some really nifty information, like what burials are in a particular region of the country.  Nearly each of the sections on the home page is a link to articles and pics for celebrity burials of a particular region/tour.  (Whether these are actual tours or "tours" is figuratively used is something not really made clear.) You just have to see the page on Victor Mature! (I'd always assumed he was possibly of Italian heritage and likely of eastern seaboard birth, possibly Nyoo Yoiwk Citee, but he was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and is interred there in St. Michael Cemetery.) The monument is fantastic! (What is the symbolism of the coins?)

Famous Graves

A section of an interesting site that contains other interesting photos and information. Under "L," I found a memorial to victims of the October 1, 1910, bombing of the L. A. Times---16 of the 20 victims, apparently buried at the site of the memorial.

Grave Hunter

Interesting biographies. (Example: "At the age of 13, Ozzie Nelson, became the youngest person to become an Eagle Scout. The requirements for Eagle Scout make it impossible for anyone to beat his record.") Grave site and marker pics are scant and not always readable. Though it has much of interest, the site seems an abandoned effort.



(Photos: Views of "Hollywood Forever Cemetery."

A Nifty Site!

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Thursday, August, 23 2012 06:10:00 pm   , 689 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 30448 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.

The Gray Man of Hatteras

 , By Caroline
on Saturday, August, 27 2011 06:03:53 pm   , 231 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 47466 views

Completed in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the world. In 1999 the lighthouse was moved further inland to protect it from beach erosion.

With Hurricane Irene battering the coast of North Carolina it brings to mind The Gray Man of Hatteras, a ghost that is said to appear foreshadowing approaching hurricanes.  The legend is that a man dressed in grey clothes walks along the Cape Hatteras shore between Cape Point and the Hatteras Lighthouse warning of approaching hurricanes.   It is uncertain of when the Gray Man made his first appearance but sightings of the Gray Man go back to the early 1900s.   Accounts of the Gray Man are sketchy; some speak only of seeing the Gray Man and upon approaching he starts to blur and dissapears.  Other accounts speak of a verbal warning from the Gray Man before he disappears.

It is uncertain of who the Gray Man was in life but past accounts speaks of a man named Gray who lived not far from Cape Point in the late 1800s.  Before modern weather statellites, hurricanes often caught people unaware.  The legend goes that Gray went out to sea not knowing that a hurricane was approaching and drown during the storm.  Since his death, Gray appears before an approaching hurricane to give out his warnings to allow others the chance to reach safe haven from the storm.


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