in the Woods
Having been serious about genealogy since I was a teenager, it was only natural that I would wind up studying cemeteries since they are such a great source of information. When my kids were small they thought that a cemetery was a place to have picnics! About five years ago I began working as a volunteer at the Muskogee Public Library. Seeing that there was not a good source of cemetery information available for the county researchers, I began collecting and compiling information. Many cemetery trips later, mapping, surveying, photographing and documenting 153 cemeteries in Muskogee County, I am still in the "collection and compilation" process (like genealogy...it will never be "done"!). Believing that the internet was a good way to reach out and help a lot of people, I tried something else new to me and learned how to create web pages. I've established my own websites and work with others as co-webmaster to help get free information online.
I have enjoyed teaching workshops, giving presentations to genealogical societies and helping researchers learn about resources through my volunteer work and as a part time library employee in the Grant Foreman Room at the Muskogee Public Library.
My most recent interest is in establishing the Oklahoma Cemeteries Preservation Association, Inc. to help restore and preserve Oklahoma’s cemeteries. Our current project is to raise the funds to buy, clean up, restore and provide a perpetual care fund for the Old Agency Cemetery in Muskogee County.
Presently, I am a member of the National Genealogical Society, Muskogee County Genealogical Society, The Association of Gravestone Studies, and the Association of Professional Genealogists. I am a founding member and President of the Oklahoma Cemeteries Preservation Association.
County Genealogy and History
Oklahoma Cemeteries Preservation Association
Oklahoma Cemeteries Mailing List Homepage
Oklahoma Ghost Towns
County Illinois-US GenWeb
US GenWeb Archives:
Lawmen and Outlaws
Veterans Memorial Page
County Genealogical Society
Messages In Stone
Why study cemeteries? To the avid genealogist, the cemetery is a place to find those "vital statistics" of our ancestors. But a cemetery is more than that. It is a link, a connection to our past. The "vital statistics" are important but the symbolism, the artwork, the carver, the setting and even the stone itself are a bridge to understanding our past.
Our cemeteries, their grounds, their monuments, their epitaphs, tell us of our historical and cultural heritage. They tell us of politics and religion, wonder at our ethnic backgrounds, cry over our epidemics and our tragedies, glorify war and sometimes even laugh at death itself.
This workshop will give you a different perspective of that cemetery where your ancestors lie. Over 200 photographs of Oklahoma gravestones relate to the history of our state from the Indians, the coming of the soldiers, the missionaries, pioneers, the children, the lawmen, outlaws, the politicians and the common man. From the deeply spiritual to the downright silly, you will see why preserving these symbols of our past is important.
Page Last Updated: December 21, 2017