How did I ever start this mess? I have asked myself that several times over the last several years. Here's how it happened.
I started working on my family history in 1989. With a break of about 6 years to coach 2 of my daughter's fastpitch softball teams, I have been at it ever since. Somewhere along the line I decided I wanted to take pictures of as many of my ancestors tombstones as possible. I thought it would look nice to have them in my genealogy program (currently Ancestry Family Tree available free from Ancestry.com). My first pictures were taken with a Canon 35mm camera in 1989 in Miriam Cemetery in Bethany, Missouri. Several of my Sutton, Hubbard, and Phillebaum ancestors from my father's side are buried there. No problem yet. It was so expensive to have the film developed it stayed under control.
Then I started on my mother's side. She grew up in New Hampton, Missouri and I have several ancestors buried in Foster Cemetery there. I went to Foster and got my great-grandparents, gg-grandparents, and ggg-grandparents. I thought that was it. Then I started finding uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Somewhere about that time I bought myself a new Hewlett-Packard C200 Digital Camera. That's where the trouble started. It was so cheap to take pictures I just started snapping away. After about the 6th trip to Foster Cemetery to take pictures I was getting frustrated so I decided to just take the whole thing. Then I spread it around that I had those pictures and found other people were interested in them. So, I went to Martinsville my next trip home and took all of Kidwell and MaGee Cemeteries. Then I started the cemeteries where my wife's ancestors are buried and did all of Old Blue Ridge, Fairview, Corner Church, Gilman City Masonic, and Hill cemeteries (she has a big family).
About this time some requests started coming in. That lead to Cat Creek, Prairie Chapel, Springer Chapel, Sharon Chapel, Monson, White Oak, Shady Grove, Mt. Zion, Matkins, Pleasant Ridge, Morris Chapel, Jones Chapel, Grace, etc. And those are only the ones I took ALL of.
8,033 pictures later I am still going. That lead to this website.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids