Today I had another banner day because of a few volunteers on Find A Grave who somehow understand my need to find photos of grave markers. I had clicked the “Request Photo” and somewhere, somehow, folks in Kentucky hopped on it.
I don’t have a photo of my great grandmother Louisa, who I found earlier this week – but I now have a photo of her memorial marker in the cemetery in Kentucky – over 500 miles away. And I have photos of her parents monuments. And low and behold, because the photos were taken by the FAG volunteer in 2010, he is heading back there this week to see if he can get better quality photos.
They are hard to read. They are covered in lichen. I’m now plotting not only a trip through Kentucky, but a trip with a soft brush and a water bucket. Will anyone think it weird when they find a car with a Texas license tag sitting in the parking lot and a busy but tired lady carefully brushing the markers of her long-ago-family of her mother’s tree?
Tonight while I was feeling all mushy and sloppy from seeing the photos of their graves, two more FAG memorials were created and transferred to me by the same kind stranger. Next to my great grandmother Louisa’s monument, is a monument for a little girl. There is no birth date. Only a name. Annie Ruth. Daughter of A.F. & L.M Justis (Andrew Fuller & Louisa Matilda Justis). Died Dec 10 1894. A mere 8 months after her mother, my g-grandmother Louisa died. And based on census records and her siblings ages, this baby girl was between the age of 2 and 8 months old.
And. AND. Another surprise marker. A 7th sibling for Louisa. A hard to read name: Mary Nell according to the photographer but he did report it was unreadable. Or ? Daut of W.F. & M.A. Wilks died June 1872 age 8 months and 6 days.
Glory be! I sat here in amazement – in my Texas home on this beautiful spring day and bowed my head and thanked God for the kindness of a stranger.