Genealogy Today, by Betty Lou Malesky, CG
Keeping Up With the Changes Online
We all appreciate the Internet and the wealth of information that makes researching from home a breeze today. The only difficulty is keeping up with the constantly changing environment online.
Just when you learn to navigate around your favorite websites they are "enhanced" and you must learn all over again where desired links have disappeared to or been regenerated into a whole new look.
Sometimes when you attempt to revisit a website used a year or two ago the URL is no longer active - it seems to be gone without a clue. This is where a Google search can help out. With a few critical words in the search box, Google can usually find a website whose address has changed.
Many webpage changes are desirable however, because they add content or enhance what is already there. A researcher may visit 100s or even 1000s of websites in several years time, making it nearly impossible to track changes. That is when genealogical newsletters become important.
Recently The New England Historic Genealogical Society newsletter ran an article about Cleveland, Ohio cemeteries. Since I'm from the Cleveland area and had a number of ancestors there I enjoyed reading the article. Included was a link to the cemetery's website, one I had visited some time ago.
The site at http://www.wcfcle.org/ now has a new feature, a search box for burial information of those interred there. A search can be made by name or burial date. I entered the name "Belding" and was rewarded with five names and burial details for each. These included the Section, Lot, and Grave Number as well as full name, address at death, cause of death, age, race, sex, and burial date.
Woodland Cemetery was dedicated in 1853. It's the second oldest cemetery in the city of Cleveland situated on a beautiful 60 acre wooded site right in the heart of the city. Although I lived in the Cleveland area until 1984 I never visited the cemetery. My 3rd great grandparents, Henry and Eleanor (Farley) Belding are buried there along with two of their children and a grandchild.
Another descendant kindly sent me photos of the large obelisk that marks the Belding graves. Son Charles is the first of the family buried there in 1876. Another son Frank who committed suicide in 1881 is there along with his infant child who died in 1879. Eleanor Belding died in 1884 but her husband, Henry survived until 1899. It would have to be Henry who had my grandfather's name carved onto the monument with the words, "Our loving son."
Most interesting to me is that my ancestor, their youngest son Louis died of tuberculosis at the age of 29 in 1891 when his father was still alive. Yet he is buried in Cleveland's Riverside Cemetery, a few miles from Woodland is therefore not listed in the Woodland database. It's a mystery to me why his name appears on the monument. Was it common to memorialize someone buried at another location? Was there a rift in the family that caused his wife to bury him elsewhere? The elder Beldings had three other children whose names are not on the monument. Sometimes family research poses more questions than it answers.
Meanwhile, we need to remember to occasionally revisit those ever-changing websites that may add new features that can enrich our family histories.
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31 October 2011