G is for Graveyard


G is for Graveyard

Top Left: Earl in police uniform; Top Right: Earl Grant as a young Navy Seaman sending a telegraph circa 1911; Bottom left, Earl in his Navy uniform: Bottom right: Crossing the Equator.

I love graveyards! The older the better. They are so…peaceful. So full of stories. A trip to your ancestor’s grave may not be feasible, but there is an ever-growing number of cemeteries and gravestones that have been documented and made available online.
Two such sites are:
* Billion Graves a free site that encourages participants to not only search the database, but contribute to it as well. A handy phone app provides easy access for photographing a grave and uploading it to the website.
* FindAGrave.com is another site that is constantly adding new cemeteries and stones, so check in with both of these sites frequently.

Since I already used my favorite Graveyard story yesterday under Field Trips, today’s family anecdote is:

G is for Great White Fleet
My grandfather (Hey! G is also for Grandfather…and Grant!), Earl H. Grant, joined the US Navy as a young man and was assigned to the USS Tennessee, part of Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet. Grampa’s stories of the two years he spent circumnavigating the globe became his Magnum Opus, which he had memorized and would recite to any and all who would hear.

Here is one of his stories that I believe I have actually memorized as well, having heard it so often!

I was in the flagship of the Pacific Fleet for 2 years and during that time we traveled around the Pacific ports–Galapagos Islands, Manila, Shanghai–I ate my Thanksgiving dinner in the American Club in Yuhang Road in Shanghai in 1908 and my Christmas dinner in Yokohama Japan that same year…

I was walking up Yuhang Road and I heard running feet behind me. I looked around and saw  two Chinamen with a small carriage between them strung on poles running towards me. One Chinaman was in front and one was in back, holding on to the poles. They came running up the street and set this carriage on the sidewalk beside me. I looked in and saw that the inside was lined with beautiful pink silk. A Chinese lady sat inside, her hand resting on the windowsill. Each finger of her hand was encased in a glass thimble. The men that carried her there reached in and took her out bodily and carried her into the store. As they passed by me I noticed that her feet were bound in white cotton up to her knees and the shape of her foot was like a U. That woman could not walk. She had to be treated like a baby.

Part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge


About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Family, Genealogy & Family History, Good Old Days, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to G is for Graveyard

  1. Marie Abanga says:

    Dear Gail,

    Whenever l read your posts l am happy to comment and share something from my end of the world.

    Guess what, in my country we bury most people in the compounds like behind the house etc. It is thus easy to ‘visit’ them each time we can or want.

    There are a few public graveyards but hmm, mainly for criminals etc or those run by Churches for their clergy and etc.

    Cheers, Marie

  2. kanzensakura says:

    I like them too. I enjoy also doing rubbings of the headstones.

    • gapark says:

      In some places rubbings are not allowed. I have my rubbing from before I realized how damaging it could be to the stone. I was very careful though…Now with digital camera phones so available, a photo is just as good.

  3. wordstock16 says:

    I am planning a family vacation in July. While I am supposed to be visiting family, I am going to leave them in the dust and visit graveyards instead. I just discovered two more graveyards with family near Springfield, Mo, and that’s where I am going to be. Can’t wait!

  4. Reading headstones can be interesting as I have discovered.But I do so on the rare occasion I have to visit a graveyard. I like the content of your post, as well as the McDonalds joke posted the day before. I am an AtoZer @ http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

    • gapark says:

      Michelle, thanks for visiting! I have been to your blog to read several of your A-Z posts as well! The McDonald’s joke was actually a true story that happened to my mom–she is a funny lady and fortunately allows me to share her mortifications in public. Gail

  5. Hubby and I enjoy visiting old graveyards. There’s so much history there, and I love making up stories about how people lived and died.

  6. tizzypotts says:

    What a sad tale. But it’s so wonderful you remember so much from your Grandfather’s stories. I wish I could remember more about what mine told me about his post in India during the war. When you’re younger you don’t usually appreciate those kind of stories until too late, then you wish you had memorised them better.

    • gapark says:

      Well I cheated. I had my grandfather tell his stories into a cassette recorder which I then digitized. But I do remember most of them from his frequent telling.

  7. Sammy D. says:

    The true rendition of SnowFlower and the Secret Fan. Treasures passed down through your generations. Oral history, and now you are connecting it to electronic records. What a world we live in!

    • gapark says:

      There are lots of bad things about the internet, but blogging, and genealogy and record preservation are tops on the GOOD things about it!

  8. By my parents’ house there is an small old cemetery and one day I went and explored it, reading all the headstones and wondering about the people because they all passed about 75-100 earlier.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

  9. Jean says:

    Oh, the cultural things that result in such disabilities is appalling. What a story, though!

    Jean, visiting for the A-Z Challenge from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer

  10. Grave yards make me uncomfortable. But sites that help you find out about your ancestors are pretty cool. I hope that the practice of binding feet like that no longer happens. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to have your feet broken and twisted and tied up.

    • gapark says:

      Very barbaric. Thanks for visiting me (again!) Are you enjoying the A-Z challenge?

      • Very much. My plan was to have all the posts written before April started. I got sick and that didn’t happen. I’ve been scrambling to write and visit. This is my first time participating. Next year I’ll be ready. What about you? Are you having fun?

      • gapark says:

        Love it! I enjoy hopping around and visiting the so many different kinds of blogs. I have learned some pretty cool things (The subject of my 10 Things of Thankful this Sunday!) and met some wonderful people. All my posts were pre-written by the middle of March! 🙂

  11. I love graveyards and cemeteries!

    Great approach and topic with your blog. I’ve signed up to receive them by mail!

    Thanks for stopping in to see me!

  12. gapark says:

    Thank you! It’s been so cool thus far hopping around and learning about so many different blogs/themes/bloggers!

  13. I have planned several family vacations around visiting old cemeteries. My daughter used to say she liked to see where dead people were buried.

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