Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cemetery in a Corn Field

Blogging Statistics

I would certainly like to know what prompted so many to view my blog yesterday.  A month ago, I was lucky to get 80 view pages per day; then Randy Seaver mentioned my blog and the next day I had 130.  For the  next two to three weeks readership stayed around 100, then yesterday jumped to 230!  I hope it wasn't an anomaly. 

Yesterday, I was looking at some statistics about my viewers and discovered that figures are provided about viewership by country.  As you would suspect about 90% of viewership is from the U.S.  What was surprising is that Russia was #2 at around 7%!  I hope they are valid genealogists because I recently heard a presentation about computer security and the speaker mentioned that China and Russia were the top two countries involved in attempting to hack computers and run on-line scams in the U.S.

Cemetery in a Corn Field

In 1999 when I retired from Lockheed Martin in the Washington D.C. area, Joanne and I headed back to San Diego via a well planned route that included stops at the cities where my Ritchhart ancestors had lived during their migration from Pennsylvania to Colorado. One of those cities was Noblesville, Indiana; just outside Indianapolis.  I had a cousin I hadn't seen in at least 40 years whom we were staying with for a couple days and he lived just a few miles past Noblesville.  As we drove into town about 2 p.m., I figured we would stop at a gas station or fast food place and ask where Lowery Cemetery was.  Now that I am 14 years wiser about genealogy research, I would be better prepared; but this was basically my first research trip.

Noblesville and Lowery Cemetery

After stopping at two different businesses and getting nothing but blank stares, we headed to the County Courthouse.  We went to the County Clerk's office and, after some searching around, she produced a map that was approximately 4 feet by 3 feet and showed us where the Cemetery was.  I was about 4 miles outside town.  After paying $4 for the map, which we had to fold into a smaller portion, because it took up the total front seat; we headed out. 

Lowery Cemetery

When we arrived at the Cemetery we realized why no one knew where it was!  I was only about a two acre lot at the intersection of two country roads, surrounded by corn fields.  It was well maintained, we surmised, by the people on the farm adjacent.

You can see the corn field in the background of the photo above and how nicely the cemetery was maintained.  At the time I commented to Joanne that I imagine the people in the cemetery, including my gggrandparents, lived on farms close to the cemetery.  Later research revealed that my ancestors owned all the land surrounding the cemetery; thus, they probably donated the land.

Mary and Andrew Ritchhart's Headstones

After only about a 15 minute drive from the cemetery we arrived at my cousin's home.  I began telling him about our experience and asking him if he had been to the cemetery.  His answer was no and this was a person who actually had an interest in our family history and gave me some very helpful documents and photos.  The distance from his house to the cemetery was about the same as from Noblesville to the cemetery--4 miles!

Red box represents the home of my cousin

I believe he was a little embarrassed about the fact he hadn't been there despite the close proximity.  The next time we visited him we drove over and took some photos, including the one below.
Del and Ken Ritchhart

The moral of the story is to be well prepared when you go on your research trips and don't take anything for granted!  Something we all now know; but I had to learn the hard way.