Thursday, July 29, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Digital pics from an old camera

You know how pics stay in your digital camera, almost doomed to oblivion? Imagine Ol' Myrt's surprise when I unearthed the following pictures from an old digital camera taken during my May 2008 visit to the William Gist FROMAN grave site at the National Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas. William is one of my Union Civil War Vets. I had previously posted two of the pictures from that trip, but neglected to make a blog entry about the computer system designed to aid in locating gravestones at this cemetery.

This treasure has brought tears to me eyes as I recall the emotion of finding William's grave. It was easy, once I found the correct cemetery.

Fig. 1 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved
There are two National Cemeteries at Leavenworth. The first one we perused is at the fort, but the one with William's grave is on the south side of the town of Leavenworth. Close by the old soldiers' home and the newer VA hospital still stand. The entrance is quite modern and as you can see from my pics it was a beautiful day.

A few hundred yards in, you'll find a modern building where I hoped to obtain a map of the cemetery, though from looks of the empty parking area I didn't hold out much hope. The building appeared unoccupied.

Fig. 2 - Leavenworth National Cemetery Office, Leavenworth, Kansas.
(c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

On close inspection, I realized a semi-enclosed porch housed a "Grave Site Locator" with a computer terminal.

Fig. 3 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

From there is was easy to use the touch screen to type in my ancestor's last name. One could make note of the location, or print out directions. Mighty spiffy I'd say. (Sorry about the glare, but it was a very sunny day!)

Fig. 4 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

So we followed the curving lane and then I walked the area to locate William's grave.

It was all I could do not to cry as Holly Hansen took this picture for me. I had worried that the shadows would make the stone hard to read in the picture, so we took several shots with different settings on my camera.

Fig. 5 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

Why is it that we have these nifty digital cameras, but it is oh-so difficult to review the picture just taken on a bright day? Believe me, I took about 25 shots. Better to take too many than not enough photos, eh? I also made notes of the letters on the tombstone in my small spiral notebook reserved just for this purpose.

 Fig. 6 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

We did a little more exploring and discovered a small chapel on the grounds. I wondered if a memorial service had been held there for William? Then I remembered from William's pension file that his wife lived with a series of much younger men while her husband languished in the hospital. Times were difficult then for all concerned I guessed.

Fig. 7 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

I remember taking this picture, and using it in my blog entry on 4 July 2008. It was an incredible shot -- no cropping. And a fitting patriotic ending to my visit.

Fig. 9 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

Ol' Myrt here was going to save this blog entry for Veteran's Day, but just couldn't wait to share it with my DearREADERS. After posting Write as you have never written before... earlier today, I decided there is no time like RIGHT NOW to take a picture or two and tell my grandchildren about my trip to learn more about one of their ancestors -- gives them a sense of history. 


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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