Ancestry

The other day, a friend and I went on a wild goose chase looking for her ancestors. There was a rumor that her family had a cemetery dating back to the 1800’s, and her father recalled going there as a child, but he wasn’t sure if it was a real experience or a dream. The cemetery was supposedly on private property where people were living. The directions to the cemetery were pretty entertaining. We had to travel to the end of a country road where we would see a caved in house next to a brick house. Then we would see another brick house and a “trailer in a hole.” The cemetery was located next to this “trailer in a hole.” We missed it the first time. Turned around, missed it again. Turns out the “trailer in a hole” was actually more of a shack on a downward slope. We had also been warned about the people living there. They were described as being like the people from that movie, “Deliverance.”

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My friend and a monument of the family cemetery, listing the names. It was placed sometime in the 1900’s. It was hidden next to an old stable/shed, facing in the opposite direction of the cemetery and out of view.

We knocked on the door and asked about the cemetery. The woman who answered was very friendly, helpful, and willing to let us walk around. She told us the cemetery was located on the side of the house. It was literally 5-7 feet away from the side of the house, hidden under immense brush and trees. The fenced in part was extremely small, maybe 6×20. The headstones were very close to to the iron gate surrounding it. The stones closest to the side of the house were very well preserved, perhaps because it was also well covered by trees, sheltered from sunlight and weather.Β Most of the graves were not in this small, enclosed plot. They were scattered in the area and traces of headstones appeared, or so we thought, walking around, trying to guess if a piece of slate buried in the earth or a strange looking rock was a marker. I would like to go back and reshoot. We didn’t really know what we were going to find the first time. There are certain details and scenes I would like to try again …

After our adventure, we stopped at the dam. We met in an art class. Christina paints, sculpts, and works with found objects. I plan on photographing one of her sculptures soon. Anyway, we will be collaborating this summer for some photographs, so you will be seeing more of her.Β 0hc12

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17 thoughts on “Ancestry

  1. Your friend is beautiful. Those pictrues of her in and near the water are amazing. How did you capture the ripples so vividly in a b&w picture?

    awesome set of photos

  2. Sounds like a great day. I love trips like that. What an unusual monument – so tall! The photo of Christina next to it is compelling – such a strong contrast between her and the stone…and the one of her in the water is great!

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ I liked the one of her near the stone too, mainly because of its story. I don’t know my own ancestry very well. It is fascinating to me that she can trace hers back so far.

  3. That monument preserving names and dates is critical for history. Often those things are lost due to time and decay. Excellent adventure. (that photo of your friend in the water is stunning!)

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