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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

Cemetery Visit

I take many roadtrips across Iowa. I don't live near most of my family and close friends, so I have to travel to see them. When I have the time, I like to take the slower, less traveled roads--and stop to take dozens of photos of cemeteries or historical markers. When I do not have the time, it seems like the distance to my destination is endless.

On a recent car ride, I stopped at a cemetery in tiny Nyman, Iowa--which is so small that it isn't even an incorporated place. But because it has an old church and a cemetery, the genealogist's code mandates I visit.

The cemetery is filled with headstones engraved in the Swedish language. It made me think of

one of my great-grandfathers. He emigrated to the US in 1901, at the age of 15, without his parents. Before he left home in Västervik, Sweden, he had promised his mother that he would someday return and see her again. It was a promise he was not able to keep.

Wandering through the Mount Hope Cemetery at Nyman, I thought of the same questions I have whenever I see non-English wording on a gravestone. Where did they come from? Why did they leave? Did they ever see their home again? Then, the 150 miles to my mother's house doesn't seem so far.


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