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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

Details

What does one do on a snowy day? One goes on a walk in a cemetery, of course.


Walking in a graveyard is normally quiet, especially in the rural locations I tend to favor. But on this day, the heavy snowfall and fog absorbed what seemed like all sound and most sight. The little clearing in the woods where I had stopped felt particularly far-removed from my own place and time.


The stone below caught my eye immediately. It was much larger than the others and hard to miss. Eight children are listed on the reverse of their parents' monument, with their birth and death dates. Even their middle initials are included. I mentally awarded some genealogy bonus points to the Israel family for their devotion to detail.

graveyard in the snow

Later in the day, I stopped at another cemetery and found the marker below.


Flush with the ground and easy to miss, it simply says,

WILLIAM S. THORN

WIVES CHILDREN AND DOGS

LIVED IN THIS VICINITY

IN THE 20TH CENTURY


There are just a few vague words on this marker. No date of birth. No date of death. But I got lost in how much those words conveyed about a lifetime. That, I thought, is detail. I lingered at that grand monument for a while. In the perfect calm and the heavy snowfall I thought of William--and his wives, his children, and his dogs, who all lived somewhere in time.







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