If you are like me and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE genealogy than you will understand this post. Otherwise, you just might not.
Sometimes the perfect place to visit is the cemetery. Some people talk to loved ones and some take along picnic lunches. I love to look at the stones. Especially the ancient ones. Usually they are a piece of artwork and often the artists behind them have their own story to tell. I take pictures of these headstones and put the pictures of them up on http://www.findagrave.com so people can connect to the relatives in their past. To date, I have contributed over 5,000.
My favorite graveyards happen to be in Scotland. I am going to introduce you to the one in Stirling known as Old Town Cemetery. It’s a great place to go. Sitting atop a hill between the huge Stirling Castle and the Church of the Holy Rude it is the only cemetery in the UK that was laid out to celebrate the establishment of Presbyterianism. It is a vast place containing graves from the 1600’s up until the present. Because it encompasses so many eras you can really see how headstones change with the times.
There are many Key Stones contained within the cemetery including Martyr’s Monument which recognizes those who suffered martyrdom in pursuit of religious and civic freedom in Scotland. The Reformer Statues stand in honor of those ministers who fought King Charles who was attempting to establish Episcopal teachings throughout the country. Here you will also find the ornate monuments of local businessmen who carved enormous headstones to honor their families.
But my favorite monuments are the small unique ancient ones. Often devoid of names it is the unusual carvings that capture my fancy. Skulls, ancient symbols…they are all there.
So next time you are visiting a city take a trip to the local cemetery. It usually has a great view and you just might “meet” some interesting people too!