Let’s Go to the Cemetery!

That’s what came out of the mouth of a sibling recently while we were driving around Boulder, Colorado seeing some of the sights and generally playing tourist. Quite a few of our ancestors are from the area and are buried in Columbia Cemetery, in Boulder. Like the families of many genealogists, my family only has a passing interest, so when I casually mentioned the cemetery where our people are buried was a couple of blocks away, I was surprised when Sibling suggested stopping there!

It had been a few years since I had visited Columbia Cemetery so I wasn’t sure I could remember where all the grave sites were located. Columbia Cemetery has an excellent website complete with an index of every individual buried there and a map. Since this was an impromptu visit, we used our cell phones to look up the various burial sites and then pulled up the map. With thunderstorms looming, we fanned out looking for each family group. As each family was located, the cameras came out and questions flew. Who is this? How are they related to us? Where was this person born? And on and on.

The clouds got darker as we moved through the cemetery. Large raindrops started to fall. Somehow we managed to locate each family and make it back to the car before the sky opened up.

I’m not sure what sparked the interest in our family’s history on that day. Maybe it was the hands on, or feet on the ground aspect as opposed to charts and family group sheets. Maybe there’s something appealing about a cemetery. Whatever it is, my family is slowly getting trained, learning to appreciate our past even if they never develop an interest in the research.

Michelle Goodrum

About Michelle Goodrum

Writer, family historian, and researcher Michelle Roos Goodrum has been researching her family for over 20 years. Being the caretaker of over 135 years of her family’s papers and photographs, Michelle enjoys piecing her ancestors’ stories together. Michelle is also a Teaching Assistant for Boston University's Genealogical Research Program. Follow Michelle on her blog The Turning of Generations (http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/ ) Michelle is the author of IDG’s monthly column, Timeless Territories.

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