Monday, June 18, 2012

Taphophile Tragics # 26

Last week, a number of contributors mentioned the difficulty they had in locating specific graves in cemeteries. Here is the best system that I have encountered thus far. It is for the Boroondarah General Cemetery, aka Kew Cemetery, in Melbourne.

Online, they allowed me to search for Family name, enabling me to find family names of which I was hitherto unaware. I printed the coordinates at home, plus a schematic diagram of the cemetery. However, this sort of diagram is rarely enough. The complexity of cemeteries is immense, and rarely are they pegged and explained on the ground. I realise that numbering can appear impersonal, but it is essential for research.

Many cemeteries leave it at that, and expect the researcher to call into the office and request a more detailed 'map'. However, at Kew they are more advanced. Outside the main office, just inside the main gate, there is a computer cubicle, reminiscent of an ATM. This reproduces the online information BUT ALSO prints off two more detailed slips to aid the translation of the map into reality. Which was absolutely essential. Kew Cemetery is jam-packed. I include the two slips here.

Using these two slips, the coordinates AND the occasional metal peg in the ground (which I showed last week), we found the graves of my ancestors quite quickly. BTW, I am now in the process of organising a 'wake' to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of my Great-Great-Grandfather, John Dunstan Tonkin, on 4th December 2012. We will plant-up the plot (plus that of his oldest son nearby) and drink champagne in remembrance.

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Welcome to the 26th week of Taphophile Tragics.

Your contribution is most welcome. Please ensure that you include some details of the cemetery in which you took your photographs, and link directly to your post, rather than simply to your blog in general. This week, Mr Linky opens at 9:30pm Monday, Sydney time (GMT+10), and closes at 9:30pm on the Friday. When you can, please visit the other contributing bloggers to show your appreciation of their endeavours. Due to time zone variations and overcrowded schedules, some contributions are made later than Tuesday/Wednesday. As per usual, we are working with the Linky with thumbnails, and displaying the oldest entry first, with no randomising.


Dina said...

A celebration planned? Cool. Your great great grandfather is so so lucky you found him.

Melbourne Australia Photos said...

What a great idea, having technology assist with the location of graves! One such device is certainly needed in Melbourne Cemetery. My post shows a Cemetery location map amongst other things!

Thanks for hosting Julie. I have been veyr busy with work these past few weeks so have been remiss with my posts and visits.

SeaThreePeeO said...

That is amazingly helpful. All we get here is a vague number and left to it. Not very helpful when most of the graves are completely unmarked.

Herding Cats

Julie said...

Our cemeteries are no where near as old as your cemeteries. Maybe we have learnt a thing or two in the meantime.

SeaThreePeeO said...

In answer to our question about Stanley's daughters I came across this newspaper invterview -

I think it was well known that Stanley was what the British term as an eccentric.

Herding Cats

CaT said...

i took forever to write todays post... grrrr.. but here it is.
i also did a very bad job last week at visiting the other taphophiles. i hope this week i do better... :) but not now, ofcourse... good night!

Dina said...

Quite late and not showing a cemetery, but my just-finished post shows a carriage that used to drive to the Jewish cemetery.

Julie said...

I am now trying to stage my visits to contributors across the week so that I visit within perhaps 12 hours of your postings. The variety is just as spectacular this week, even though our numbers are somewhat depleted. This is not a meme for the feint-of-heart. It takes commitment and research. I admire each of you who participates.

Thank you.

hamilton said...

oops, I forgot to link. but I do have a post up. i'll be more organized next week.

Francisca said...

Can one have a remembrance for someone never met? ;-) Still think the champagne at your GGGF's grave is a swell idea! And technology... yes, do have my love-hate relationship with it. Will be joining you this week... my plate's been overflowing the past weeks...

Julie said...

mmm ... interesting semantic challenge, Francisca. I do hope so, for the sake of the international continuation of Remembrance Day.

I can't get my head around the word 'remember' where it is not really 're-member' because 'member' is not a word related to 'memory'. To have a memory of someone does not - to me - mean that you had in person knowledge of the other person. I did not have personal knowledge of FDR, or Hitler, or Stalin, or Churchill. But I do remember each of them. Which is different yet again to holding a 'remembrance' of them.

Yikes ... arrggghhhh!!!!!