Friday, March 19, 2010

More than a cemetery survey . . .

Some months ago, I wrote about an in-depth history of the cemeteries of Logansport, Louisiana, published by two women of advanced age. Most intriguing was the research behind the book -- more than a cemetery survey, the ladies endeavored to research the families of those buried. This week, an article on, "The history in East Tennessee cemeteries is well-documented thanks to Robert McGinnis," tells the story (along with a video of the interview) of a Knox County, Tennesse man who has documented the cemeteries of 16 East and Middle Tennessee counties, and like the ladies of Logansport, provides research and even documentation on many of those buried. 

An ambitious project it was:

"He's taken all this information and packed it into 34 books that not only tell you which grave is, where and who it belongs to, but it goes one step further. "We add in information like wills, birth certificates, information on deaths, obituaries, marriage records. Fill it out a little bit, give it more of a life story."

What the article did not tell us is where the books could be accessed or which counties had been surveyed, so I did a little research and queried the author. I learned that only four of the 16 counties surveyed have actually been published in book form: Knox, Anderson, Grainger, and Blount. Each county is a multi-volume set, and some volumes are not yet complete. As for accessing what has been published, you can check local libraries for the counties completed. I also found some 17 of the publications under the author's name in the Library Catalog of Family History Library. Some of the information (probably not the complete histories), especially for Knox County, is online.

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