Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Ancestor

( From The Old Settlers Burial Yard in Lancaster, Massachusetts "Here lies the body of Mr. John Prescott who Died Oct ye 11 1749 in ye 77th year of his age")

The above is the grave of my 10th great grandfather, John Prescott, the founder of Lancaster, Massachusetts. For anyone interested, there is a wonderful website which is run strictly by volunteers. It is called Find a Grave. Here you can find the graves of your ancestors in not only all of the states, but also several other countries of the world. Now, it you happen to find your ancestor's grave, and there is no photo of the stone, you can write and ask a volunteer to take a picture for you, and they will. I did for my great great grandmother and not only did they have the photo on the site the next day, they also had the stone of her son, also. And, they have what they call a virtual memorial where you can place flowers and jot a note in rememberance. Great, highly recommended site to anyone interested in genealogy...and free.

Today I wanted to share something with you, a little poem I had found a few years ago. I refer to this poem often. As a genealogist, it has a special meaning to me. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. This poem never fails to send shudders through my body and tears to my eyes. If you've read it before you know what I mean. If not, please enjoy.

Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest;
neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
on polished, marbled stone
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn
You did not know that I'd exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you.
(Author Unknown)


  1. How wonderful that you have that photo of your ancestor's grave! And thanks for the info about the Find a Grave website. I'm definitely going to check it out. I'm interested in genealogy too. But alas, I only pursue it in a sporadic, half-assed kind of way, not in any kind of systematic way. That will have to wait until I'm retired and have more time (someday, someday . . .)

  2. What a wonderful poem! I got goosebumps too!

    Thanks for the website info - what a great service that is!