Genealogists like to ask each other how they got started on this journey. Since I got involved at such a young age, I heard the question often. It wasn't an interested family member or a school project. For me, it began in a graveyard.
The place where most lives end is the place where mine really began. I was not quite 14 years old when Andrew and Rhoda Buchanan seem to have decided they had waited long enough. Six generations and a handful more of years, the impromptu birthday party hike that brought me to Green Mount cemetery for the first time, was more of a coming of age event than I had ever intended.
In search of the Martin mausoleum, which houses the stained-glass window of "the lady with the moving eyes," a legend to local kids, I made my first trip ever into Green Mount. I went looking for ghosts, and depending on your definition, I guess I may have found them, though not as I had imagined.
BUCHANAN. The way your own name can jump out at you is an interesting thing. Unintentionally you see it in a news article as if it had been highlighted just for you, or you hear it in someone else’s conversation as if it had been the only word spoken in a language you understood. In my case, I don’t remember any other names I saw in the cemetery that day, it was as if only the Buchanan stones had been carved.
Once I found them, I had to know. Know everything about them. It didn’t take long for other names to begin popping out at me too. As my research grew more extensive, I felt like every stone was waiting for me to give its inscription due attention.
Genealogy is an incredibly fulfilling search that brings the past to the present one person at a time. For every ancestor I study, I know I had a part in pulling that person’s life back together fact by fact, and I played a part to make sure their contributions back then, to my life right now, are not forgotten or dismissed. Most importantly I remembered.