(+) Communicating in the Cemeteries

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Communicating in the cemeteries??? No, I am not referring to communications with or amongst the “long-term residents” of a cemetery. Instead, I’m writing about communications for visitors to a cemetery. Namely, the genealogists who visit a cemetery looking for information about deceased relatives.

When searching for tombstones of ancestors and other relatives, I generally try to visit a cemetery with a friend or two. We mentally divide the cemetery into sections, and then each person searches through his or her section alone. The other friends are doing the same in a different section. I have done this many times and suspect that you have, too. Having two or more people involved increases the enjoyment of the search as well as the safety of everyone involved.

There are disadvantages, however. Upon discovering a particular tombstone, you may have to shout to the other person to make them aware of your discovery. In a large cemetery, the other person(s) may be some distance away, making shouting impractical.

The need for communications may vary. Of course, you want to notify your friends if you find a tombstone for one of their relatives. However, there are many more serious needs for instant communications. If someone steps into a gopher hole and twists an ankle, he or she may not be able to walk for help. In some areas of the country, snakebite is a serious concern. Finally, a simple request for bug repellent could be serious in some situations. Whatever the need, you should have instant communications capabilities when you are in a cemetery and are separated from your friends.

There is no perfect communications solution that I know of. However, with a bit of advance planning, you can select the solution that works best for you. In fact, there are at least three solutions. Two of them are closely related. I will call them Solution #1, Solution #2a, and Solution #2b.

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