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Honoring My Ancestors (#47702523)
 member for 4 years, 21 days
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Bio Photo An Oklahoman by birth, Middle Tennessee has been my home since a young girl. Working on my family history provides countless hours of enjoyment each week. The occasional road trip to visit county Archives, relatives and 'Graveyarding' in local cemeteries provides the "icing on the cake" for my research. The primary families that I focus on are Pickens (MS,OK), Hilliker/Hillaker (Canada/Michigan), Taylor (Rockcastle,KY), Whaley (Canada/MI), Wheaton (MI), Fox (OH,KY), the Lamirands (Wanette,OK) and all those who have married into these families in my research. States that I love to visit on my genealogy travels are Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. Thankfully, my father-in-law completed the family history for my husband's side of the family. Those families include the Murphys(Liverpool), Maske(Germany/Poland), Spielman(Germany/Poland/Wis), and the many families affiliated with his extensive research. I have a wonderful family who supports this addiction. This introduction to a Facebook group by another member sums my it all up regarding this addiction:

"I am a self confessed Taphopilic. I need no cure, no medication. no rehab. just a walk, gently treading through the sleeping dead.", F. Cooper (Bahahahaha, love it!)


"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."
~Indian Proverb


"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there is purpose and worth to each and every life." ~ carved on the memorial wall at President Ronald Wilson Reagan's burial site. 1911-2004.


When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
~Author Unknown


"As we think well of ourselves, let us remember that we are standing on the shoulders of the generations before, for if they had not come, we would not be here."


We are the Chosen

In each family there is one that seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again; to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: "Tell our story". So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family: you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting fact. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
It goes to keep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.
It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might remember them. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place I the long lone of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.

Unknown Author
Noted at
"Our Ancestors of Albert County"
New Brunswick, Canada
Host: Sheila Geldert Hannah

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M W Bencal
Holley Kitchen FAG# 157120951

I saw that you created a memorial of Holley.

Please add the following:

Middle name: Reney
Maiden name: Rothell
DOB: 13 Feb 1973
Place of Birth: Travis County, Texas, USA

You can find her obituary at the following link -

Her parents full names can be found on

Thank you for all that you do on Find A Grave to remember those who have passed.

Added by M W Bencal on Jan 30, 2016 7:37 PM
Wrong West Cemetery
Jerry Wilmoth # 157401804 has been added to our West Cemetery Cookeville Tn. I see that his parents are buried in West Cemetery Bangham Tn. We have had No new burials at West Cookeville with his name, so I think He is buried at West Cemetery Bangham Tn. Bangham is just a few miles north of Cookeville and the 2 West Cemeteries get confused.

Thank-you for all the time and effort you put into Find A Grave. It is greatly appreciated and so helpful, too so many families.

Added by JJ on Jan 28, 2016 3:57 PM
Michelle Garner
RE: Ray memorial
No problem. It is a common mistake. We have two Forest Grove cemeteries in this area. One is in Taylor and one is in Emerson. But the one in Taylor is actually in Lafayette County. So we get a lot of cross listings.
Added by Michelle Garner on Jan 25, 2016 8:18 AM
RE: Hannah Young update
Actually, I am not a descendant, but my oldest brother is. His father was my mother's first husband. Hannah Bennett Young is his ancestor through his grandmother's side. But I am the genealogist in the family and I have been doing the research for him and his son. (He is not related to Youngs), he is related to Charles Brown and Hannah Bennett.
Added by Elaine on Jan 20, 2016 8:56 PM
RE: Appreciative
Hello Helen,

Thank you for creating Police Officer Thomas Cottrell's memorial. I am honored to sponsor it but deeply saddened by the loss of another hero in blue. Another hero gone too soon...

Take Care,
Added by Denise on Jan 19, 2016 10:41 PM

You posted a message for Denise on my profile. I thought I should tell you in case you didn't notice.

Added by JMM on Jan 18, 2016 11:15 PM
Lanette E. Tillman
RE: Evans memorial
Yes Reed Evans is my Uncle. I will update his information after the funeral. He was an honorable man and I will miss him. Lanette. Thank you
Added by Lanette E. Tillman on Jan 10, 2016 10:41 AM
Linda R. Morgan
RE: John Trudell info
Thanks Helen!

The other contributors were also notified of their duplications, but you were the only one to take action and respond.

What I have found in checking for duplicate memorials, especially where the cemetery is unknown, is that the moment you enter a 'Country' in the search feature, it will appear as if no memorial has yet been created for the individual.

But when only 'John' 'Trudell' and '2015' are entered in the search feature (without country designation), 3 memorials for him currently display, less yours. ~LRM~

Added by Linda R. Morgan on Dec 27, 2015 12:34 PM
Olive Hoffman
Giles Hilliker
Helen: in looking over the memorial you first set up so long ago on the person you call Giles William Hilliker that I just made a correction for,(no middle name) I see too much information on this site and too much incorrect information. I am suggesting you begin anew so we can work with information that has been newly researched and documented. I was going to attempt to make further corrections, but will involve adding more information to what is already there. can we work together to get this memorial cleaned and tightened up? I & another co-researcher have seen that the person(s) who first submitted the info to you? or somehow from whom you obtained it do not now appear to be active in research or are no longer sharing info. Some of us Dean-Hillikers have tried to contact both, but no responses at all. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Added by Olive Hoffman on Dec 22, 2015 2:51 PM
Larry & Helen in Ok.
Estelle Pickens
Helen I transferred you Great Aunt. I think family should be with family.
Happy Holidays. Larry
Added by Larry & Helen in Ok. on Dec 22, 2015 9:10 AM
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