One of my favorite things in genealogy is to visit the grave sites of my ancestors. There is a special sacredness about being at the final resting place of an ancestor, not to mention it is refreshing to do genealogy outside now and then. Finding these grave sites represents a recurring theme among the family history miracles I've experienced. I recall how several years ago, in 2005, my family visited the Mt. Carmel Cemetery on O'Donnell St. in Baltimore. My father, mother, and I, split up to find the location of George and Margaret Grauling's, my 3rd-great grandparents', grave. My mother was the first one to spot it and she hollered excitedly for us to come over to see it. I know that was one of the most meaningful cemetery finds for her. Finding a grave site for the first time is exciting. The search often includes fun "detective" work, but sometimes it just takes a relaxing stroll through the cemetery. Honoring our ancestors by visiting their graves has been a bonding experience for our family. Over the years, we have visited the graves of close to 50 direct ancestors as well as countless others. With the assistance of Find A Grave volunteers and others, our family has access to pictures of another 20 or so direct ancestors' graves.
On that same trip my parents and I stopped at the Rock Creek Cemetery to find my great grandparents' grave--Clifford and Helen McCormick. We did not find them at that time because the cemetery office was closed, but I went back a couple months later after getting the section number by calling. What happened next is exemplary of other discovery experiences I've had. After parking on a cemetery road that bordered that section, I came out of my car and walked forward. The very first stone I came to was the stone of my great grandparents and the light from the sun seemed to shine down directly on that very spot during that beautiful pre-Spring day in March 2010. For several minutes I stood there and took in the calm of the day and felt thankful for my great grandparents.