Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mysterious Burials, Flaky Internet and a Laptop That Lost Its Mind

Recently, on the way to visit relatives on Cape Cod, I realized a childhood dream and visited Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, NY, where I have many relatives buried. To make my visit even better, Jim in the cemetery office helped me find my great great great grandfather's burial record and he tracked down the plot map and interment record for the plot where both of my great great great grandparents in this line are buried. (I will talk about my experiences at Sleepy Hollow in another post, so stay tuned.)

Well, my family being my family, this couldn't be a clean and simple interment record, now could it? Of course not! If there is one lesson I've learned from researching my family history, it's that almost every discovery opens another can of worms to research. Hints, tips and research to do's multiply faster than a pair of rabbits or guppies.

While I was quickly able to identify most of the burials in the plot as family members and could connect each name with their place on the family tree, there were two mysteries: an unfamiliar relative and a mysterious grave removal. I checked my tree on the mobile app on my smartphone. Nothing. Drat! Time to grab my laptop, hook up to the internet and do some uprooting.

Not so fast missy, says someone somewhere in the universe. It can't be quite that easy. After all, this is my family history research we're talking about. There must be challenges and roadblocks somewhere. Ah yes, there they are, straight ahead. I should have known this wasn't going to be easy.

Since I was stuck in a resort on Cape Cod with spotty internet service, solving those mysteries would have to wait until I could get home where I had reliable internet service and a working PC. The first night we were at the resort, my laptop was acting "funny." Virus scan clean. Malware scan clean. Spyware scan clean. Check disk cleaned up a few problems.

On the second night, my laptop decided to lose it's mind. After beating my head against the wooden table and trying my best to coax my laptop into finding itself again, I gave up and resorted to restoring my laptop to factory settings on the third night. Hello universe, I have a mystery to solve! I don't have time for a sulking laptop, fifty eleventy million windows updates and internet service that goes up and down faster than the needle on the EKG machine during a cardio stress test.

Oh joy of joys! Now I'm dealing with unreliable internet that goes down at 9 pm every night, a laptop that needs windows updates from the dawn of time and I'm dying to get to work on the mysterious burials in the family plot. Sigh, breathe, enjoy visiting with my family, and have fun on the cape.

Now, fast forward to the day after I return home from our trip. Woohoo! Finally I can get started on solving the mystery. Who are these people? How are they related to me? Why was one grave moved? What's their story?

To be continued in my next post ...

Until then, enjoy uprooting your family tree!


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