Tombstone Tuesday

It is definitely getting to be summer in Texas.  I think the high today was 96 degrees.  It is not an ideal time to go tramping around a graveyard.  One of the first things I learned about when I started “Exploring Backwards” was the wealth of information you can obtain from a tombstone.  I found a wonderful website that is driven by volunteers requesting people in various parts of the United States take pictures of tombstones of their loved ones.  It is called Findagrave (  It is a great tool, and I have used it several times to look up an ancestor.  I have even gone out and tried to track a few requests down.  I have definitely not done it enough, but I got my mother involved about a year ago.  I know she has done it at least a dozen times.

I have even made friends by doing this.  I put in a request for a cemetery in Amherst County, Virginia, and I met Rita and Bill that way.  I put in a request for the Matthews name in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, and met Carl.

The first tombstone pictures I took is when I went to Chicago for a genealogy field trip.  Aunt Viv and I went down to the old neighborhood, the old Church, etc.  We also went to the cemetery where her parents and grandparents are both buried.

I have included a photograph of the tombstone of Peter and Anna Kersten, my great-grandparents on my father’s side.  I remember that day well, it was about 30 degrees cooler on an October day.  That is a much better time to go graveyard stomping.  Until next time.  Krista

Peter & Anna Kersten

Peter & Anna Kersten



Hicks Family in Amherst Virginia

Last June I had an opportunity to plan a genealogical trip with my mom, Betty, sister, Kathy, and Aunt, Carol.  Kathy and I both flew into Charlotte.  The next day we got up and traveled to Virginia.  The few weeks leading up to the trip, I was busy planning on the route, what cemeteries I wanted to visit, etc.  I had made a friend, Rita,  via

Rita was instrumental in narrowing the cemeteries down to a few key areas.  Her and her husband were priceless.  They met us in Amherst.  The first cemetery we traveled to was in Amherst.  It was Hicks Cemetery off of Hicks Farm Road.  Rita was able to gain access as this cemetery is on private property.  The property was gorgeous.  It was not hard to imagine my distant family working this land.

William Hixs was the first one that I found in the Amherst area.  He appears in Amherst County, Virginia in an Early Virginia Census in 1783.  He was my 5th great-grandfather.  He fought in the Revolutionary War.  I will have to do more research on him.  Blansford Hixs, my 4th great-grandfather and his wife, Mary Polly Peters had 12 children.  These are some of the tombstones we were able to see in this cemetery.

Nicholas Hicks DOB: 21 Aug 1813 DOD: 23 Jun 1891

Nicholas Hicks
DOB: 21 Aug 1813
DOD: 23 Jun 1891