Monday, May 30, 2016

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Animalia Chordata Vertebrata ~ Fish:  There are 30,000 species of fish on planet earth. You will find some, including the speckled bass, in cemeteries. Mechanicsburg Cemetery. [2015]

Friday, May 27, 2016

Shiremanstown, Pennsylvania

Animalia Chordata Vertebrata ~ Reptiles:  There are 8,240 species of reptiles on planet earth. You will find some, including the turtle, in cemeteries. Peace Church Cemetery. [2013]


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waynesboro, Virginia

Animalia Chordata Vertebrata ~ Amphibians: There are 6,199 species of amphibians on planet earth. You will find some, including the frog, in cemeteries. Riverview Cemetery. [2014]


Monday, May 23, 2016

Chicago, Illinois

Animalia Chordata Vertibrata ~ Mammals:  There are 5,416 species of mammals on planet earth. You will find some, including the wild boar, in cemeteries. Graceland Cemetery. [2015]


Friday, May 20, 2016

Hampton, Virginia

Countries of the World ~ Canada:  People with the surname Canada do not have Canadian ancestry, but geese do! The family name Canada probably comes from our word "cane," as in those who gathered cane down by the river. The Canada goose, a.k.a., Branta canadensis, was named after the country of the great white north. N.B.: Do not say Canadian goose! Inexplicably, it's an emotionally-charged issue for some. Hampton National Cemetery. [2016]


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Taylor, Texas

Countries of the World ~ Cuba:  There are more Cuba families in Cuba than in any other country, by far. In the United States, the surname Cuba occurs only about 2000 times. Taylor City Cemetery. [2015]

Monday, May 16, 2016

Claremont, California

Countries of the World ~ Burma: "They saw the train. They tried to duck it. They kicked the gas. And then the bucket. Burma-shave."  Get a copy of  Frank Rowsome's The Verse by the Side of the Road and immerse yourself in 20th century roadside culture. Oak Park Cemetery. [2015]

Friday, May 13, 2016

Milton, West Virginia

Countries of the World ~ Jordan:  Remind you of this hymn? "On the other side of Jordan I have friends I long to see; I have loved ones in that city there waiting me. They are resting from their labor; they are free from all their cares. They are parted from the burdens of the years." Milton Cemetery. [2015]

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Baltimore, Maryland

Countries of the World ~ Poland: As a country, Poland has been around since the 10th century. As a surname, Poland may or may not refer to someone with Polish ancestry. It's found in the U.S. well before the wave of central and eastern European migrants, and it is found in Ireland and England, too. Oak Lawn Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, May 9, 2016

Jefferson City, Missouri

Countries of the World ~ Monaco:  Because three are so few Monegasques, it is unlikely the Monaco surname originates with the Principality of Monaco. It probably denotes an ancestral line that had roots in Europe's monasteries. Note the Jerusalem cross. Resurrection Catholic Cemetery. [2015]

Friday, May 6, 2016

Columbia, South Carolina

Countries of the World ~ Holland:  Because of its mastery of the world ocean, Holland became the dominant global power of the seventeenth century. Today, Holland is one of the provinces of the Netherlands, but both names are used interchangeably. Now to the headstone: What's so unfitting about it? The name is Holland, but there is not a flower in sight, not even a green blade of grass. So unlike Holland! Elmwood Cemetery. [2016]

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Plant City, Florida

Countries of the World ~ Ireland:  Ireland (and England) are two among many of the historical countries that comprise the British Isles (though the Irish don't like that term much). Keep your eyes open for Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall. Oaklawn Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, May 2, 2016

Springfield, Illinois

Countries of the World ~ England: Better take your atlas to the graveyard if you want to master the toponymy of the living landscapes of the dead. Family names, such as England, are sometimes deeply rooted in ancestral homelands. Oak Hill Cemetery. [2015]