Why We Need Cemetery Photography

Freshly Crushed Headstone

Freshly Crushed Headstone

This is one rea­son ceme­tery pho­tog­ra­phy can be impor­tant. Many head­stones are being actively destroyed! Click on the image for the grue­some detail.

This is in Pio­neer Ceme­tery, Ful­ton, Call­away County, Mis­souri. Many of the head­stones had mul­ti­ple tire tracks across them. It looked like some­one in a 4-wheeler or ATV was going in cir­cles all over the cemetery.

The face of at least one head­stone was freshly chipped/scraped, and they are being fur­ther cracked.

This ceme­tery has had severe van­dal­ism in the past. The still-muddy tracks show the van­dal­ism con­tin­ues. Yeah, some­one was just rid­ing around, but that per­son was actively destroy­ing what remains of this 19th Cen­tury cemetery.


Magic Mirror Cemetery Photography


Ancient head­stones can never be replaced. They may be the only his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments remain­ing from that time and place. Many head­stones are so worn as to be com­pletely unread­able — or so they appear to the unaided eye! The “Magic Mir­ror” tech­nique throws the writ­ing into sharp relief. The words quite lit­er­ally jump out at you!

The Magic Mir­ror is a “green” tech­nique. It does not risk any harm to the head­stone. All we do is shine sun light across the face of the inscription!

These two pho­tographs are of the same head­stone! Can you see how the writ­ing appears and dis­ap­pears? This head­stone looked exactly the same to the naked eye. We needed the Magic Mir­ror to read the inscription.

The Blue ital­ics text are the photo descrip­tions. You can skip over the text to con­tinue read­ing this Magic Mir­ror Ceme­tery Pho­tog­ra­phy tuto­r­ial. Click on any of the pho­tographs to see it full size.

Mary F. Herring

Mary F. Herring

Gideon F. Herring

Gideon F. Herring

Left, Mary F. Her­ring: One of two pho­tos of the same head­stone, show­ing the “magic mir­ror” effect. In each photo, the high­lighted inscrip­tion is vis­i­ble and the other inscrip­tion is not. It is the same effect with the naked eye — we had to use the mir­ror to make out the writ­ing at all.

Right, Gideon F. Her­ring: Care­fully com­pare this photo to the “Mary F. Her­ring” photo of the same head­stone, to see the dra­matic dif­fer­ence the “magic mir­ror” makes in read­abil­ity. We use the mir­ror to shine sun­light ACROSS the face of the head­stone, caus­ing shad­ows in the barely-visible inscriptions.

“Both on same head­stone one above the other, Mary F., Born Aug 15 1848, died Aug 28, 1852. Gideon F., Born Dec. 19, 1852, died July 10, 1854. Chil­dren of G.H. and H.A. Her­ring. Brother and sis­ter. Mary F. Her­ring was a daugh­ter of George Wash­ing­ton Her­ring and Hes­ter Ann Kemp, grand­daugh­ter of John Her­ring and Lucy Carver, and, Wal­ter Kemp and Jerusha Key. She was my great grandAunt.”

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Webmaster comes out of Hibernation

Home Sunrise

Return­ing from Hibernation

If you skip a para­graph or three, you’ll move straight to my thoughts on how we can be of greater ser­vice to our new online-connected generations.

The 21st Century

Three years ago I vol­un­teered as Interim Web­mas­ter. That part was easy, thanks to the gra­cious help of our pre­vi­ous web­mas­ter! For the record, I donate to SFAA the cost of domain reg­is­tra­tions, and the cost of commercial-grade server space and band­width. To me it’s all part of the package.

Upon being named per­ma­nent Web­mas­ter, I quickly con­sol­i­dated my empire, declar­ing myself to be the Grand High Hered­i­tary Web­mas­ter of the Strong Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica. It’s a legit­i­mate title, since most of my best “web­mas­ter­ing” ideas come from our son Jakob Barnard.

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Trying out the Mars Edit tool

I down­loaded Mars Edit. It allows me to com­pose web site posts directly on my Mac­in­tosh lap­top. I’m hop­ing this will sim­plify things for me. So far, it looks good! I’ll try adding a photo and see how this goes!

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This is from the Deer­field Vital Records, show­ing chil­dren born to Joseph Barnard and Sarah (Strong) Barnard. Son Joseph was born 1679 and died. The sec­ond Joseph (my ances­tor) was born the 20th day of June 1681.

The Jedediah Book is here!


Strong Updates Vol­ume I, the Jede­diah line, has been out of print for more than 5 years. This is the line which we pub­lished first, over 20 years ago. This is the line which has pos­si­bly has the most inter­est — it’s the first book that sold out.

When the Jede­diah Book was pub­lished back in 1989, it gen­er­ated a wealth of new mate­r­ial. Peo­ple bought the book, read the book, and sub­mit­ted even more genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion to the Strong Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica. We have been gath­er­ing and edit­ing that infor­ma­tion for decades — but it has never been pub­lished, until now.

It’s never really been prac­ti­cal to con­sider pub­lish­ing sec­ond edi­tions of our Updates books as new print edi­tions. The up-front costs are pro­hib­i­tive. The cur­rent trend is towards elec­tronic pub­lish­ing. Peo­ple read books on their kin­dles and nooks, and on their home computers.

It’s this fact which made a Sec­ond Edi­tion prac­ti­cal. We cre­ated the book as a pair of PDF files, which we have pack­aged on a great-looking CD which can be read by any mod­ern com­puter. The edi­to­r­ial and pro­duc­tion process has taken us nearly two years, and count­less hours.

I believe that every­one who has the orig­i­nal printed Jede­diah Book — no longer avail­able, at any price — will be very happy to pur­chase the Sec­ond Edi­tion. We have added lit­er­ally many hun­dreds of pages of updated information.

The Jede­diah Book, Sec­ond Edi­tion, is finally com­plete! Yay! We are cur­rently pack­ag­ing the book on CD. The book, on CD, will begin ship­ping on March 1, 2011.

Father Ron Lawson

This arti­cle is from an SFAA mem­ber, and will be in an upcom­ing book.

A 7th gen­er­a­tion Ver­mont Yan­kee, born in Mont­pe­lier VT to a Methodist fam­ily, Father Ron Law­son has led a fas­ci­nat­ing life…. And con­tin­ues to do so.

Grad­u­at­ing with the class of 1956 from Mid­dle­bury Col­lege, tak­ing his degree in Russ­ian, he had a two-year com­mit­ment to US Army Intel­li­gence in the field of coun­teres­pi­onage. He stayed with the Army for another two years attain­ing the rank of 1st Lieu­tenant. Assigned to West Berlin after com­plet­ing a spe­cial dual lan­guage course (Ger­man and Pol­ish) taught in the Hawkins Bar­racks in Ober­am­mer­gau, Bavaria, he con­tin­ued as a “spy catcher”.
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Would Like to Return Photograph to Family

From the STRONG mail­ing list on Rootsweb:

From: “Shel­ley Cardiel” <cardiels@comcast.net>
To: <STRONG@rootsweb.com>
Sent: Thurs­day, Novem­ber 12, 2009 10:01 AM
Sub­ject: [STRONG] STRONG Fam­ily Photograph

I’ve “res­cued” an old pho­to­graph of Caro Reynolds STRONG dated 1895.  The
pho­to­graph does not include a stu­dio loca­tion or pho­tog­ra­phers
iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, how­ever, some­one has writ­ten the word “Cot­trell” along with
the name and date on the back of the pho­to­graph.  Based on lim­ited research
I was able to locate the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing Caro and her fam­ily
as follows:

Caro Reynolds STRONG b. 3 May 1875 in Pittston, PA to par­ents Theodore
STRONG (b. 25 Jan 1820 in Somers, CT) and Eliz­a­beth Deb­o­rah WILSON (b. 20
Jul 1838 in Pine Planes, NY).  Theodore was mar­ried twice and Eliz­a­beth was
his sec­ond wife with whom he had three daugh­ters, Helen Eliza; Caro
Reynolds; and Grace STRONG all born in Pittston, PA between 1874 and 1875.
Caro was a twin with sis­ter Grace STRONG.  Caro died 20 Aug 1967 in West
Pittston, PA.

I am hop­ing to locate some­one from the fam­ily so that this won­der­ful old
pho­to­graph can be returned to their care, if you are a mem­ber of this
fam­ily, or you know some­one who might be, please con­tact me.


Orville Nathan Strong

Orville Nathan Strong (1857–1936)

Orville Nathan Strong (1857-1936)Orville Nathan Strong was the grand­fa­ther of J. E. Gilbert, our SFAA President.

Born 23 Jan­u­ary 1857 in Rod­man, Jef­fer­son Co., NY.
Died 8 Decem­ber 1936 in Jasper, Walker Co., AL.

Looking for Edward Henry Strong (ca. 1852–1912)

If you can help with this inquiry, please Com­ment on this post, or Con­tact the Web­mas­ter. Thank you!

Good After­noon,

My name is Karen Strong Rai­ley and I am look­ing for infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing my gr grand­fa­ther who was known as Edward Henry Strong. I haven’t been able to find any­thing con­cern­ing him before I find him in IA when he mar­ried Susan Beedle/Beadle. I do not know if he was mar­ried before he went to IA or if he had chil­dren before this.I don’t have parent’s or sibling’s names. That infor­ma­tion was never passed down.

Edward’s fam­ily before his mar­riage to Susan has been a brick wall for my cousins and I. We are hop­ing if we put out info and ques­tions to as many Strong’s as we can we’ll even­tu­ally come across some­one who knows about him or rec­og­nizes some cir­cum­stances that hap­pened in their branch of Strong’s that may be sim­i­lar to some of our fam­ily sto­ries or that some of Edward’s children’s names will be the same as some of Edward’s ances­tors or sib­lings in someone’s Strong fam­ily and we’ll be able to fig­ure this out that way.

Below is pretty much what I know about Edward.
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Contact the Membership and Corresponding Secretary

To con­tact the SFAA Mem­ber­ship and Cor­re­spond­ing Sec­re­tary (Helen Stout­nar), please fill out the form below and click Send.

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