Monday, October 26, 2009

walking cemeteries and wondering why?

People spend hours walking cemeteries but often we forget the events that have lead up to the actual burial. To appreciate our ancestors their lives and their deaths we need to understand what took place and why. Unlike today, most people died at home 100 years ago. Those who were ill typically did not go to the hospital but died at home cared for by family members and friends. Upon their death the family members prepared the body for burial. Wakes were held at home, after which the body was typically moved to a church for the funeral services, then taken directly to the cemetery for burial. In colder climates such as Newaygo County bodies were stored in tombs until the ground thawed. On many farms the dead were buried in the back yard or in a nearby field.

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