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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Sunday Drive in the Country

The American countryside is a beautiful thing. Not only does it display the splendor of nature, of cattle, pigs, old mills and horses, but it offers a glimpse into the past. Those fields planted in intricately carved rows of crops are blooming again for this generation. In many old communities and towns, the setting has not changed much for hundreds of years. We can still get the "feel" for the daily chores of our ancestors. And there is information to be found even in the remotest plain.  Old churches and graveyards are scattered throughout. The names on the tombstones tell the story.  Even if your families were not from the area, it is worth a history lesson to visit an old church or cemetery and see what it has to say. And oddly enough, the people in the communities "out in the country" get accustomed to seeing old tombstones and know where people are buried!  Church yards suggest that homesteads were nearby while isolated graves suggest the location of the actual farm. There are many historical spots marked by signs along the road.  The legends on county maps are perfect for locating dirt roads, churches, cemeteries, railroads, etc.

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