By Way of Introduction

“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: It gives back life to those who no longer exist.” — de Maupassant

I had to name myself. There’s no official club for Folks Who Get All Up in Dead People’s Business, but in the barest sense, that’s what I do. For fun.

It works like this: A couple times a year, I will walk a cemetery, looking for interesting stones. If you died young, I want to know why. If your stone makes me stop and look, I will start asking questions. I take pictures and note names.

If there’s a portrait of a lady in a giant hat? She is definitely coming with me.

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Snoop 101: Belle Ullmer

Belle Ullmer Headstone at Rosehill

Before I get too deep into telling stories, I wanted to show how I work. Belle Ullmer here has (been) volunteered to run us through the process.

I think I noticed this one because I liked her name. Belle is just so pretty.

I thought she would be a good Snooping 101 test case because she has a distinctive name; she lived in years that are well documented in vital records; and as she is a woman, finding her might be a little trickier.

The lives of women can be hard to trace. Maiden names vanish from the record. Housewives rarely made the news. But they were here.

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