In 1991 we (my wife and two sisters) attended the first-ever family reunion of my father's family in east Texas. This reunion was organized by a second cousin who showed us the beginnings of his genealogical research into our family history. We were struck with a sudden interest and began our own research but mostly concentrated on our mother's family.
Now, twenty-some-odd years later, after reaching the peak of family research, and after the deaths of my wife and the older of two sisters, we have turned our attention to cemetery recording. At first we recorded cemeteries in San Augustine County and submitted the completed transcriptions to two prominent websites. Their increasing lack of response and interest became intolerable, so this website is our answer to that problem.
Our methods are quite simple: we enter a cemetery and take digital pictures of each individual headstone. (It does not matter if the cemetery is African-American
or mostly Caucasian; we do them all) Those with inscriptions too eroded or lightly inscribed to be legible in a photo, we write down. The inscriptions are transcribed from the photos and notes.
We often have to clean tombstones, and frequently have to excavate them from the ground, and sometimes have to probe the ground to locate them. We have also been forced on occasion to return to a
cemetery with "bush-hogging" equipment to find the tombstones.
We have personally visited each cemetery listed here, and have digital pictures of every individual headstone in those cemeteries. If a name appears in the inscriptions here, there is a headstone with that name on it, and we have the picture to show for it. No name appears here that one can't go to that cemetery and see the headstone. No outside information appears here except that which is a result of our personal research. As of August, 2013, we have 17,000+ cemetery pictures from 100 east Texas cemeteries; more are added each week except when the daily temperatures reach the upper 90s/low 100s, as in July-August-September.
We will provide, free of charge, individual headstone pictures to anyone who asks. However, we would be hesitant to honor requests for bulk pictures. That is: if you find the names of several of your ancestors/relatives in a cemetery listing here, we will provide digital pictures of them by e-mail or prints by mail. However, if you asked for "all the pictures in (blank) cemetery", we probably would say no - unless you're writing a book about that cemetery. Some cemeteries have as many as 3,000 burials.
If you are interested in a cemetery not listed here, we will visit and photograph it for you if we can find it, and if it requires no overnight travel from Lufkin, Texas. At my age and after 30 years of travelling all over the world, I prefer to sleep in my own bed at night. Remember this: we don't ask for payment, and will not accept it if offered. My sister and I are both retired, and do this for personal satisfaction. We concentrate our efforts in five counties here in East Texas (Angelina, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Sabine, and Shelby) but will travel outside this area to nearby locations. If you need help with a cemetery, contact us by email, telephone, or US mail. I have had some luck locating burial locations in distant counties without leaving my desk.
This is an ongoing effort. (my original goal was to photograph every cemetery in San Augustine County) There are no plans to "finish" this project. I will probably quit when I can no longer stand on my own feet. Need help with a cemetery or a burial location? E-mail me, call me, write. We'll help as much as possible, and sometimes even when impossible.
The cemetery pictured above is located at Attoyac Baptist Church, about 13 miles southwest of the city of San Augustine. Many, many relatives on my mother's
side of the family are buried here: Stringers, Mills', Walls, Poindexters, Butlers, Sowells, Wises, and others are in our family tree. They are Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles; First and Second cousins,
some 1x, 2x, even 3x removed. Some cousins, still living, have installed headstones for themselves to ensure their resting place here in this hallowed ground.