"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gottlieb Piltz

Friday, June 4th at 2 p.m. in Oakwood City Cemetery in Traverse City, Michigan. myself with several other board members and other Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society Members, dedicated the headstone for Austrian born stone cutter, Gottlieb Piltz. 

Gottlieb was an Austrian born stone carver who came to our area of Michigan.  It was brought to the attention of the Genealogical society that Gottlieb had no headstone marking his grave in Oakwood Cemetery.  One only needs to walk around Oakwood itself to see Gottlieb's work.  Many other local cemeteries also have his works found in them.  My own Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents have a headstone carved by Gottlieb Piltz.  My GGGGGrandparent's are buried a short distance from Gottlieb Piltz and I was able to show a couple of people who are descendents of Gottlieb their stone as an example of his work.
This is my 4th Great Grandparents stone.  Lorenz (Laurentius) and Barbara Courtade.  Lornez's information is on the other side of the stone.

The interesting thing about Piltz is that he signed his work, which is very unusual.  He also seemed to prefer working in marble as it is a softer stone than Granite and easier to carve.  Not only are his stones ornately decorated, but they frequently have various amounts of text in different fonts. 

Our program consisted of a Big Piper, our Cemetery Committee Chair person, Kathi Farley, giving a history of Gottlieb, the Fife Lake (Michigan) Historical Society Present and retired minister giving a blessing and unveiling to stone, which was set that morning just before the dedication, myself playing Beethovan's "Ode to Joy" on my clarinet and our past president, Mary Briggs, giving a thanks to all those who helped make the headstone project possible.
Members of GTAGS (back row) and decsendents of Gottlieb Piltz (front) that attended the dedication.  That's me on the far Right in the pink and black.

This is me playing my clarinet during the ceremony. That's my Mom holding my umbrella over me while I was playing.  Thanks Mom!

Happy Hunting!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Week 22 for Geneabloggers challenges us to visit the website Find-A-Grave and write about our impressions of the website and any interesting entries we find while we are visiting the website.

I have to say the Find-A-Grave is one of my favorite websites. There is so much I can say about it. I have been a member of the website for just a couple months shy of 4 years.

Find-A-Grave is a free website created by a group of people that just love cemeteries. From the main website one can choose to view famous gravesites or "normal" gravesites.

Under the famous website is various divisions of organization, for example, you can search by name, let's say Al Capone for example.

 From the results page, we find several listings from the Capone family members and gang. So I choose Alphonse "Al" Capone. Which brings me to his individual memorial.

Here is can read the bio written about Capone, see photos of him as well as a photo of his Grave. For famous people, you can 'vote' at the bottom about how famous (or infamous) the person was.

Each person listed on Find-A-Grave has their own memorial page (famous or not) in which the creator can include information like birth date and place, death date and place and, of course, where the person is buried. There is also a bio area where biographical information can be typed in by the memorial creator.

One feature nice for memorial creators is the ability to request a photograph of the grave, even if the grave of their ancestor is in another state or even another country. Let's look at one of my memorials for an example.

This is John Fitzgerald, my Great-Great-Great Paternal Grandfather. I recently learned that his was buried in Old Rosemont Cemetery in Columbia County, Pennsylvania.

 I created this memorial from the main page under the 'Add Burial Records' selection.

You can also use the search for a cemetery function and add a memorial from the cemetery's page. I live in Michigan near Traverse City and my GGG Grandpa was buried in Columbia County, PA in Old Rosemont Cemetery. Old Rosemont Cemetery is about 700 road miles from where I live and a 12 to 13 hour drive. Not something I can just hop in the car and go check out. So that's where Find-A-Grave comes in! Find-A-Grave allowed me to add John's name to the cemetery and request a photograph of his headstone, if there is one.

One note here, there is no guarantee how fast my request will be filled. I've had requests filled very quickly and I've had requests I've requested quite a while ago that are still waiting to be fulfilled.

I also enjoy being a photo volunteer in my area and taking photographs of headstones for others. It is very satisfying to me to help someone else as well in their search.

There are so many other features to Find-A-Grave that you can discover by visiting their website!

Haapy  Hunting!