The photo on the left isn't anything special to anybody but me. There are no flowery or ornate designs, no statues or outstanding features on it. So when I received a request to use it for a project, I was a bit surprised. My email came from oversees and began with the following message:
"Hello Barbara, I am in the UK and I am preparing a Register of WW1 serving female casualties for publication at my own expense as a lasting memorial to these oft-forgotten women. The Register will show them in alphabetical order and comprise a short biography together with photographs of them, their graves and their memorials. One of these is Frances Poole who is in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington. You have provided a photograph of her grave marker to Find A Grave and I should be most grateful if you would allow me to use it in my Register. I will, of course, place your name against it, as an acknowledgement. It seems likely that she is an ancester of yours and so if you have a photograph of her that I might use that would be a bonus. I hope that you will give me permission. I look forward to hearing from you, Kind regards, Jim"
Of course he could use the photo, I give everybody permission to use my Find-A-Grave photos (shown above). But I needed to tell him that my Great-Aunt wasn't a ancestor (nor ancester)! So, I dashed off the below message to him, to make sure this was a legitimate request, I mean who doesn't know about ancestors?
"Yes, you may use my cemetery photo, thank you for asking first. Frances was my great-aunt, so unfortunately she wasn't an ancestor, but a sister of my grandfather. No, I don't have a photo of her, only one of her brother and a small photo of her sister, obtained through a passport application I found on Ancestry.com.
Frances wasn't in the war, she had just become a nurse but went to care for soldiers who had the flu. I wrote about that in my blog, which you may see here, and have permission to use anything in the blog.
"Hello Barbara, Thank you for coming back to me. I am most grateful to you for allowing me to use your photograph of her grave. You have corrected me on one thing. I always thought that an ancestor was anyone, back through the generations, that had the same blood source. A quick look at the meaning on wikipedia I see that it is just going back through parents and parents of parents, etc.
He quoted and answered my question: "I'm curious, how did you happen to find her on FindAGrave?"
My project is 20+ years in the making (so far). I have a listing of all WW1 serving female casualties which is virtually complete. This is for British, Canadian, South African, Indian, Australian, New Zealand and other British overseas territories. In addition, virtually all of the US women who served and died serving their country in wartime or died as to a consequence of the war. Your great aunt was one of these. She did not have to work overseas to be classed as a casualty of the war. Just dying "in harness" was enough. So I have her name and her date of death. With this it was not difficult to search Find A Grave (or Billiongraves) to find out where she was interred. I have a successful hit of about two out of three. I do not have a great deal on your great aunt so far but what I have I have put below. If anything is wrong I should be grateful if you would let me know. Kind regards, Jim"
Two reasons for posting this, the first is to show that not everybody knows what an ancestor is and second, if you are a blogger, you'll always be surprised by some of the emails you receive. The above link is to one of my more popular posts called Frances and the Flu. The cemetery is in Washington, D.C., and I made a special trip from Massachusetts to see where my great-grandparents were buried, and his sister, the above Frances. The trip was six years after I left my Washington job, and never knew they were there, buried within miles from where I worked!
Note: Jim gave me permission to use what he wrote.