I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and although Donald remained reserved about my accolades, I read aloud about a major award they received, The Oakley Award. It stated, "Mark and Donald have worked as volunteers for over a decade and mapped 18,782 stones in thirty-five cemeteries in the Topsham and Brunswick area of Maine. They have mapped each stone's location, repaired sunken and lying on the ground stones, transcribed the name and family relationships and noted the military and fraternal information. Mark has self-published annually a series of books showing the results of their work. For each cemetery, the book includes directions, any known historical information related to the cemetery, maps to located the stones (numbering each stone on a map), a record of the individual stone's inscription – including epitaph, and at the end an index by family surname giving the location of each stone within the cemetery." The award is from The Association for Gravestone Studies*.
After a few photos were taken, I knew I had to write about this project of theirs. A few weeks later, cousin Mark, sent me a listing of where the books are located, the cemetery names, and a sample page. If you have ancestors buried in Brunswick or Topsham, Maine, this is for you. However, the books aren't online. Mark told me, a historical society, a cemetery task force and a library have been "working on getting the information online for more years than it took us to do the field work and paper work."
Additional information as to the locations of these books, all cemetery names and an example page will be in the next post.
* "The Oakley Certificate of Merit is presented periodically by the AGS Board of Trustees to individuals and groups that have helped to advance the mission of the Association. Named for long-time members Rosalee and Fred Oakley, the Certificate of Merit is designed to honor those whose work in the field of gravestone studies that is worthy of recognition by AGS.
The award consists of a certificate, presented by the Board of Trustees, as well as, a gift of a book to the honoree's local library, in their name on behalf of AGS. Whenever possible the award presentation will be made by a local AGS member. Each year's recipients will have their names printed in the conference program book and annual report. In addition, they will be acknowledged at a reception held in their honor at the conference."
Congratulations and thank you, Donald and Mark!