Friday, May 15, 2020

Find A Grave Serendipity

(Click on images for larger versions)

On March 5, Deedee Davis contacted me via my profile on Find A Grave, with a pleasant surprise. She works with the Indiana Album project, which digitizes and collects old images and documents about our state and citizenry, and shares them in a public forum on the Internet. She had recently scanned “Fellow Citizens of Indianapolis, 1926” and found a photo of my great-grandfather Clarence W. Abraham on the first page of photos in the book. She was planning to add the photo to his Find A Grave memorial and noticed I’d posted some images of him, and contacted me. In turn, I was fortunate enough that night to score a copy of the book on eBay. I have searched since, and have been unable to locate another copy. DeeDee was kind enough to ask me to submit more family photos to the archive.

While flipping through the book, my wife and I also noticed that her grandfather Donald Ambrose Morrison, Sr., as well as several other of her relatives, was also featured.

Two months later, on May 8, JJ Johnson contacted me, also through Find A Grave. He collects skeleton keys, and he recently noticed that one his mother purchased for him at a 4H flea market in Evansville, IN, a couple of years ago, was engraved with my father’s name and badge numbers, and the year 1954. After some searching, he found my father’s memorial on Find A Grave, and contacted me. Mr. Johnson was kind enough to send the key along, and I had the opportunity to share a few stories about my dad.

I had no previous knowledge of the book or the key. Either one would be a rare find, but both, in such a short time frame, seems all the more extraordinary, especially, in the hands of such kind and thoughtful people.

A couple of blogs with mentions of my father: