Grave Walking to Persevere the Past - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/18/02

Grave Walking to Persevere the Past

In the tiny town of Wilson, seventh graders are writing down names of people they don't know. "Virgie D. White. This man Jack was in the military. World War II, U.S. Navy," said seventh grader Lana Giesler.

Headstones are the concrete pages of history at the Green Cemetery, and dozens of seventh graders who are trying to keep those pages from crumbling.

"If somebody needs to know if one of their ancestors was buried at Green Cemetery, they can come over here and see their grave. They can find out when they were born, when they died. If they want to do a family history, all they have to do is look it up at the libraries," said Lana.

But it is not that easy. Genealogical Society President Judy Womack says families who are looking for buried ancestors on the South Plains have no way of finding them.

"We have very few cemeteries that are recorded and are on record at the Lubbock library where we keep our genealogy records," said Womack.

That is why Womack is getting the students involved: to teach them about their community's history, and to be a part of history.

"Once they record this they can put it in published form. We'd hope that Wilson Junior High School could sell the publication they make of their cemetery. Once they've given us a copy, they can sell this to other libraries across Texas," said Womack.

After walking all morning, the students wrote down every name. Now, the story of those living six feet under can be remembered forever. Womack is encouraging other schools to record the names in their community's cemetery. Womack says she's available to help coordinate a graveyard walk. She can be reached at (806) 792-6606 for more information.

By the way, Womack says she just finished documenting the 30,000 grave sites at the City of Lubbock Cemetery.

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