1884 - My Great-Great Grandfather, David A. Roscoe died, making his the earliest death of my ancestors in Nebraska. Fortunately I went to the Oak Grove Cemetery in DeWitt, Nebraska in 1996 and found the ROSCOE family graves before their tombstones disappeared. There were 4 - David and his wife Mary shared one, and their sons Cecil and Ervin, who for some reason had 2.
I've been to 35 of my direct line ancestors graves in cemeteries in Nebraska, Kentucky and Illinois. Even more family members in Texas and Kansas. Someday I'd like to get to my Great Aunt Laura Kyle's grave in Carman, Manitoba, Canada. My photo request there has never been taken. Since I was going to cemeteries anyway, I signed up as a volunteer at findagrave.com to fulfill photo requests for others. That has become a way of taking road trips around the state. Whenever I'm going out of town (or even out of state), I take along a photo request list for that area in case I have time. Sometimes the cemetery photo requests are the purpose for my road trip and determine the destination. People are happy to get a photo of a grave they can't travel to, and I just enjoy the drive! Just did that this weekend with my sister. We went to Carhenge and went on a 4 cemetery stone binge.
Haven't we all found tombstones with a wrong date or name? In the movie "The Shootist", John Wayne's character J B Books ordered his own tombstone, unheard of in 1901. It was simple - just his name and birth date. I'm sure those dates were correct since they came "straight from the horses mouth". I know of a couple of my relatives tombstones that have incorrect dates or no death date. That's the nice thing about preordering tombstones today. It should help future family history researchers, especially when much more information is there than just a name and dates.
When a rural cemetery isn't mowed, I won't walk around in tall grass. I have yet to run into a snake, but I know that day will come. It's nearly impossible to walk around a cemetery looking for a name and not occasionally step in a hole. I've stepped in several and been lucky that I haven't sprained an ankle. One day I fell into one up to my knee, grateful I didn't get hurt. Later that same day, I saw a skunk about 10 feet in front of me. I slowly walked in the opposite direction keeping my eye on the skunk and I watched him go down in to a hole. The thought had never occurred to me before what might be IN a hole! All the more reason to watch out!!