Old cemeteries yield wealth of secrets to dogged researcher - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Old cemeteries yield wealth of secrets to dogged researcher

Posted: Updated:
Photo source: Times Free Press Photo source: Times Free Press

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (Times Free Press) -- Most historians spend their time in libraries, poring through old texts. Jim Holcomb does his work in fields and forests, logging forgotten graves.

Holcomb, 63, researches genealogy. Specifically, he transcribes cemeteries -- cataloging graves, tombstones and who's under them. When it comes to piecing together distant relations in large, old family trees, Holcomb says a well-preserved cemetery is a wellspring of information.

Holcomb has been transcribing cemeteries for 20 years. He started in 1993, when his niece approached him about creating a family tree. Now that chart includes tens of thousands of names.

Pages rip, ink fades and memories disappear. Cemeteries are better about standing the test of time -- but they don't last forever, Holcomb said.

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

Powered by Frankly