Respect our local gravesites

Norma Jean Howell and Allan Staib both know the joy of preserving their family histories through working with the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.

They’ve found out more about their ancestors than they could have ever expected, simply because they took the time to do some research and do a little work.

Everyone should take some time to do the same. If you have a family cemetery close by, try to take some flowers when you can. Pull the weeds if you see any.

We have a first-class historical society with a director, Bobby Joe Seales, who can help anyone find information on his or her family members.

The Alabama Historic Cemetery Register can be found at Preserveala.org, along with information on how to apply to have a cemetery placed on the register and how to identify grave markers you may find in your family’s cemetery.

Everything in a cemetery is designed to give information about the people buried there.

They’re great starting points for locals trying to discover more about those people, whether it’s for a genealogy project or just because local history interests you.

Shelby County’s cemeteries are also our treasures.

They’re magnets, drawing people here from across the country to see where their ancestors are buried.

As Howell and Staib do, we should all respect them and the bodies entombed within their grounds.