For those who may not know all of the text and internet slang out there (honestly, I have to look most of it up myself), the term "smh" typically means "shaking my head" and is used when someone finds something so stupid or ridiculous that words don't do it justice. Another popular term used for a moment like this is "facepalm" which is well illustrated by the image to the right.
Well, over the past couple of days I have been having what I can't quite call just a single smh or facepalm moment, but perhaps an overall revelation that has made me feel pretty much exactly like Bill Cosby does in this picture.
I have been "using" Find A Grave off and on for a few years, but I have to admit that I have never used it very "religiously" because much of what I had found in the few searches I did really wasn't anything of significance. For most of my relatives, I was finding just basic memorials that had no real information, or only had information that I had already proven through pretty exhaustive research. So I never spent much time on the site. I created a profile a few months ago with the intention of trying to give back and fulfill some local requests here in Florida, but even that never really materialized.
That view of Find A Grave dramatically changed this week.
On a whim this week, I started to seriously use the website. I requested the transfer of several family members' memorials to me for management; I started uploading the gravestone pictures that I have in my picture library; I made numerous editing suggestions to memorials, and what really led to my facepalm was I did a few searches that I had never tried before.
All of a sudden, I started to stumble across information that I had not found anywhere else! I was finding references to maiden names for female ancestors. I found names of parents that had completely and totally eluded me up to this point on my lesser-researched lines.
Why had I not done this sooner?!?!?!
I find myself sitting here now looking at the 5 elements of the GPS, and I am staring at #1 (Reasonably exhaustive research). I now realize that I have been overlooking what should have been a very basic research item!
If you haven't used Find A Grave in a while, or you don't contribute to it much, I sincerely urge you to go back to the site and dive in. What you find may help you out, but probably more importantly, what you can contribute may help out someone like me who just hadn't been looking closely until now.