So often I dread going to the offices of a cemetery to request information about a grave location. It is the same feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you are going to the dentist office to get a tooth pulled. You know it is going to be unpleasant so you braced yourself.
The Guedry Cemetery in Batson, Hardin Co. TX is not at all like going to the dentist. It is a very pleasant experience and it is made possible by the very helpful and caring staff of Mr. Kenneth Enloe.
The cemetery has one of the best website designs for a genealogist or the family historian. There is a database which is searchable by either the cemetery section, the person’s social security number or by the person’s name. There is a cemetery map on the site, which is an aerial shot with the plot sections identified. Each section is clickable and is linked to a plot layout.
What could be easier? Search the database for the name, secure the location, look at the plot map, note the location, then be able to go right to it when you arrive at the cemetery.
Using a cousin as an example: Seawillow Cross Rountree (1916-1991):
I see she is in Section 1; Row# 6; Lot# 47; Grave# 4. I go to the “Cemetery Map” and click on Section 1, where there is a large plot map. Row #6 is at the letter “H” in the word “SOUTH”. The lots are color coded green and a light turquoise. Lot #47 is green and the grave number is easily distinguishable. (Note her middle name is given as well. Had I not already known this, it would be another piece of information!)
The ability to search the cemetery via the website and have the map with the grave location available make Guedry Cemetery practically self-service for anyone, from out-of-the-area family members to family history buffs & genealogist, to volunteer headstone photographers.
On the home page there is a notice of a smartphone app coming:
“…smart phone version to be released shortly linked searchable database of every one buried here. With this update, you will be able to search and pin-point location of their graves right from your home/smart phone.”
You would think someone on the inside was into genealogy and you would be correct. On the Acknowledgements page there is praise for Charlotte Enloe (wife of Mr. Kenneth Enloe) and she is the genealogist in the family. Her hard work and love of genealogy is evident by the functionality of the website.
I had the opportunity for some email exchanges in March of this year. I was to attend a family reunion in Batson and wanted to take a photo of a grave. I sent an email about this and Matt Enloe put a marker with orange ribbon at the grave site so it could be easily located. Unfortunately, due to the weather I was not able to attend and I am not sure how many people went to the cemetery but the assistance of Monica and Matt Enloe (Enloe Memorials), did not go unnoticed and was greatly appreciated!
Another wonderful example of how a cemetery can offer the highest level of customer service and encourage others to want to be buried there. If the staff is this helpful to those distantly related, how do you think they will treat your loved one after you are gone? Where Guedry Cemetery is concerned, I’d say, “just like family”.
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