A Murdered Family Remembered

I was recently reading the forums on ancestry, when I came upon one from a few years ago that someone had just answered within the last week.

The person had been looking for family in Vancouver and had heard that they had a family tragedy years ago but didn’t know anything about what had happened. The post was done in 1999. Fast forward to this year, and someone posted the saddest story about how the oldest son had come home and killed almost the entire family, a baby survived.

It was all just so sad. I googled to see if there was more to the story and also decided to look on the BC Archives to see if I could find where the family was buried.

The family was all listed as being buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, here in Burnaby. Reading the Death Registrations, it is so sad that this could happen. And what made it more sad to me was that when googling the family, I learned that although the son was sentenced to live in a hospital for the mentally ill for life, he was released in 1977 only 12 years after killing his family. Another sad thing, or should I say weird – the axe that he used to kill his family is now on display in the Vancouver Police Musuem.

On the weekend, I went down to the Cemetery and visited the family and while the pictures don’t have the real flowers, I left flowers for the family. The photos and memorials are here:

Kosberg Family

Sometimes, I find sadness when learning about the headstones I take photos of.

Memories are more than

pictures in genealogy but also the stories, feelings and smells that you remember of days long past.

I have some memories, but others are lost in haze of age & stroke. Photos sometimes bring back thoughts, a vague remembrance of things past. And then there are smells of certain foods can bring back days of youth — cookies baking, jam or the turkey and stuffing on Christmas Day.

Some such memories are of the backyard we had when I was growing up. We had a large backyard and in the back, my Mom had a garden with raspberry bushes and a strawberry patch. I can remember getting up on early Spring mornings and running through the wet grass to pick fresh berries to put on my cereal.

I can remember eating more peas in the pea patch than picking for dinner; stealing cherry tomatoes and beans, hoping Mom was not looking out the back window.

We also had a HUGE Bing cherry tree. Nothing tastes like cherries fresh picked off a tree. Eat too many, and you knew but who doesn’t want to see who could split the seeds the farthest. Then from this tree came the leaves in the fall.

My Dad would rake them up into piles and we would jump into them. There are days that I would love to go to a park and just pile up some leaves and jump into them. Walking and kicking the leaves brings those days back so clear when you didn’t worry about being crazy.

So, on a day, when life is getting you down, try and do something – baking, cooking, looking at a photo, something that will bring back a memory that makes you smile.

Today I had to file

my first copyright infringement on ancestry for a “borrowed” photo without credit to me (the photographer) or the findagrave memorial.

And the sad thing is that I have about 5 more to file. Is it really that hard for people to realize that they just can’t just take.

When I take a photo, they have a copyright notice or if you read, the site states that the copyright is held by the photographer.

Now, most of the time, if the person asks me, then I say, yes you can use the photo BUT please make sure to have “© 2012 by Susan L Rutledge – Findagrave Memorial XXXXXXXXXX” posted with the photo. It isn’t that hard.

The sad part of the one that I filed today is that the woman has about 25 requests for other photos of headstones that I usually fill but will not be filling for her now. And the photo that I took was back in 2008 when I was first learning and is not that good. It is in a small cemetery that I have been working on and have been replacing the old photos with new.

As for the other 5 – the woman has taken others photos and seems to think it is ok, but she will soon discover it it not. And the thing is that these people don’t seem to realize that if they get too many complaints about “borrowed” photos that they can loose their ancestry account, and there is no refund of any money they may have paid upfront.

Is loosing all your research really worth it?? I think not.

A mixture of both . .

— a taphophile and an amateur genealogist.

So, what do I like more? Really hard to say. I think it all depends on what is happening at the moment.

Findagrave and Grave Registration

I have to say that Findagrave fills my taphophile side. I love walking in cemeteries and taking photos. I love it when I can add a photo of someone ancestor. If I could spend all my days walking and taking photos, I would.

I don’t only take photos of headstones, but of all of the things that interest me including Angels, tree, or just how the cemetery looks at different times of the year.

This photo was taken in early fall a few years ago, it is sunset at Fraser Cemetery in New Westminster.


I say I am an amatuer genealogist even though I have been at this for over 10 years. I would love to be able to do this full time but in order for most people to take you seriously, you need a college degree and as far as I have seen, Ontario has the only courses to get a degree in Genealogy. And I find it sad that there are people who critize the “family genealogist” by saying we don’t know what we are doing; that we don’t follow through with our research, etc.

I have come to the conclusion that I will always continue to do what I like to do and damm the rest of the world/haters. I know who I am and what I enjoy, so there.

Family, friends and Facebook

Who would think that 3 such different things could come together to get you together with long lost family and never known family, and family that you never knew.

When I started on findagrave, I was the only one or so I thought, entering family. It is through entering the Beach Line (if you are on the Rutledge side of my family – Caroline Beach – the mother of Annie Dicks – mother of Robert Rutledge – father of my Grandpa – Gordon Elliott Rutledge).

While working through this line, I met a cousin, who lives in Oklahoma, a distant cousin in Australia as well as several other distant cousins in Canada and the US.

And with facebook, I have been able to re-connect with many cousins as well as their kids, who are more than just distant cousins, but friends now as well. And last night, one cousin sent me a possible friend request that is a cousin I haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time. I am just waiting for her to accept me — I hope she does.

And I hope that I will be able to continue to find family on both findagrave and facebook.

So, have you found family on facebook or if you are from findagrave, have you found family there?

What might not be special to you

might one day be special to someone else.

My Mom and Dad do not understand my love of the family history. They find it strange that I like to find out about the family, both the past and the present. I love to understand how the family dynamics worked then and now.

I also love things from the past, finding a picture, a story or anything makes me smile.

Is there something that you have that while you think it is a just a piece of paper; a photo that is old and creased; a old dress that will never be worn again. An old toy that was yours and now is not in the best of shape.

I have several things like that:

  • I have the dress that my Auntie Ingrid wore and Nancie did as well.
  • I have old dolls that were mine and a couple that were my Aunts
  • I have an actual lease of a house that my Grandma Rutledge owned in Toronto
  • I don’t know if it is original or was made later but I have the coffin plaque for my Great-Aunt
  • And this is a special thing that I have, a letter written to me by my Great-Grandpa Rutledge. Never met him and only have a photo of him from about 1903, but I have this letter so I feel a connection with him.

    So, all I can think of to say to people that want to “clean out” or purge their home, don’t throw out the things that could be special to others. If you have something from your parents that you don’t want, check with other family members – sisters, brothers, cousins, Aunts, Uncles.

    Holding onto the past is something that is so special.

    Why this day is special to me . .

    It is not only because, well it is my birthday but is is also a number of people in my family’s birthday.

    As the picture below shows, these are the people:

    Starting at the top:

    My 7th Great Grandfather
    My 4th Great Grandfather
    My 5th Great Aunt
    My Great Grandfather
    My 2nd Great Uncle
    The wife of my 3 x cousin 3 times
    My 2 x cousin once removed
    My Aunt through marriage to my Uncle Alf
    My 2 x cousin 2 times removed

    And it is a mixture of Swedish, Finnish, English and Canadian.

    And just to prove I really was a baby at one time in this life,

    Lord I was cute all those years ago!!! Ha ha ha