Slingsby Lane — A Compton Branch

the Slingsby Line is through my Great-Great Aunt Lizzie Compton, daughter of William Walter Compton and Jane Franks. Upon the death of Jane, William remarried and had my Great-Grandfather, Charles Compton.

Lizzie had a interesting life — in England she married Samuel Slingsby. Together, they had 3 daughters. Sadly, Samuel died around 1892. Lizzie then married his brother, Harry Slingsby, with whom she had 4 more children. With all her children and husband, she moved to Canada — Toronto, Ontario in 1905.

Harry was killed in a Tram accident in 1911, leaving Lizzie to raise her children alone.

Slingsby Lane is named after one of these children, and the story of how it came about is a wonderful thing that is findagrave & genealogy.

Sapper Walter Samuel Slingsby was with the Canadian Royal Engineers. His death occurred when two lorries collided on a beach. He was buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, England.

I had found the memorial for Sapper Walter Samuel Slingsby and had him linked to his family and added a small bio about his death. When he died, he left behind a wife and 6 small children.

In the summer of 2012, I received a note on my findagrave page, asking me to contact a man at the Toronto City Hall as they wanted to get permission to name a lane after him.

Hi Susan,

I believe you may be able to help me. I am looking for any next of kin to Samuel Walter Slingsby or Viola Slingsby.

My name is Brian Hall, I work with the City of Toronto and we would like to name a new residential lane to honour Samuel Walter Slingsby of the Royal Canadian Engineers, who was killed in action during WWII on February 7, 1943. According to the Toronto Telegram, he lived on Connaught Avenue, Newtonbrook, (North York district of Toronto) leaving behind his wife Mrs. Viola Slingsby. I just noticed on this website he had 6 children.

I saw your name and your connection to Samuel Walter Slingsby or Viola Slingsby. Is there anyone in your family that could e-mail us permission to name this new residential “Slingsby Lane”. I can give you more details if I receive a response.

As I am not a direct relative, I forwarded the request to a great-niece, Caroline Katsios. Through Caroline, we were able to get ahold of several closer relatives, including the Grand-daughter of of Walter, Barb Sims and also Kelly Moore. It was through various emails, permission was granted and Slingsby Lane came into reality in late 2013.

I have tried for months to get a photo, and finally thanks to another member of the Compton line, Dave Percy, I was sent the photo. Here is the location on google maps and then the photo of the sign.


And thanks to Dave:


So, through this little sign a family name will live on.

And it is thanks to findagrave, International Wargraves Photography Project and genealogy that linked together myself, Caroline, Barb and Kelly.

Sad deaths of Two Young Ladies

while working on the McCargar Branch of my family line, I found the burial location of some distant relatives, a 2nd cousin 4 times removed that are buried in an old Cemetery in New York — Groton Rural Cemetery. I entered the memorials, on, for the father, mother and several possible children from the burial index listed for the cemetery. Luckily, the list proved the plot numbers which gives a better chance of getting the photo requests filled for the pictures. Now photo requests can take awhile but luckily, these only took a few days.

Now the surprise was that on the top of the 2 daughters, Hester A “Hettie” McCargar and Mary E McCargar was that they died on the same day and it said “Killed at Tariffville on Jan 15, 1878”.

Now, I have seen were family members have died on the same date or within a week or so, but never listed as killed on the same day. I knew the chances of finding out how they were killed was small, but I thought I would give it a try. I googled “Tariffville 1878”. There were several links to the story, and a sad story it is.

The Story

On January 15th, 1878, 2 sisters, Mary and Hettie McCargar attended a revival meeting in Hartford, Connecticut to hear the popular Protestant evangelist Dwight Moody and singer and organist David Sankey. It is said that people would travel miles to hear his sermons and listen to the music.

When the meeting was over, the sisters, along with many other faithful, boarded the train at the Union Station heading home to northwest Hartford County, upper Litchfield County and New York state. The train left the station around 9:20pm and it was just a short time later around 10:15pm as the train was crossing Howe truss bridge that carried the railroad across the Farmington River that the accident happened.

The bridge reached the middle span and suddenly the bridge collapsed, sending the first part of the train down twenty feet to the dark, icy river below. I cannot imagine the terror of the people as the train fell on that cold January evening. Even though help arrived within the hour, 13 people including the McCargar sisters, died and 70 people were injured.

There was an inquiry about the wreck with the bridge builder blaming the railroad and the railroad blaming the bridge maker. In the end, Four jurors believed that the bridge was safe and that a derailment caused the accident.

In the end, the Railway company paid the families of those that died between $300 -$600 per person.


For those that don’t know the McCargar family is part of the Beach Line. Many of the Beach Line married into the McCargar line. The Beach Family line then goes into the Dicks Line which marries into the Rutledge Line.

to leave or not

leave findagrave???? That is the question.

For the past few months, I have been not so much disappointed but confused about findagrave and how it fits into my beliefs in the site and how it is run.

I have tried for about 6 months now to have 2 different different memorials moved to the correct cemeteries and the wrong cemeteries deleted. Nothing has happened — I followed the rules – sent in the SAC to each person – even telling them the plot in the correct cemetery that the person was in so they could put in a ew photo request at the correct cemetery.

I put the information in the Cemetery Fix-It Thread to have the cemeteries deleted.

Nothing has happened on anything so if I see an error, I ignore it because they don’t seem to get corrected. And if you try through the forums – well, let’s say I would never tell anyone to go there, they will destroy people. Well, ok, not destroy but some can be nasty while others are wonderful.

And photo requests – people just want the photos for their ancestry accounts – which wouldn’t be bad if they gave credit to the person that takes the photo and if they also updated the memorial on findagrave. But most I have found just take the photos and leave. Then there is the ones that you take the photo, post it and then they ask for permission to take the photo. Why not be upfront about it — give me the choice of whether or not I want to take it for another site.

And please, asking me to do research as to where someone else might be buried or to look around the cemetery for others. I will look around and if there is more than one person in that plot or the plot next to them, then yes, I take all the photos but to want me to check a 100,000+ cemetery for your people.

Then there are the ones that don’t have plot locations and I give them the contact of the cemetery to get the plot locations and they don’t – I am not asking you to call long distance but just email them. And I know the email works because the other people did and got the information and their photos within 2 weeks as I had the plot numbers.

Or there is the ones that put that they contact the cemetery and there is a headstone, but don’t put in the plot information. What is with that? Why not put in the information??

So, I am slowly transferring away all my memorials that are not family or important people to me to findagrave and going back to just doing my family.

Now, I may on some days, go and mow a few rows but Photo Requests no more.

So, will I leave – it is a 75/25 thing – 75% of me wants to stay because of the people that are doing it correctly, are friendly and have helped me in the past BUT the 25% make me want to throw in the towel and ask them to remove everything in my name but then some of that information is only there and I don’t want to loose it.

sigh – life or death is never easy!

Not feeling Find-A-Grave too much

these days.

While I still love walking cemeteries, adding photos and information, I am just finding all the disagreements and the complaints and basic bitching of people in the forums there to just be too much.

And the big problem is the different sides of findagrave — those that follow the true meaning of findagrave (a grave registration site) and those that want to be able to not only do grave registration but also use it for building a family tree. Now using it for a family tree really doesn’t work because if you know that your GGG-Grandfather died in Finland in 1782 but you don’t have the location of the burial, then you would have to make it a Burial Unknown (BU) – which goes against the true meaning – grave registration.

So then what can start out as an innocent post in the forums, because crazy because of the BU positions of people.

The last was that someone wanted to add people as friends on the Main Site (where memorials are posted) and put a link to their name. Well, along came the Non-BU people and complained about the fact that he had a few BUs. Then of course, the ones that think a few BUs is fine, defended him and it now has gone on for days.

I am not a big forum person, I post when I have something that I think will help or information that I have about the subject, but normally I am what people call a Lurker. In fact, the 2 months that I didn’t post after my stroke in 2009, no one really even knew I wasn’t there.

There is another thing with findagrave that has been a disappoint for me is the photo requests. I was so excited when they came to Canada. I thought finally, I can really help people on the site, but it just seems to have become a feeding ground for people to come, request a photo, not add anything to the memorial or site and then just take the photo and post it on ancestry or other places.

My reason for not wanting to do the photos for ancestry are simple: Findagrave is a free site – no charges, while ancestry charges people. And people there do not seem to think that you need to add a source for your information. But if I take a photo for you in 2013 and the headstone is perfect but then you manage to visit or someone else does and the headstone is damaged, you will have a time frame as to when it happened. Or if there is no headstone and there should have been one, according to Great-Aunt J – then you can look into it.

But photos, information, etc without sources is just family lore – you really don’t know what is true.

So, the decision for me is — do I keep adding to findagrave; do I stop doing photo requests; stay out of the forums.
I guess only time will tell – when the weather gets good for going out and walking about.

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.

Sometimes people just don’t understand . . .

the true meaning of findagrave or how to use it. Then when you explain – they get pissed off at you.

I don’t remember the first time I found the site, but I did and since then have worked on it for over 5 years, adding family and non-family (whole cemeteries), some with and some without photos. But basically to me, it was to add to the database of a grave registration site not to build a family tree.

Yes, if I have my family there, I have link the parents and children together. I add any information I have about the family, pictures, etc. If it doesn’t have a headstone photo, I request one hoping that some kind photo volunteer will take a photo of it. When a picture does arrive I thank the person and then I link the memorial to the person in my family website – I do not take the photo and copy it – it doesn’t belong to me.

If there is family on there that someone else has added, I will send any information that I have that can be added, put the person in a Virtual Cemetery. An example would be the Beach Family. My GG-Grandmother was a Beach, and while, yes I have a lot of the family I don’t have all of them. So, I have them together in their own little cemetery. From this, I link the family together on my website.

What people don’t realize is that you don’t need to own or control the memorial. The rule is within 4 generations.

Then there are the people that come along and get all excited about findagrave and want to have “ownership” of the memorial. This happened to me about a month ago. I had been slowly adding names and photos to a local cemetery, OceanView . I got two emails one morning telling me how happy she was to have found her grandparents and she had updated the memorials. Hmm, how could she have updated the memorials I had entered?? I look and she had created 2 new memorials, basically duplicating most of my work. I checked both memorials, added anything new she had put on hers and transferred the originals to her and left a message that duplicates were not permitted on findagrave and she should delete hers.

Well, she didn’t — she didn’t want my name or photos on the memorials. She went so far as to change the names, delete all the information, move the memorials to burial unknown (even though she could not delete the photos I had taken) and left her duplictes. I had to go to an admin to merge the memorials together. They took the information from mine and her information and merged the two memorials together with all information, I as the creator and she has the Manager (which means I cannot make any changes to it). This is how it should be. Oh and she has not come back to the site since they were merged.

Then last weekend, someone fulfilled a photo request in Regina for the husband of my 3rd Great Aunt. Great!!! He also left a note that he had information on other family members in the cemetery. Wonderful!! But what does he do?? He wants a record of where he has posted photos, so he duplicates my memorial — including that line “This is the husband of my 3rd Great Aunt” AND he took pictures off of her Memorial as well as one of her son that died her in BC. I had taken the photo in BC and another member had taken the photo in Manitoba.

I emailed him and said that you cannot duplicate memorials or take pictures from other memorials. I explained how the copyright of photos worked. I explained that if he wanted to keep track of his photos, then put the memorials into a virtual cemetery. Well, he had a hissy fit – he wasn’t going to help people anymore; that he wasn’t going to give me the information about the Thompson family in the Regina Cemetery, etc. etc. I checked to see if he had removed his photo (he hadn’t) but since his complaints to me, it seems he has had more trouble with duplicating people.

How hard is it people to read the FAQs of a site and learn what the site is about; what you can or cannot do and just get along with others.

So for anyone thinking of getting into findagrave, read the FAQs first, join the forums, search and double search that the person you are about to enter hasn’t been entered BUT most of all realize that is is a grave registration site not a family tree builder site. Great resource for your family tree but again, not a family tree builder.