COTD Wiki has arrived!

COTD Wiki has arrived!

Screenshot from 2016-08-26 10-29-57

Screenshot of COTD Wiki

COTD Wiki

So, I finally got around to setting up a Wiki for the Cemeteries stuff!

The URL is http://citiesofthedead.net/wiki

So far, I’ve created one page, for the St. Peter Street Cemetery. My plan is to go more-or-less chronologically, so the next page will be St. Louis No. 1.

My vision for COTD Wiki is that it should be a collaborative effort. I don’t want to be the only author/editor. If you have an interest in our cemeteries and would like to contribute, you are most welcome! If you enjoy MediaWiki development/structure, you are equally welcome.

Example: There is so much stuff out there on St. Louis No. 1, since it’s the oldest cemetery in town that’s still around. I plan to do a history page to start, but then there are so many details to be added. Please join me in filling in those gaps.

Togs!

Photographers: If you have cemetery photos, either done for documentary or artistic, please consider sharing them. I’ll be raiding the Commons as this unfolds, as well. Full credit given to ‘togs for their photos, but keep in mind, this Wiki is public domain.

If you’re a cemetery fan/historian in another city, let’s talk. We can easily set up sections for other cities/towns.

Education

TEACHERS: If you are a history or social studies teacher, and would like to include COTD Wiki in your lesson plans/activities, let’s talk. This would be exciting and make me very happy, to see the site used in this way. Students do some of the best research/development/writing, and there are lots of us in the community who would like to help you and your kids succeed. Let’s make that happen as much and as often as we can.

My vocation as a teacher compels me to encourage learning, exploration, and discussion. Our cemeteries are not just local treasures; they are known the world over. Let’s document them, preserve them, explore them, and have fun doing it!

Galway tomb, St. Patrick’s Number 1

Galway tomb, St. Patrick’s Number 1

St. Patrick's Number 1

Galway family tomb in St. Patrick’s Number 1

I walk past this tomb regularly in St. Patrick’s Number 1, when I park the car by the cemetery to have breakfast in Mid City. I don’t know anything at all about the Galway family, but that their surname matches the name of a city in the West of Ireland intrigues me.

St. Patrick’s Number 1 for the Irish

The various ethnic groups of New Orleans organized to build cemeteries to bury their loved ones. The French-Spanish-African Creoles had the St. Louis cemeteries in Faubourg Treme, the Germans the St. Joseph cemeteries, and the Irish, the St. Patrick’s cemeteries at the end of Canal Street. St. Patrick’s Number 1 was constructed in 1841.

New Orleans, New Life?

Immigrants coming to America were often leaving a rough life behind in Europe. The Irish in particular had a difficult time of it, between being under British rule and famine wracking the country in the 1830s and 1840s. The Irish needed to escape their homeland, and were willing to take just about any job available to make ends meet in their new homes. In New Orleans, one of the dirty jobs the Irish took on was the construction of the New Basin Canal. Many Irishmen died building the canal, either from the heat or from yellow fever borne by the mosquitoes that lived in the swamp. Still, the Irish perservered, overcoming the odds and carving their own niche in the city.

Name-changes

Many immigrants were more than willing to drop their pasts in the ocean, arriving in the New World with as little baggage as possible. Is that what the first Galway did? Was he a Ryan, a Fitzgerald, a Houlihan? Did he get into some scrape back home, forcing him to take ship for Liverpool, where he would become “human ballast” for a trip to America?

Any Irishmen would recognize his West-of-Ireland accent, therefore there was no way to avoid identifying with that part of the country. Perhaps, rather than carrying his father’s last name to America, he changed his name to that of his home town?

It’s happened before.