Wayne Hatcher, Caverna Independent

Wayne Hatcher, Caverna Independent

Wayne Hatcher, Caverna Independent

Wayne Hatcher, Caverna Independent Final resting places

Some people might think poking around a graveyard is a little morbid, but to Caverna Independent school board member Wayne Hatcher, it’s a way of helping people all over the country connect with loved ones who have passed on.

Hatcher belongs to an organization called FindAGrave, whose members document and take photographs of gravesites for the deceased’s loved ones who live elsewhere, uploading them to the organization’s website. Hatcher estimates he’s taken about 800 photographs in Barren and Hart counties, both for his own family and others, in the nearly nine years he’s been doing this as a part-time hobby.

“I will receive an email from anywhere in the United States through FindAGrave when someone is looking for something in my area. So if it’s close, I go take a photograph,” Hatcher said. “Of course, you’ve got to find it, first of all. Sometimes they’re hard to find. There’s some detective work involved in trying to find some of these.”

He has even tramped through the woods to find graves in overgrown, forgotten cemeteries. But he said “it’s really a blessing” to family members when they see the photographs.

Hatcher, who pastors the Horse Cave Church of Christ and has served more than two decades on the Caverna board, said the FindAGrave involvement was an outgrowth of the work he began about 20 years ago to trace his own family tree.

He eventually found some of his ancestors’ graves, including his third great-grandparents, in an old, abandoned farm cemetery, pictured above, that his family later cleaned up.
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