Thanks for the info re: Brookeland.Can't write a lot at the moment as a few other issues have had to go on the front burner.Think that working to tidy/restore the graveyard is an excellent idea.We would be happy to help organize an effort of that sort.Guess that it would be best to do it in the colder weather when the frosts have knocked down all the leaves and they have had a chance to blow on through--much easier to deal with leafless growth!Also will assure that the snakes will not be out--an issue in that area from what we hear.We'll work at getting permisiions from the landowner (which we assume are necessary if we have to cross property to get to thesite) and then we can work at getting times etc. arranged.We don't know too many of the cousins so this would be a great way to get them together.
Re: the portrait of Thomas Contee.Wish that it was really a portrait!Actually, it is just a carte de visite--a form of photo on a heavy card--done in the 1870-1890's or so.It is a photo of (we assume) an original portrait of Thomas Contee.We have no idea where the original is--but we would be delighted to be able to see it some day.The same photo is in the WW Bowie book section on Thomas.
Like you, we are interested in discovering more about our ancestors than just their dates. Finding out about their lives and how they fit into the flow of history are our real interests.And finding cousins we never knew about is an additional reward for being diligent.