I was still in high school when the Maine Old Cemetery Association was founded in 1968. I like using the MOCA Inscription Project books organized by county, then by town, which are on the Maine State Library shelves in Augusta. I’m always interested to see who transcribed information from the gravestones in a particular cemetery, whether I knew that person or not.

If you’ve ever gone to a cemetery and found stones you were looking for, only to realize on a later visit that the markers are now missing or sunken into the ground to the point that they can’t be located, you can perhaps appreciate the work of people who have committed to paper (paper?) and even microfilm or electronic format information about a family member’s burial.

Of course this is vital information when it comes to our ancestors, those whose genes seem to have a good chance of being carried forward by our children and grandchildren. But I’m also thinking of great-uncle Gaylan Thomas Moore, who at 16 “d.s.p.” in 1881 — “died sine prole,” or without issue.

I believe it was to honor this older brother that great-grandfather Alton Moore and wife Hattie (Moore) named their firstborn Gayland Alton Moore, rather than for Gaylan and Allie’s father Gaylan Harrison Moore or Mooer, who moved to Michigan with a woman not his wife — though she later became so.

My dad, of course, was Gayland Alton Moore Jr., for whom my oldest son is named Scott Gayland, (rather than the Gaelen that is my husband’s name.)

Gaylan T. Moore is buried next to grandparents Thomas and Julia (Welts) Holbrook in the old village cemetery in Abbot, their stones in the back row facing the woods rather than the road. Since those old markers may someday lose their battle with the woods, it means a lot to me that the inscriptions are preserved for posterity — first by MOCA, and now also by Bob Davidson, who recorded all the Abbot cemeteries.

In addition to recording information in cemeteries, MOCA is known for its work in preservation and restoration of gravestones and cemeteries, and sharing that information through its “Leanin’ and Cleanin’” workshops. Also, MOCA works with Maine legislators on bills pertaining to historic graveyards and cemeteries where veterans are buried.

Visit MOCA’s website at moca-me.org to learn more about what this great organization has going on. Even better, consider attending MOCA’s summer meeting, to be hosted by the Pejepscot Genealogical Society, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at the United Methodist Church, 320 Church Road, Brunswick.

MOCA President Clyde Berry will kick off the meeting at 9:15 a.m., which will feature a 9:30 a.m. presentation by Barbara Desmarais on “The Importance of Brunswick Naval Air Station on Neighborhood Cemeteries.”

The business meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m., with a program on “Gatchell Cemetery Genealogy” at 11:15 a.m.

As for lunch, how about this? A local Girl Scout group will put on a baked bean supper for just $7. The afternoon will finish up at 1 p.m. with a visit to Pine Grove Cemetery, where Gen. Joshua Chamberlain is buried.

Registration for the meeting is just $3. Moreover, you don’t need to pay your money until the day of the event, but MOCA does need to know if you’re coming. You can sign up online, or phone Jessica at 877-7675, by Wednesday, July 15.

Like its meetings, membership in MOCA is a great deal — just $7 for one year, $30 for five years, or $150 for a lifetime membership. You may send checks to MOCA at Box 641, Augusta, ME 04332-0641. Let me add that MOCA publishes a wonderful newsletter that always has something new in it that I’m glad to learn.

Look for published volumes by MOCA on Kennebec County and York County at Maine State Library in Augusta and the University of Maine’s Fogler Library in Orono. Bangor Public Library has the York County set. Most counties are not complete for inscriptions, but CDs are available for cemeteries that have been recorded, and may be used at Maine State Library.

For information on what MOCA records are available where, visit ursus.maine.edu.

Lastly — a group of gravestones next to a church is a “graveyard.” A group that is located somewhere else is a “cemetery.” A stone or marker that has been placed to memorialize someone who is not buried where the marker is is called a “cenotaph.” This includes military personnel who are buried overseas, or whose remains were not found.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.