23 April 2016

Cemetery Research

I have always liked going to cemeteries (when an actual funeral isn't involved). I like the peacefulness, and the quiet, and the scenery. I like reading the headstones and the inscriptions. I like when families are buried together for generations. When going to a cemetery for genealogy research, you should know where you are going, who you are looking for, and how to photograph the grave once you get there.

First let me start off by saying DO NOT clean the headstone with anything other than a soft brush and plain water. DO NOT use chalk, shaving cream, or other harsh things to make it easier to read.
The BEST thing to do is use a light spritz of water or light at different angles to make it readable.

Shining light at an angle can really help. Photo from wikihow

Wetting the stone can bring out the letters. Photo from rootsweb

A free website with information on cemeteries and gravesites.

Each person has a memorial page with information such as who they are, when they lived, links to who their family is, and where they are buried. Some people have more information listed, such as an obituary or other biography.

You can save the memorial pages into your own personal ‘virtual cemetery’ to keep your relatives easy to find later.

If there is a memorial without a grave photo, you can make a request and a local volunteer will try and take that photo and upload it for you. You can become a volunteer and take headstone photos for others as well.


BillionGraves
A free website (with a paid option) to look up headstone photos from around the world. Volunteers use smartphones to take GPS tagged photos of headstones, which are then uploaded to the website and transcribed by other volunteers for easy online searches.

When you go to a cemetery with the BillionGraves app on your phone, you can find the exact location of the grave you are looking for within the cemetery. Anyone can join, download the app and take photos or transcribe photos of headstones.