What I Learned on Find A Grave

Find A Grave contributors come in many shapes and sizes. I know this because I read the bios that catch my eye when I process edits. I enjoy reading the reasons people contribute memorials to Find A Grave, the stories about what brought them there and about their backgrounds in genealogy or graving. Today I read a…

Time’s A-Wastin’!

Every time I hear of another cemetery threatened by catastrophic weather or destroyed by vandals, I feel a greater sense of urgency to photograph headstones. Although a picture cannot replace a monument, it can provide a record for the family, law enforcement or insurance companies who may wish to replace a damaged memorial. Thoughts of tragedy aside, just seeing a…

Find A Grave is a Numbers Game; Family Trees

Genealogy clues abound in nearly every cemetery I visit. Sometimes immigration, relationship, and residency clues present themselves in abundance on just one headstone:   At times, the overall layout of a family plot will reveal names and relationships:   Sometimes the only record of a child who was born and died between censuses is found on a headstone:   These and other important…

Find A Grave Contributors Answer More Questions

In December I posed three questions to Find A Grave contributors whose virtual preservation work I admire: How did you discover Find A Grave? What motivates you to contribute? What is your favorite way to contribute (i.e. photos, vital information, obits etc.)? Answers to those first three questions are posted here. In January I asked three more…

Why Do People Contribute to Find A Grave?

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you may already know I’m a Find A Grave contributor. In fact, last year my love of cemeteries and headstone photography upstaged my family history research! I believe Find A Grave plays an important role in the preservation of history, art and architecture. And the people laid to rest…

Waking with the Dead

Coffee in hand, I head to my desk and start typing. Last name. First name. Date of birth. Date of death. Cemetery section. Photo number. Rinse and repeat. A second cup of coffee. More names. More dates. Lives begun. Lives ended. People buried alone. Families reunited for all eternity. Infants and centenarians laid to rest side…

A Respectful Distance

Much of this summer has been spent meandering in cemeteries near and far. When the weather is conducive to headstone photography, I enjoy walking along the rows of granite and stone to preserve what I can. It may sound strange, but I often think of the names on each marker as part of a community. I get absorbed by…