Monday, February 18, 2013

Have you used

Last summer, my son and I decided to photograph graves.  When deciding how we were going to document them I decided to look at some of the sites available.  We knew we were going to put them on  Find A Grave.  In looking around though I found an app for  If you haven't checked out Billion Graves you should.

We took all our pictures with our iPhones. The great thing about this is with the Billion Graves app it would GPS every grave.  When we completed our photos each day we could just push download and they were all downloaded into their database within minutes.  We loaded over 4500 pictures into their database last summer.

As far as transcribing them, I could go into their site later and transcribe.  Another really exciting thing about their site is that other people can transcribe for you.  If you just have time to take pictures, someone will transcribe them from the pictures you have downloaded.  This is a place that allows you to get more graves on line very quickly. They are now associated with FamilySearch.

I love the Find A Grave site but it is way more time consuming.  We did put all our photos onto Find A Grave too.  On FAG I have taken the time to built memorials.  In our local cemetery I have searched for obituaries and cemetery records to put as much information on as I can.

The Billion Graves site gives people the opportunity to look for graves that aren't on Find A Grave, and they are increasing their database rapidly.  I am sure as the site grows more memorials will be built there too.  They offered an incentive for submitting graves.  They give you a bonus for so many graves submitted.  They will email me anytime a surname is downloaded.  I can ask for it to be in a specific area or just any time the name is added.  I have 4 or 5 ongoing surname searches ongoing.  I am waiting for a great find!  So far lots of emails, no great finds.  I keep hoping someone will walk into a cemetery full of my ancestors and I will receive a email. If you become one of their paid members there are extra services available.

Another great thing is the option to use GPS. I believe you must be a paid member, but you can walk into a cemetery and using your smartphone allow the GPS to guide you right to a grave.  I think all their services come for $9.99 a year, so it is very reasonable.

The new LegacyTec is also associated with Billion Graves. They are adding a new app that will allow you to take a picture of the grave and it will pull up the information they have associated with that grave. The more they build their database the better that service will be. It would be extremely exciting to be walking through a cemetery and see a grave with your surname and be able to take a picture of it and find out about the person.

It's amazing how all the new technology is opening up the past for us. At the rate things are going in a few years everyone could know their family history without a lifetime of searching. I am sure that all of the true genealogists would still be able to find things to search for. It's part of the fun!

If you have a smartphone take a stroll through the cemetery and just snap some shots and download them. Maybe you will be the one that takes the photos that I am waiting for!


  1. Great article, Betty. Thanks! Just as a heads up, you don't have to be a paid member to access the GPS of any headstone. Anyone using the app and/or website can use the GPS to find where any headstone in the BillionGraves database is located.

  2. I love billiongraves and have been using it more than findagrave, because it is so much easier.

    Nice article.


  3. I hope BillionGraves gets more memorials, they are getting lots of pictures, now people need to take time to add the information they have.

  4. Thank you for explaining Billiongraves. Very informative.

  5. I started out with findagrave but am doing billiongraves, only now. It is so much easier to use and the photos are better. You don't have to resize your photos to post to billiongraves. The records on billiongraves are more accurate with the GPS tracking and I like the fact that all their memorials have photos, no random posting of memorials without documentation. No drama on billiongraves. No hording of memorials and no numbers games here. No fighting over who owns the photos. It is all about genealogy & sharing information. I really appreciate that with billiongraves. No drauma and no bullying, that is the main reason for me looking for something else besides findagrave. There is room for both.