Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tombstone Tuesdays - How to help save history.

A grave at Old Woodward Cemetery that is virtually unreadable.

My son, who was seventeen last summer, and I decided to spend our free time (lol), photographing area grave yards for Find A Grave.

We were so excited when we would find a picture and a memorial of a family grave on Find A Grave.  Many of those weren't close enough for us to take the pictures ourselves.  It would be expensive and time consuming to go to each of our individual grave sites and take pictures. Although, someday I hope to be able to visit them. We talked about it and thought how nice it would be to take pictures of grave close to us  and put those on for others far away.  

My son plays travel baseball, so we were gone about four days of every week all summer.  We took about 4,000 pictures.  We put all the pictures on Billion Graves and have put most of the pictures on Find A Grave.  We have also put about 2,500 memorials on Find A Grave.  We have been researching and trying to include as much information as possible.  It is a slow process, but we would like for the graveyard that is near us to be completely memorialized.  

If everyone would just select a graveyard near them and work on it everyone would be able to find their ancestors graves.  If it is a large graveyard you would only need to do a section.  This is a wonderful way to give to the genealogy community and to make sure know one is forgotten.  Many gravestones have so much deterioration that they are getting hard to read now.  If they are photographed and archived they won't be lost.  Another thing we found was vandalism.  It was heartbreaking to see those beautiful old stones lying in crumbles.  So many grave records from older graves are missing. I tried to get grave records from Chester Cemetery in Richmond, Indiana, where a lot of my mother's family members are buried.  I was passed from one person to another until I finally found who has the records.  He told me that he only has the records for stones that still stand, all the others have been lost over the years.  Will those people be totally forgotten?

My son and I talked about the fact that famous people are recorded in history and their graves are taken care of by society.  We want to make sure the common man is also remembered for his contribution to our country.  If you have time please contribute to this effort!  I know there a lots of you that already do.


  1. I agree! Find a Grave is an excellent source, and adding to it is fun! You guys have added a lot. Thanks for your efforts!

  2. Thanks for your comment! We learned so much from doing it and we will continue this summer.

  3. Thanks for this post, Betty! I've found so much valuable information on Find a Grave thanks to people like you and your son. I've also started taking pictures at the huge cemetery in my neighborhood, where I often like to walk (and just blogged about today!). I need to do more of that to give back.

    Also, I LOVE that your teenage son is so interested in preserving family history for you both and for other family historians out there! Your post really made my day. =)

  4. Thanks for your comment. It's always nice to know someone is reading. I'm glad to hear you are documenting lives. Everyone deserved to be remembered.

    My son has had a love for history since he was a young child and that follows over in to genealogy. He tries to keep what he does from his friends right now so they won't think he's weird. He's an athlete and a great student, and he loves history.

  5. I applaud the wonderful work that you and your son have done, Betty. I hope to do more this myself in the future. Thank you so much for your efforts and for sharing with all of us.

  6. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your taking the time to read my blog.