20 June 2011

Make the Most of Your Cemetery Visit

When you visit a cemetery, you’re usually looking for or visiting someone specific. This someone is most likely near and dear to your heart, or at least marginally tied to your blood. It makes sense that you’d want that specific someone to be recorded so as not to be forgotten. But when you’re visiting a cemetery and you have the BillionGraves app along with you, don’t miss your opportunity to record all the people surrounding your specific someone. The app is quick and easy, so it shouldn’t slow you down much to collect photos of the headstones you pass on your way into or out of the cemetery. There are a few photos uploaded to the site that look awfully lonely—only one or two pins mark the only photos collected from a particular cemetery.

Next time, take some extra time and record the surrounding stones. You don’t need to map out the whole cemetery (heaven knows that some cemeteries are too big for hours of mapping out, no matter how fast the tool), but map out the chunk you have time for. Each one of those headstones belongs to a specific someone that another researcher or descendant has ties to. Help them find their connections.

Below are a few wonderful examples. The first is East Lawn Memorial Hills in Provo, Utah, USA. The clump of pins is only part of a cemetery, but it’s a grouping that took one person just over an hour to do. It would be easy to map out this chunk, leave, and come back to finish when you had more time to spare.

This next example is from Skållerud (Bränna) in Mellerud, Sweden. The individual working on this cemetery added it to our database and mapped out what appears to be the entire thing—250 photos. Two-hundred fifty photos is not an incomprehensible number when we’re talking about using the smartphone app, but it took this person special time and attention to map out this small cemetery in Sweden.

On a slightly smaller scale, here is another new contribution from Vaucluse, Australia. The person working on this cemetery added it to our database and mapped out a few rows of grave markers. It’s 122 photos, and it’s already an awesome start on South Head Cemetery. It’s a substantial number of stones, and it’ll be easy to come back and finish the rest later.

Thank you to everyone who records stones with the BillionGraves app, but a special thank you to those who take the extra time to record not only those people you’re looking for, but the ancestors of others who can use the work you’ve completed.