Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday and Find-A-Grave Follow Up

About a month ago, Blogger Randy Seaver of the Geneamusings Blog suggested that the connection between the Tombstone Tuesday postings here and the work on the Find-A-Grave website. These two 'projects' are related, to this blogger, to the Grave Yard Rabbit Association, of which this blog is a member of.

In the blog entry The Grave Yard Rabbit Association and Find A Grave the relationship was talked about and how this started. In response to Randy's comment to me,this was posted Tombstone Tuesday and Find-A-Grave

OK, that was then, how is it going now. Basically it is working as planned. Starting with the Find-A-Grave template that was talked about in the second listing, a master EXCEL file was created. Removed for this file, the Find-A-Grave formatting information, but retaining the following Column Headings from that Template:


  • Prefix - Other then Mr or Mrs or Ms
  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Suffix
  • Maiden Name
  • Birth Month
  • Birth Day
  • Birth Year
  • Death Month
  • Death Day
  • Death Year
  • Plot
  • Inscription

This information will be used to be copied from this EXCEL file to the Find-A-Grave template when needed to upload to Find-A-Grave at a later date. It works as expected with the upload to Find-A-Grave.

Remembering that both of this projects, Tombstone Tuesday and Find-A-Grave, for me, were Photographs to be uploaded, certain information is available from the picture itself. However, many of the photographs are pictures of individuals that I am researching, so that information may be in my genealogy database. For example, the headstone may only contain birth and death years, but the full birth and death dates may be in the database. This information is recorded in the above cells in EXCEL.

To help keep the names related to cemeteries, additional columns were added to the EXCEL file. These columns will NOT be provided in the upload to Find-A-Grave.


  • State
  • County
  • Cemetery
  • Tombstone Tuesday
  • Find-A-Grave
  • Family Tree Maker
  • Filename

The state, county, and cemetery information is used for the sorting capability of EXCEL and goes to make up the Filename format, which is:


State-County-Cemetery-LastNameFirstnameMiddleInitial

Example:

NJ-Hackettstown-Union-VreelandJohnH.jpg

In this specific case, since there are a number of Union Cemeteries in Morris County, the Town Name is listed. Hackettstown is in Morris County. Because this information is only for me, photographs can be kept together by the sorting of EXCEL. In many cases, there are more then one stone for an individual, so a "-#", like -2, will be added to the filename. The filename of the photograph will be the same that's listed in the EXCEL file for cross reference between the photographs and what is listed in EXCEL.

In the case of married females, the married surname is used. The birth surname is listed in the Maiden Name column in EXCEL. Further, if the husband and wife are on the SAME headstone, two copies of the SAME photograph are kept, but with the wife's Firstname and Middleinitial used for the photograph filename.

Now, the fun part. I have the pictures in the photograph folder for this Blog and I know what information I have from my genealogy database, it's time to create a blog entry, with picture and to post to Find-A-Grave. This is tracked using the Tombstone Tuesday column and the Find-A-Grave column in EXCEL. A simple Yes is entered when either are uploaded.

Since some or most of these pictures will be entered into my Genealogy Software, which is Family Tree Maker version 2009, when the image is attached to an individual, that column is marked as yes.

Another GeneaMusing challenge was how to use your Genealogy Date Calculator. In responding to that challenge, there was a Blog that shows how to use the Date Calculator but will also show how to include the photograph as part of a Source-Citation in Family Tree Maker.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Family Tree Maker Versino 2009 - Date Calculator

For this Blog, the use of TAGS helps the reader check Surnames and Cemetery Listings. Each Cemetry has or will have it's own blog entry, as well as each Cemetery. The intent is that with the use of the TAG, one can find who has a blog entry for a specific cemetery or that a specific Surname may have listings in multiple Cemeteries. Vreeland, for example, to date, is listed in two Cemeteries.

For cemeteris, there will be a Cemetery TAG, so that blog entries for each Cemetery can be seen, along with the Cemetery Name, also as a tag. For the Cemetery pages, the following is attempted to be provided.

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Web Site
  • Picture
  • Link to Find-A-Grave
  • GPS Information
  • Map, if NOT on Find-A-Grave
  • Other Links, if available
Duplication of information will be minimal. My GPS unit takes street information, including intersections, but not GPS coordinates. Find-A-Grave provides that information, but it isn't always helpful to me. But the full address is.

Bottom line, as they say, the Plan is working, so far, and has made this internal coordination not the awesome task that it started out to be.

Questions, Concerns, Comments are always welcome.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this article. I'm setting up a spreadsheet much as you describe. This is a great idea. I'm going to see if I can go back and put all my cemetery photos into my spreadsheet. I can see where this will be helpful as one visits various cemeteries especially those cemeteries visited multiple times.

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  2. GeneaDiva - as you might see in another blog entry, with a findagrave Tag/Label, you will see that I have tested this out and it works. In fact, I am preparing for another visit this week. Thank you for your comment and Good Luck,

    Russ

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