Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FTU - Cemetery Research 101 - Lesson 2 - Preparation for a Visit

One of the fun things about being a Find-A-Grave volunteer is going out, in all kinds of weather to take pictures. When someone finds a Memorial on Find-A-Grave and there isn't a picture of a headstone, there is a way to Request a Photo.

The button on the right is selected, some questions are asked, and an Email is sent to volunteers within a 10 mile radius of the ZipCode of the Cemetery. That email will have information that comes from this memorial and the volunteer can go take the picture.

Before I go out, I do some homework, especially in this cemetery. It's quite large and I might not have time to walk around. So, I find it helpful to do a couple of things.

One of the first searches that I do, on Find-A-Grave, is to search for other memorials eith the SAME Surname. From the Cemetery Name, I enter the Surname.

Its the bottom Search box on the Left. This will bring up a report:

There are 5 people with this Surname in this cemetery. There are ICONs that indicate if there is a Photo of a headstone. The one I was looking for is the bottom item, but just above there is a "RIP" image. I will look at that image to see if there are any hints as to where the head stone is located.

If this was an image on that memorial, I look at what is in the Background. Some distance from the Trees, with a small tree next to the stone. There is signs of a paved road between the row of stones and the 2 trees in the upper right. There is a larger stone with a bush to the Left. Those will be helpful in visually finding where this known stone is, and might help locate the stone what I want to take a picture of. Hint's of where to locate a stone are helpful.

Another hint, when looking for a female, is to not just look at the married surname but also the birth surname.  In Find-A-Grave, the birth surname is in italic.

The Find-A-Grave memorial for the above picture is:

A close look at the details of the stone and the background were both posted.

Another feature of Find-A-Grave, if the owner of the Memorial has done so, relationships are established, where you can click on the Spouse, our other relationships that might be there, will take you to that Memorial page.

Lesson Learned: Do some research before you visit the cemetery.

Copyright © 2011 by H R Worthington