~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Need information on SOQUEL CEMETERY interments?
I have all the original books, maps, inventory, and access to the property. The office is available to you if you make contact with myself or the caretaker onsite.
For the most part headstones do not need cleaning beyond brushing off leaves and just making an effort to photograph at a good time of day, BUT if a stone needs to be cleaned I do professional level work, no exceptions and/or excuses.
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Please, please, please do not use shaving cream on headstones!
Shaving cream damages headstones. Safe ways to read the text is with cheap aluminum foil (thinner), lay it on, brush it gently which works quite nicely, or by casting light onto the stone.
"Why can't I use shaving cream to highlight inscriptions on difficult to read stones?
Our professional conservators tell us it is definitely not a good idea to use shaving cream on porous gravestones because there are chemicals and greasy emollients in shaving cream that are sticky and very difficult to remove from the stone with a simple washing. Indeed, even with vigorous scrubbing and lots of rinsing, the cream fills in the pores of a porous stone and cannot all be removed. The result of leaving it there is that in time it may discolor or damage the stone.
Instead, use a mirror to shine sunlight across the face of a stone, making the lettering stand out. You should always prefer a non-invasive method to interact with gravestones just as we do with medical tests on our own bodies." www.gravestonestudies.org
Want a transfer? *First*: Click on the 'EDIT' button or else it makes the maintainers job really hard. I try, but many maintainers will not even bother especially when they get, literally, 30-40 requests a day! ie: Requester: "John Smith is my Grandpa. Can you transfer him to me?" Maintainer: Do you have any idea how many John Smith's I have?
As long as its not one of my dear family members, and if you will take care good care of them? I would be happy to transfer memorials.
The only exception is that I might not if there is a significant difference between "give and take". At the same time, I am not into "boosting numbers". I am into having our loved ones loved that much more. I see my "job" as looking after them until you can.
Here is how I do things.
1.) Safely. I have purchased tools specially for FindAGrave. This would include Kodak Photo-Flo for the *rare* occasion of cleaning a stone, a new horse brush soft enough to use on my own face, a plastic shovel for safely digging, a "ball end T handle cushion grip screwdriver" with a round end for poking but *not* hurting, soft, flexible, new spatula, and lots more.
2.) *Distilled* water. NO CHLORINE!
3.) One of my main drives is taking good photographs of headstones. This encompasses many things.
I see photographing headstones as a sort of inventory. Therefore, the stone should be fairly clean so you can see the edges, and examine the stone for damage.
If a stone is fragile somehow? I often take two photos, minimum. 1.) Close-up. 2.) A photo of the stone with a landmark in the photo so you can find the area later. I like photos that show a person what the area is like. I want to know if a relatives headstone, for example, has a tree right up against it and may experience damage soon.
I bring an umbrella with me if the sun is interfering with taking a photo.
I will come back on another day when it is raining, or sunny, if it means getting a better photo. I will safely trim bushes and/or trees if it means getting a good photo. It is better for the stone also to not be engulfed in foliage.
I use Photoshop to the fullest extent to create the best photo. Sometimes I have to use filtering to be able to read a stone.
Trust me, I have a tool for most any situation. I go with a variety of jackets, a bucket with a seat-lid for sitting, a kneeling pad, even Carrhart jeans with kneepads built in. I have sheers for trimming grass and limbs, a soft tipped "stylus" of sorts for safely cleaning the name on a stone, and a great deal of patience.
I think it might be time for a URL and website for all my tips and tricks when working in cemeteries.
FindAGrave honors those that have passed so that their memory is not lost with time.
FindAGrave also helps the living find where loved ones were laid to rest so that they may pay their respects.
Thanks to strangers on FindAGrave, I am fortunate that I have been able to travel to visit the graves of *countless* relatives in the past couple of years.
For those who can't get away and personally visit cemeteries like I did? You can still find out where your loved ones were laid to rest thanks to FindAGrave. That is just one of the amazing things about FindAGrave. I have found cousins here, and far more.
I try and let people know about errors and duplicates I stumble across so that FindAGrave has accurate information. I, of course, want to hear if someone sees a correction I need to make.
Do not hesitate to ask me for to tackle a challenge! I have unearthed some 350+ grave markers in the past two months that were covered in dirt and grass. And, don't worry, I am very careful in how I do it with special, purchased tools that will not hurt stones in anyway.
(Say NO to shaving cream on headstones!)
Because some people do not know what FindAGrave is about this is for them:
Some people walk and photograph graves on public property. Some people transcribe data from cemetery books created, in part, by the WPA.
The WPA is a hero! created by many people in the 1930's cemeteries were transcribed so you may know the locations of loved ones today.
Organizations have even contributed to this worthy cause. Thousands upon thousands of countless Veterans have been memorialized by the efforts of the *Veterans Affairs Office* who has been uploading databases of veteran's graves to FindAGrave for at least 10 years. How awesome is that?
It takes a village of amazing, wonderful FindAGrave STAFF! and volunteers who have great love for *all* of our ancestors, not just their own, to make FindAGrave as great as it is.
I believe in doing what you love so that you may rest in peace when it is your time to pass. That is what I am doing when I carefully, respectfully visit public cemeteries, painstakingly tend to preserving their graves, and honor those who have gone before. My arsenal of tools I have found and purchased is no accident so I can safely care for cemeteries. I generally focus on the oldest of graves that need help because I like them and it is logical, but I tend to all.
Thank you FindAGrave! The staff at FindAGrave deserve a BIG thank you!