"Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many."
I grew up in central Missouri where my ancestors settled, most from KY; I often return and photograph country cemeteries and haunt the library reference departments. Looking for gravestones for my Wells, Lane/Lain, Hazlewood/Hazelwood, Bellamy/Bellomy, Thoroughman/Thurman, Stayton, Pullen/Pullin/Pulliam, Gregg/Gragg, Rigg, Page families; others include Dunning, Gant, Payne, Settles/Suttle(s), Sudduth, Stoneking, Stewart, Shelten, Stoll.
A goal is to ensure there are memorials for all known burials in the "rural" cemeteries in the Bates/Cass/Henry counties where my ancestors lived and are interred, and am photo indexing as many as I can - some are in woeful condition. Too many are now in cow pastures, vandalized or stones used in barn foundations. May those with so little respect for our ancestors be haunted by their ghosts.
Corrections, updates and link requests are welcomed so "our" memorials are informative and accurate -- please send maiden names if you know them. Every person has a story - hopefully memorial managers who prefer not to update or correct their memorials will transfer them to the requesting family member/friend to maintain and add the story -- or there will be a software update that allows third parties to contribute to memorials. Thanks to all the administrators who make the site available and user-friendly, and to the many great volunteers who make "finding Grandma" possible. Special thanks to photo volunteers who spend hours searching for lost grave markers, sometimes in overgrown, tick and snake infested, unkept, unmarked cemeteries.
You are welcome to use information or grave marker photos I have entered. If you do a copy/paste of a memorial with a bio, please credit Find-a-Grave and the contributor;-- a LOT of time and research has gone into many of these memorials. Please do not copy/post my "people" photographs.
Please make your edit/transfer requests from the "edit" link of the memorial and not from the profile page which I don't view often. I generally don't transfer memorials with researched bios, nor do I transfer to requesters who are rude/demanding, have no profile, have two or more times memorials managed as entered, (some contributors claim an astonishing number of "grandparents") or who are collectors -- but I'll always update and link memorials within a day or two if not traveling. While I don't acknowledge edits, I do appreciate receiving them and thank you for taking the time to improve the memorial.
If a contributor enters a memorial as "unknown", in incorrect cemetery, with no DOD or a memorial that predates actual DOD, I do not steal their memorial (tho I can name a few who have amassed huge numbers doing just that). If I later find the cemetery or a recent DOD, I do not create a duplicate with updated information and then insist the original contributor delete their memorial, nor do I ask admins to delete memorials so I can "create" a new one, even though the admins appear to facilitate that. I will always send an edit to the original contributor so they can correct their memorial. It seems contrary to the spirit of a co-operative website to do otherwise. It is surprising that admins give preference to person who knowingly creates a duplicate over person who made an error on original memorial, probably in good faith, without giving them opportunity to make correction. Not sure when guidelines tightened up, but at least in 2007-2010 it was permissible to enter a memorial for any tombstone that had a person's name engraved on it, with or without a DOD, if accompanied with tombstone photo.
I am glad to transfer my upstate New York memorials, other than the Haney line, as I have no connection to most of them.
In his profile, contributor Jeff G #47276975, expressed my own feelings about our responsibility to this Site and the memorials we manage, and he has kindly given me permission to share his comments, below:
"We don't "own" the memorials we manage - they are not ours. We may create them, we may update them, we may transfer them to others - we are but stewards. They are Find A Grave memorials of human beings, departed.
They are not "friends" on a social media network website to be collected like baseball trading cards. And there's no prize for the one who dies with the most.
The reward comes from maintaining the most accurate and dignified memorials we can. What we record becomes history, and a record in my or someone else's family tree. We have a responsibility to do a good job of it. It's a privilege and honor."
Another contributor has also written a profile that expresses my attempt to provide stories for those I have memorialized. If you have a few minutes, do read what she wrote.
There are so many orphan memorials on the site, names entered and forgotten. Please, if you enter a memorial, have the common courtesy to add edits submitted by people who care.
Note - accidents and nerve damage to left arm and hand, combined with worsening of my Essential Tremor, preclude my ability to hold a camera, has resulted in numerous typos; please call them to my attention. If adding info from census records, I use spelling as shown - those aren't typos. Since I can not pursue my passion to photograph lost cemeteries, am using that time to enhance and link memorials.
Happy graving - and remember to thank our Veterans and Active Service men and women.
Nov 2015: I am unlikely to accept edits that make a significant change to a memorial if there is no email, profile or public message access to make contact to obtain source.