Don BlauveltA silhouette of a person.

Don Blauvelt

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14 years · 3 months · 5 days
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Findagrave is a wonderful avenue in which to present one's ancestors in a free environment coupled with an image of the ancestor's final resting place. Given the nature of life, this is the closest one can come to putting life back into a long deceased ancestor or loved one.

That an ancestor died long before genealogy became popular, and either does not currently have a known place of interment or gravestone, does not diminish the importance of their life to living descendants. For example, according to a now deceased well-respected New England genealogist, during the American Rev. War Hessian mercenaries employed by the British used a Hull, Mass. cemetery as their campground, pushed all of the gravestones over and used them for personal purposes or target practice. No wonder there are no gravestones there prior to 1790, but the people are still interred there.

But a great part of the Findagrave system reflects someone having added a name from a cemetery list or book, the purported date of death, no biographical information, no image of the person's gravestone if it still exists, or no transcription of what the gravestone does or once said. When a volunteer has made the effort to provide and has attached a photo of an associated gravestone, there are those who maintain the related memorial who refuse to add a transcription of the gravestone before it may become unreadable in the future.

For those "stuck-in-the-mud" complainers that Findagrave is not a genealogical site, Findagrave began as a site to record the known graves of famous people from all walks of life often including short bios with no reference to parents, a spouse or children. Yet, the person's known parents, spouse(s) and perhaps children may have had known graves, but no function was provided to link them together as a family. The linking function was added much later and when linked immediately created a family genealogy. The linking function also allowed correction of longstanding ancestral errors as well as elimination of downright bogus genealogy.

On Jan. 5, 2020 this writer added a memorial for a person with a standing gravestone, and link to the parents, numbered by Findagrave as memorial no. 205,xxx,xxx; that is, the nearly 206 millionth genealogy-related memorial. This is direct evidence that Findagrave has become a rich and expanding resource for genealogical research. But, contributors have the explicit responsibility of documenting family data from primary documents (town vital and church-related records, deeds, probate records, etc. or from professional genealogy-related publications whose material is fully documented) and not from 100+ year old published genealogies with undocumented claims or internet websites whose purported genealogies have been electronically captured from dubious second or worse sources.

The memorial pages I have created, may create in the future, or ask others to transfer, reflect either a direct ancestor, part of the extended ancestral family, or of particular interest as having been associated in some meaningful way with my children's ancestors. A transfer request from me of an unrelated person is the result of personal research that corrects or extends the basis of the existing memorial. Any biographical presentation is also not intended to glorify, only present who the people were.

I am more than willing to transfer a memorial I have created or maintain to a person's descendant when not specifically associated with my core ancestors. However, if I have done all of the work and verified the credible basis of the memorial, I reserve the right to do so on a case by case basis. Corrections or suggested additions are always welcomed. However, corrections and suggestions will not be accepted if they are not accompanied by direct documentation or reflect wishful assumptions or proven "junk" genealogy.

Of specific note: The words "of record" referring to a person or event in any memorial I created or maintain means the data is from a primary record source that has been cross-verified. It does not mean it is based on Ancestry, Familysearch, WikiTree, myHeritage, Geni or like-type web-based genealogy sites unless the data therein can be verified by a primary record source.


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