My first interest is in Genealogy. My father’s family is centered around the Franklin County, Missouri and the St. Louis area. My mother’s side is in northern Alabama and Mississippi and southwest Tennessee. In recent times my family has scattered from coast to coast. I like putting my family groups together and finding out their story. In the “old days”, I depended on oral histories and microfiche at the Latter-Day Saints Family History Libraries and numerous Historical Societies. Then the internet made resources very accessible. Constantly, I am finding updates on Newspaper.com, GenealogyBank.com, LDS Family Search, Ancestry.com, and of course Findagrave.com.
When first subscribing to Findagrave.com, I was only interested in my family then about 2019, I found so many folks did not have memorials on findagrave.com. I was saddened so many had been forgotten. I was searching for a family member on Newspaper.com when I came across an article (1918) celebrating Civil War Veteran’s buried in their community. I thought the Civil War had been all too-well documented but, not on Findagrave.com. I found that so much family history is lost within a generation. So many photographs are unidentifiable.
This brings me to Findagrave.com. This internet site is a great resource for genealogy. Actually, having a photographed grave maker can provide a wealth of information. The obvious are names and dates but sometime nee names, marriage dates, places of birth, parents and children, service in the military, etc.
I don’t take the memorials I have made nonchalantly; I want to make them as complete and precise with the information I have found at the time. When a photograph is posted it is most likely done by another volunteer. They are most valuable, but we are in our own way contributing to the site. When I request a photograph it is usually for my own family research but other times it is when I am stumped for information to make a memorial, I have made more complete. Or, it might be the last photograph needed to complete a linked family group.
I enjoy cemeteries especially ones with old ornate monuments, or the symmetry of a National Cemetery across the landscape. When I request photographs, I usually ask for two; one of the markers itself and another of the area with the marker or if it doesn’t have a marker, a photograph with a recognizable landmark of the plot. The second photograph is beneficial to show the ‘sense of space’. Sometimes, the grave has been ignored and the photographer will bring attention to the plot, either to the cemetery maintenance or take it on themselves. I think this is an important role to pay respect to the burial site.
All Findagrave.com Volunteers play an important role to document the graves. It provides hard data to the cemeteries of interments and markers. It provides research material for Genealogist. But most of all, it gives respect and honor to the ones that have passed.
Findagrave.com Volunteers serve in various ways; some enter the initial basic information, some do research, some take photographs, some concentrate on Veterans, Religious Professions, Police/Fire, others have a favorite cemetery. Some like the solitude on cemetery grounds or others like the social activity by scanning/surveying a cemetery one section at a time. All are important roles. One does not have to live in a particular area, one does not have to be a relative to the Memorialized. It all works, it is all important, it does not matter who does the work. Whatever motives one has, it all contributes to the end goal of remembering, honoring, and respecting the ones that have passed.
In closing, I truly appreciate all the Findagrave.com Volunteers. Especially the ones that are in the field and take photographs. There are many researchers like me that are very grateful to find another piece to their family history!