Why Find A Grave? The Find A Grave website pulled me in for a number of reasons. I started contributing to Find A Grave as an extension of my own family history research, which I've dabbled in (sometimes obsessively) for years. Photography is also one of my favorite hobbies, and unlike birds, gravestones hold still! Finally, I work in the tech industry, and this very successful example of crowd-sourcing intrigued me.
My Family History: Surnames include Meier, Cummings, Krech, Taute, and Connolly. I have ancestors from Varel, Oestfriesland; Fambach, Thuringia, Germany; Camus, County Galway, Ireland; Skorped, Vaternorrlands, Sweden; and Essex Co, England, among others. They primarily immigrated to the midwest – Iowa and Minnesota. Oftentimes, memorials I create are not part of my own family tree. A virtual cemetery shows my direct ancestors, and early on I started leaving lilies of the valley on memorials for those in my family tree, friends and other personal connections.
Photography: When I photograph gravestones, I try to capture images that not only provide a clear view of the engraving, but also let the viewer have a feel for the location around the grave site. I favor a low-angle perspective (which has an added benefit of being a great workout for the quads). That said, I take plenty of not-so-good pictures. Sometimes I still post them since a crummy picture is better than none, and someone else can always add a better one. Feel free to use the pictures I've posted. Acknowledgement of where found and who posted them is appreciated.
Local History: Local history is another of my interests, and I'm on the board of the Chisago County Historical Society in east central Minnesota. CCHS has an on-going project, led by Robert Chudek, to research and document the 42 cemeteries in this county. All of the Chisago County cemeteries are in Find A Grave with gate photos, GPS coordinates, and pre-1995 interment records uploaded. Volunteers contribute photographs, family research, obituary transcriptions, and more recent burials. We also work with local churches and cemeteries to offer workshops and digitize records. Contact me if you want to get connected with this project.
Thank you to all those preserving and sharing history by photographing and publishing on Find A Grave!
Please submit corrections, updates or transfer requests using the "Send A Correction" feature located under the EDIT tab on each memorial.