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9 years · 14 days
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Super Squirrel. Our family tree is full of nuts.

I enjoy researching especially online the parish records of Czech Republic and Austria. The records are usually in Latin, German Gothic or Czech, which I speak none of. The German Gothic is crazy hard to read the characters. I live in Miami, Florida. As more Cemetery records go online this helps to find the location of family name origins to determine what city or village to search records.

I use Microsoft Excel & Access to copy and manipulate databases. Example: most European countries display dates as day/month/year. This has to be corrected for Findagrave. Findagrave also doesn't allow bulk upload of any characters with accent marks which is very common in names of non-USA countries.

Ancestry partnership with findagrave has helped in searching for ancestors. I use Family Tree Maker software program. Its works great with a subscription to Ancestry to quickly search records and download & merge records. The links to Findagrave are great. Copying records of Census, Military and photos are great in documenting the family tree, but to me having a photo of the grave marker finalizes the search.

I was changing my car oil the other day at the local Chevy dealership. There is a cemetery nearby, only a 10 minute walk. Instead of waiting for the oil change at the dealership, I walked to the cemetery and used Billionsgraves smartphone app for my Iphone. I Checked the feature in the app to save the image. I noticed that only about 200 names were in findagrave. I got great exercise for 1 1/2 hours walking around a section of the cemetery. It was hot in Miami that day, so hat and bottle of drinking water sure helped. Uploaded 1,500 grave marker photos to Billionsgraves from my phone. When I got home I copied the photos from my Iphone to my computer and then uploaded the 1,500 photos from the computer to findagrave. I figure every 6 months during the oil change I can take more photos at the same cemetery. I received about a dozen thank yous of people who were looking for lost family burials.

I started researching about 1980 when computers were not around. I was 23 at that time. It was hard, time consuming and costly going to National Archive centers. Hand drawing family tree of one of my aunts who was married 5 times was so difficult & confusing. Now it is simple with computers.

My wife makes fun of me. She says I look for dead people. What can I say, I really like researching. My father makes puzzles. He enjoys finding and putting the pieces together. When he is done there is nothing to share. The pieces are just put back into the puzzle box. With family history I help put the family ancestor pieces together and have something to show for it. The computer can instantly produce family tree charts and reports that can be emailed with a few clicks of a mouse.

Can't stand most of the European cemetery policies. They rent graves for 20 year intervals. After 20 years if the rent is not paid, they remove the grave marker and allow others to be buried at the same location and don't keep records of non-renewals. I think it is so wrong and I am disappointed that the people allow it.

The volunteers of Findagrave, Ancestry, Billiongraves, and Myhertitage have really helped in finding family history a lot.

I think that I am currently the top producer of uploaded names to Findagrave. I challenge you to upload more than me. :)


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Search memorial contributions by JOHN SVADBIK