I became a FindAGrave volunteer after a man volunteered on a Russian genealogy forum to find my beloved grandfather's grave. The surprise came on my birthday 7 years ago.
My journey as a volunteer started locally. Then, my cousin in Ukraine died suddenly of a painful cancer before I had a chance to visit her with my Ukrainian-born mother. So, I asked myself, "What have I done for the Ukrainian and Russian communities buried in American cemeteries?"
That sparked my interest to start projects in Russian, Ukrainian and other eastern European-focused cemeteries. I am very proud of my work on FindAGrave. I put my real name and face here because I stand by my work. I kick myself when I make obvious errors, but happy to make corrections that are appropriate. I have learned so much as a FindAGrave volunteer.
The joy of doing projects comes from finally acknowledging the eastern European community that doesn't get the same attention on genealogy databases. That is due to the language barriers and communist-era mentality that still affect the eastern European community.
Sadly, one volunteer on FindAGrave has chosen to intimidate me as I work on my latest project. I will continue my work in the same manner because I know this is only one rotten apple among the golden apples who have been so thankful to me.
I have received many thank you notes from Russia and other countries. These people have closure about what happened to their ancestors and relatives after escaping the former USSR.
If you learn anything from me, let it be this- Go to your ancestors' homeland when you have the chance. My chance to visit Ukraine with my mother is gone due to complicated issues.
I hope you have enjoyed finding pictures of your relatives' and ancestors' graves. I photograph graves whenever I have free time.
You are welcome to use my photos for your genealogy projects. Kindly, give me credit for the photos. No need to contact me.
I will be happy to immediately delete any duplicate memorials I created after another Find A Grave volunteer had already done so. No questions asked. I am not a numbers person.
I will transfer memorials to any close or direct descendants. Please note your relationship to the person within the memorial page in your transfer request.
I have a blog at http://lostrussianfamily.wordpress.com/ to help people with their Russian and Ukrainian genealogy.
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