Quality is more important than Quantity. We prefer to take info from cemetery records in order to include memorials of unmarked graves and multiple burials otherwise overlooked. My husband & I also enjoy 'walking the cemeteries' photographing the headstones to add to the memorials. Find A Grave is a starting place. Records can be wrong, but they do help us find a starting place. Most cemeteries are helpful to work with and appreciate the additional documentation. Main focus is documenting cemetery burials.
Our goal is to AUTHENTICATE and DOCUMENT ACTUAL BURIAL SITES either by 1) a photo of the stone; 2) verification by cemetery records; 3) info in an obituary or 4) actual witness account. A memorial is to be created ONLY if we know where they are buried. We have 30 days to locate the place of burial according to FAG.
COPYRIGHT: Photo's of headstones may be freely used. Credit would be nice!
THANKS to FAG volunteers who are helpful, enthusiastic, and courteous to other FAG volunteers! Please THANK A CONTRIBUTOR - let them know if one of their memorials was special to you and why - encourage them!
FAG does not source; however, sources of information on my memorials are included for those who research and/or belonging to societies needing documentation.
Some FAG suggestions are below:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ RECORDS ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
MILITARY DESIGNATIONS: While some people adamantly refuse to add it, WE WILL honor their service and rank. 'A veteran who has served honorably in a time of war in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may bear the title of the highest grade held during that war. This right is conferred by Congress in law by 10 US Code 772 Section (e)'.
NAMES: HYPHENATED NAMES provide confusion in searches. We will only use the name on the stone; then explain the name in the biography section, including multiple married names. 'The memorial surname should reflect the name on the headstone and/or the cemetery records' per FAG.
~ The name on the memorial HAS TO MATCH the name on the headstone, an absolute with FAG! It also avoids duplication of memorials with someone else walking through the cemetery photographing stones!
OBITUARIES: Even Obituaries can contain erroneous information - Always double-check information with other sources.
LINKS: I try to type in the parents and spouse(s) names upfront since a record may not ever be made to link them. Take the time and effort to search the parents / spouses and link it (they may be in the same cemetery)!
~ We will NOT link to burial unknowns!
~ We remove ALL internet links from memorials as they may not be useable links in the future. This includes those in obits (per FAG)!
TRANSFERS: We will be glad to transfer memorial records to direct family members; 'distant relatives' or 'close friends' under certain circumstances. We will consider case by case. We retain the right not to transfer if the memorial is our related family member!
UPDATES & EDITS: Please send us your documentation for corrections and additional information. FAG volunteers are 'allowed, and encouraged, to require official documentation when considering edit requests'. It will speed up the process of researching to verify the correct information.
DATES AND LOCATIONS:
1. SOCIAL SECURITY RECORDS list the last residence payment was sent to - it is NOT necessarily the location of death!
2. MARRIAGE RECORDING DATES are not the actual date when the marriage took place, just when it was returned and recorded in that county.
a. In Washington state, only the county in which the license application was PURCHASED is recorded, not the actual city or county where the marriage occurred.
*** 'UNKNOWN BURIALS': An earlier record does not have priority when designated as unknown burial - 'In regard to duplicates, a memorial with a correct known burial location will always be preferred over an unknown burial location.'
a. We WILL NOT DELETE our memorials if your record did not come up on the searches and is a 'BURIAL UNKNOWN'! // We are not responsible for duplication of 'burial unknowns' or duplication of memorials that were placed in the wrong cemetery. // I do try to relay the correct information to the first memorial.
DATE OF BIRTH / DEATH: Where there is a discrepancy in dates, I go with evidence of direct birth or death certificates only. Otherwise, I create the memorial with the stone dates.
MULTIPLE BURIALS IN ONE GRAVE: a memorial for each will be made, noting the others as 'unmarked' and headstone is for only ONE person. Photograph the whole plot and include it on each memorial with an explanation in bio - 'This grave is where #1 is buried, name not on stone' '#1 is buried in same grave with #2, no marker for #1' with a hyperlink to #2's memorial. I also note if unrelated or related. If somehow related, I explain how related in bio.
HEADSTONE ENGRAVING MISTAKES: If we have other sources that support one or the other, we will use that source to create the memorial and explain the mistake in the bio as much as we can. (Yes, it is does frequently happen!)
CENOTAPHS: PLEASE DO NOT delete your record if we find the actual burial in a different cemetery! If there is a stone in your cemetery, then a record still needs to be created of the cenotaph memorial and documented in that cemetery! If you do not want to work a cenotaph, then please TRANSFER to us rather than delete it! Remember, relational links go on the actual burial memorial!
~ Cremated ashes, lost, etc may be merged with the physical cenotaph marker memorial (per FAG)
PLOT DESCRIPTION: FAG goal is to locate the final resting place. Researching & documenting the plot description validates ACTUAL burial. It is not enough to have just a name with a cemetery for genealogy reasons!
-- Assumptions of burial location based on a spouse's burial should be validated - it may be a cenotaph, and buried elsewhere (ie, military, or different spouse)! And yes, cremains or ashes are buried with headstones!
CEMETERIES: When a person purchases a plot in a cemetery, it is also 'Real Property' with a legal transferable deed and recorded in City Hall. For burial information, contact Funeral Home, Cemetery Office, or City Hall. (Depending on the size of the town!)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ PHOTO'S ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
PHOTOS: Since headstones are considered a reliable source of information accepted by various organizations, it is important that the photo of the headstone shows clarity of the information on it (names, dates, military info, etc.) as it is 'set in stone'.
- The photos show a whole stone 'face on' of the whole stone, and with the spouse name for verification. We may include a partial stone or full family plot for good documentation for relatives to see. A good photo will identify a headstone, urn, etc to help verify burial at a glance!
- Photo's of a stone without both dates is to be deleted and replaced with current photo's with the death date
- A temporary plot marker placed by cemeteries (required by law) is NOT A HEADSTONE, and sometimes have only a basic name / years in cement, often containing errors awaiting a correct headstone!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ PERSONAL ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
RESEARCH INTERESTS: My husbands lineage is Voss/Hicks. My lineage is Orndoff /Orndorff /Arndoff (WV). I has been a genealogist since 1992. My husband does the main photographing; and we both research on our memorials. We support 'Wreaths Across America' for vets; and 'US Armed Forces Legacy Project', Tonasket, WA.
PET PEEVE: Memorials that have been created only for the purpose of family genealogy (including links) with no idea where they are buried! I have run across whole families with 3-4 generations, including all family siblings, and everyone of them are burial unknowns or fraudulent incorrect cemeteries (which they continually change to avoid detection)! It is a waste of 1) FAG Contributors time and effort to go to the cemetery to photograph a stone not there, and 2) the Cemetery Office Staff's valuable time in searching for a location of a burial that is not even in their cemetery - the staff even taking time to research all possible various spellings of that name! It is disrespectful to the family members, and misleading to others ... and an abuse of the integrity of the FAG recording system of memorials!
Search memorial contributions by WindChimes (John 3:8)