Member for
3 years · 1 month · 4 days
Find a Grave ID


In April 2017 I started working on my family tree, searching local cemeteries and seeing many familiar names. It quickly turned into an obsession and after 3 years I took my family tree from about 500 people to nearly 6000 people. One of the primary research tools used was Find A Grave.

So many volunteers gave freely of their time to create these memorials that had helped me do my research. I felt compelled to give back and started taking pictures at a local cemetery, which looked huge and had about 4800 memorials when I was done processing the pictures. From there I moved on other local cemeteries and some further away from my home in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada.

There is something about getting out to a cemetery, seeing all the names and wondering who these people were, what they might have worked at, and much more. Realization also took hold that so much of what we have around us today, is a result of the hard work of these people.

From the beginning I have felt these memorials should ideally be managed by family, friend, or someone with an interest. At one point I was managing close to 8000 memorials; checking daily for suggested edits, and processing BIO requests. While this doesn't take a large amount of time, it still takes time each day to check.

In early 2020, Find a Grave, made it much easier to take over management of memorials they managed. By clicking on the "Suggest Edits" button, and "Request to Manage" button a memorial can easily be transferred. With this in mind, I am currently in the process of transferring all non-family memorials to Find a Grave so I'll have more time to focus on my family tree (Jun 2020).

Maintenance/Transfer of Memorials:

The memorials I manage will likely be of my relatives. If you'd like me to transfer a memorial to you, I'll likely ask you to provide details of your relationship to the person in question. My intent is not to hold onto memorials of someone's parents or grandparents.

Privacy Issues:

Any personal information for a living person on a photo of a grave marker will be covered or photo edited to remove it. I will not provide this information.
GPS Coordinates:

The purpose of GPS is to get you close to the marker. Since my camera is attaching the GPS coordinates to the picture, the location will be where I'm standing. Given commercial GPS accuracy is about 10 to 20+ feet radius, I will reject any change request within that distance. Please use a distance calculator to check.

My pictures are free to use, but please give me credit.

Robert Bell (Valleyboy13)

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1 Memorials