Tombstone Tuesday - Cemeteries Online - A Look at Find A Grave | The Armchair Genealogist
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Tombstone Tuesday - Cemeteries Online - A Look at Find A Grave

With winter well established here in Ontario, Canada, I have taken to cemeteries online for tombstone hunting. I have also committed myself to adding my tombstone pictures to some of these databases, a process I have never engaged in before. Online cemeteries offer us the opportunity to search for our ancestors, however, I will be honest I have yet to find one of my ancestor’s tombstone online. Then it occurred to me, maybe some distance cousins are also looking for my family. I realized if I want to draw out unknown family and new leads on my ancestors then I needed to do my part and start posting my family in these online cemeteries.

This week I went to Find A Grave and began the process. I would like to share my experience.
Founded in 1995 by Jim Tipton, Find A Grave is a virtual cemetery where contributors submit grave records, tombstone pictures and memorials for past ancestors for FREE. Find A Grave hosts 41 million grave records and boasts 500,000 contributors. One of the main attractions of virtual cemeteries is to expose your family records to the world in the hopes a distant relative will locate you and reveal clues to some of your unanswered questions. With over 50,000 visitors a day, Find A Grave is a great place to start posting your tombstone pictures.

This week I posted the tombstone of my Great-Grandfather Adam Kowalsky. I started with Adam because I dearly want to make a connection with relatives in Poland; my Great-Grandfather immigrated to Canada in 1905.

The process of posting to Find A Grave I found to be very simple and well laid out. Upon arriving at Find A Grave, Go to the New Member Page, here you submit an email address and a password. You are presented with a profile page to fill out and after that, you are ready to begin submitting.

Click on, Add Burial Records, this brings you to a biographical page, fill in information of the deceased and proceed to step two. Next, type in the first few letters of the cemetery and presto a list of cemeteries pops up, check the one you want, if not there you have the option to add it. Your page will then say Success! It is that simple.

Click to view, immediately my Great Grandfathers memorial appeared with a picture of the cemetery gates (if available this is automatically added to the page). You now can start uploading pictures of the headstones or pictures of the deceased. (There are restrictions to the kind and size of pictures you upload so please read the instructions) There are options on the page to add relationship links, marker transcriptions and notes. You can also place some flowers at the virtual grave marker.

You may wish to sponsor this memorial. For a one-time fee of $5.00 (payable by cheque, money order or credit card) you can have all advertisements removed (although I didn’t find them tacky or intrusive) from the page, the photo limit is increased from 5 pictures to 20 pictures and you are credited with a special link at the bottom of the memorial. This is an optional feature.

In all, Find A Grave was a user-friendly site; it's a professional and respectful website. I will continue to post my ancestors headstones to cemeteries online, not only as a memorial to them but also as an opportunity to extend my reach to make a possible family connection.

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