Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery at FindAGrave.com

This Memorial Day I honor my maternal and paternal ancestors (veterans and non-veterans) virtually with the launch of the – Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery– at FindAGrave.com! [1]

Click to visit virtual cemetery online now!

I actually established this “on-going” virtual cemetery New Year’s Day of this year, but did not want to release it online until –

1) I had 20 or more ancestors listed
2) I had a chance to verify each ancestors’ connection to me and my family

The purpose of this new virtual cemetery is to link the interments of all my maternal and paternal ancestors together despite the geographical location of their graves. Those of you who have been following me for a while know FindAGrave.com  is one of my favorite online resources to use with my family research. I started creating virtual cemeteries last year with the launch of my “on-going” Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery and when I see the number of visits that post has received via my blog’s Google Analytics dashboard widget and Feedjit live traffic feed, I hope that this post about this new virtual cemetery will do just as well too!

According to the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, on May 5, 1865, Decoration Day was established for our nation to decorate the graves of veterans with flowers. The first observance of this federal holiday took place at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. But by the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 across the United States. By 1971, the US Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday and it was at that time that it would be observed on the last Monday in May.

With so many Americans honoring the deaths of love ones who were not veterans on Memorial Day, in December 2000 Congress passed and the president signed in to law — “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” — so that veterans are particularly not forgotten on this national day!  [2]

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.”

To my family and friends, have a wonderful Memorial Day and if time allows, visit a local cemetery today! If you cannot make it to an actual cemetery, then I invite you to take a virtual stroll through the Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery by clicking the link or the graphic above; feel free to leave virtual flowers if you like!

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Source Citation:

1.   Taylor-Harris, L. (2013, May 25). Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery. Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=vcsr

2.   U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2012, November 30). Memorial Day History. Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp

Follow Friday: FindAGrave, BillionGraves, and Interment.net

It’s Follow Friday and today I recommend three online databases (FindAGrave, BillionGraves, and Interment) of cemetery records that should be very helpful with your family research; enjoy!

FindAGrave.com, developed in 1995, founded in 1998, and incorporated in 2000, is a website that contains a massive list of cemeteries and graves from all over the world. As of July 27, 2012, it has been reported that this website has over 84 million records — all provided by individuals or genealogical societies. As of today, I’ve been an active Find A Grave Member for 1 year, 2 months, and 10 days! One of the features I enjoy most about this database/website is the ability to create Virtual Cemeteries grouping collateral & lineal family members together regardless of where they’re actually buried in the world (A VIRTUAL CEMETERY HAS NO RELATION TO A REAL CEMETERY!). I released my first virtual cemetery Memorial Day Weekend 2012.  I will launch an official Claiming Kin Virtual Cemetery next year!

BillionGraves.com, consist of a website and a smart phone app developed by App Time, LLC. Their goal is ” . . . to provide an expansive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries, all tagged with GPS locations.” So how does this site work? “Volunteers use smartphones to take GPS-tagged pictures of headstones in local cemeteries, which are then uploaded to the Internet and transcribed for easy searching. The phone’s GPS helps to organize cemeteries correctly which makes it easy for researchers to accurately locate their ancestors’ burial locations. I’ve been a registered member of the site since the fall of 2011. But I’m sad to say that I’m not an active member — just yet! One of the reasons for that is that their smart phone app is only available for iPhones and select Androids. I have a Windows phone — ARGH! Still, I plan to help out by transcribing many of the photos that have been uploaded to the website very soon!

Interment.net, is a free archive of grave transcriptions from thousands of cemeteries around the world. This site began as a personal website called Cemetery Interment List on the Internet in 1997 that only provided links to other websites with cemetery records. But in just one year (1998)  it was transformed into Interment.net as it began to host cemetery transcriptions too. So what makes Internment.net different from FindAGrave and BillionGraves? Well for starters, there’s no biographical information and photos on the website. They purposely limit their information to what is actually inscribed on the headstone. And lastly, many of the inscriptions are from cemeteries that no longer exist . . . which according to their website is “providing a place where cemeteries can be preserved in documentation for generations to come!”

Tombstone Tuesday: Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery

Find A Grave

Visit Cemetery!

Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery
A Virtual Cemetery created by Liv
Description: The Chapple Family virtual cemetery was established Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, 2012, to link the interments of collateral & lineal family members and their ancestors. Majority, if not all, of these family members are native Texans!

Chapple, Lewis Blanton – b. Oct. 19, 1910 d. Dec. 8, 1910

Chappell, Carrie Blanton – b. Feb. 28, 1883 d. Dec. 16, 1944

Chappell, Dorothey J – b. Sep. 10, 1921 d. Nov. 13, 1921

Chapple, Estella Smith – b. 1903 d. Jul. 3, 1930

Chapple, Joseph – b. Jun. 2, 1902 d. Aug. 23, 1966

Chapple, Joseph Lee – b. Dec. 26, 1924 d. Jul. 5, 1994

Chapple, Josephine E, “Josie” – b. Jan. 11, 1927 d. Apr. 24, 1928

Chapple, Richard Mary – b. May 9, 1930 d. Jun. 3, 1930

Marshall, Ella Louise Chapple – b. Sep. 18, 1923 d. Apr. 2, 1969

Thomas, Estella Chapple – b. Aug. 24, 1926 d. Aug. 30, 1954

Chapple, Ethel Abram – b. Mar 28, 1902 d. Aug. 28, 1983

I’m spending some of my Memorial Day at FindAGrave.com

Find A GraveEven though Memorial Day began as a holiday to honor those who died in military service, it has evolved into much more. Today, this federal holiday has become a general day of memory for those we’ve loved and lost. Therefore, many Americans will be visiting  grave sites of relatives this Memorial Day weekend whether they served in the military or not.

Today, I will honor some of my maternal family members and ancestors virtually with the launch of the – Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery – at FindAGrave.com!

FindAGrave.com is one of my top five favorite online resources to use with my family research. The idea to create memorial pages for deceased family members at the site came about when I read genealogist Taneya’s post, “Tombstone Tuesday: Filling in our Find-A-Grave-Entries,” last year. Taneya was inspired to create memorial pages from Susan Petersen at LongLostRelatives.net who wrote,

Every time I locate an obituary that includes the name of the cemetery where the deceased was buried, I check FindAGrave. Is there a memorial established for the person? If not, I create one based on the information in the obituary. I summarize any family history information from the obituary into the biography section. Read more . . .”

So lately, that is exactly what I’ve been doing  — creating family memorial pages – and the process hasn’t been difficult at all! As suggested, I use information from published obituaries, funeral programs, and family information to round out the brief bio I post on everyone’s page. I add personal photos and tombstones if I have them. If I don’t have a published obituary, family information, or a photo to go on (which is the case for some family members who died at birth or as babies), then I use details from their death certificates to complete their memorial pages. A feature I particularly like is the, “Add relationship links,” that appears on each page you create. This feature allows you to add the link of each parent’s memorial page to the child’s page, which in turn links the child’s page to each of the parents’ page.

So far, many of the memorial pages that I’ve completed were already started by a FindAGrave volunteer contributor who visited the cemetery where my family members are interred and either uploaded a photo of the tombstone, or added basic details about them from cemetery logs. Once I connected with the contributor, they quickly transferred the management of the memorial page over to me to complete. As a result of my linking, my Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery was established and other virtual family cemeteries will soon follow.

To my family, have a wonderful Memorial Day! And as FindAGrave.com suggest, “[t]ake the time to go out to your local cemetery this weekend. Visit a friend or family member or just enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Can’t make it to a real cemetery?” Then take a virtual stroll through the Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery by clicking below and leave some virtual flowers if you like!

Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery

Click to visit the Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery!

Tuesday’s Tip: Five Online Resources to Jump-start Your Family Research

A conceptual look at the family and its members.

I want to thank family and friends for all the positive feedback I’ve received about my post, Five Steps to Getting Started with Your Family Research! Since I’m asked about my research process all the time, I decided to share those “how-to” instructions on this blog. Now whenever I’m asked how did I get started with my family research, I can just refer everyone to that information!

Now that you’ve been interviewing family members about your ancestors and locating home sources to gather names, dates, and places to fill-in your pedigree charts and family group sheets, you’re probably ready to turn to a variety of online and offline resources to round out your research. When considering the Internet as a place to start your research, there are hundreds and hundreds of excellent websites out there you will use and enjoy along your journey. Just the thought of  listing all the ones I frequent would be impossible . . . WHEW! But if I were to select just five websites to recommend for jump-starting your family research, I would recommend the five below because I visit them over, and over, and over again!

Ancestry.com

This website, filled with billions of digitized records, feeds my need for searchable census and military records, as well as, birth and death indices. Anyone who visits this site can launch an electronic family tree for FREE by typing in your name. Once you’ve found information you want to attach or save to family members of your tree, you will need to become a paid subscriber of the website. I’ve been using Ancestry’s FamilyTree Maker software to manage and organize my family history for quite some time. But, I became a paid subscriber of Ancestry.com in 2011 and totally enjoy the syncing capability I now have with my software and the entire Ancestry online community.

FamilySearch.org

This is my favorite “go-to” website to search for death certificates to download and attach to my family tree. Being able to download and closely review ancestors’ death records have allowed me to fill in some pretty important gaps in my research. I have also been able to dispel rumors, as well as, shed light on assumptions and truths about some of my ancestors. Be sure to read a post I wrote about how FamilySearch.org helped me to reveal that my grand-father, Joseph Chapple (who grew up as an only child), wasn’t the only child my great-grandmother, Carrie Blanton, gave birth to!

USGenWeb and RootsWeb

Knowing where your ancestors lived, worked, and died in the US is very important to your success in locating information about them. So when I’m not able to physically visit states, counties, and towns where my ancestors lived right away, I turn to two great websites – USGenWeb and The RootsWeb Project – for help! Both of these websites, maintained by wonderful volunteers, provide free resources for the genealogy community. USGenWeb focuses on resources and information that you may find about your ancestors at the state level, while RootsWeb allows researchers to access searchable database and indexes for ancestors at the county level. Both of these websites have played an important role in me successfully locating obituaries, deeds, wills, and affidavits of heirship about my ancestors.

FindAGrave.com

Once I’ve had a chance to carefully review an ancestor’s death certificate, I usually head over to FindAGrave.com, a very valuable online community dedicated to recording the final resting place of individuals around the world.  The content at this website, mainly transcriptions and actual photos of tombstones, is provided by volunteers who are more than happy to transfer the management of your ancestor’s memorial page over to you to complete if you contact them.  I truly appreciate this community a lot and show my support by sponsoring family members’ pages when I locate them. Sponsorship is a one-time payment of $5 which goes to helping them sustain the website, as well as, remove all the flashing banner ads on memorial pages.

Cyndislist.com

This massive and wonderful website, personally maintained by the one and only Ms. Cyndi Howell, consist of over 300,000 links to online genealogical resources organized in to 188 categories! WOW! Actually, I call this website –  the genealogist playground – because anything genealogy you can think of is probably linked at this website! If you’re looking for specific online genealogy resources relevant to your ethnicity, then this website is a great point of reference. Finding what you’re looking for is not difficult at all; just use the site’s custom Google search box, or click “Categories” along the site’s left sidebar to explore!