Thursday, June 28, 2012

G for Gravestones

This week’s Family History through the Alphabet blogging challenge brings us to G.  G for Gravestones.
Family History researchers love cemeteries – and the search for ancestor’s gravestones.  Sometimes we are not so lucky as we finally find the final resting place – to find – no gravestone to honour the memory of a life.  The information on a gravestone can provide information for our research, including full name, death date, birth place and other family members.  Epitaphs and decorations on the gravestone will also be of interest.

There are many resources now available to help us access cemeteries and gravestone information.  It was interesting to do a search on “grave” in our catalogue to find over 200 results from the search, many of them fiction.   Of course, I encourage a personal visit yourself if possible but failing this, look for records on your cemetery or grave site of interest.

In our collection we have the Donnybrook Kal Kallo graveinscriptions (which can be accessed online)
Grave Concerns  is the regular newsletter of the Friends of Queenstown Cemetery

Gold, Graves and Glory 1840-1880 by Jackie French looks like an interesting book for young and old alike. 

Ancestry have a number of useful collections including

Find a Grave has international content including Australia, but very USA biased. Check out the celebrity graves for a distraction.
Australian Cemeteries

Billion Graves  aims to be the largest repository of headstone records, images, and locations in the world, giving family historians access to previously undocumented information that can further their genealogical research. The site is built with these researchers in mind, and its structure is inherently collaborative. The first step in the BillionGraves process is to have iPhone and Android users download the BillionGraves camera app and take it with them to local cemeteries, snap quick pictures of the cemetery’s headstones, and the app uploads the photos to The photos are tagged using the iPhone’s location services so the exact location of each grave is recorded.  Once the photos are on, anyone with a account—can transcribe the records on the headstones and make them easily searchable, see the headstones and the exact locations of ancestors’ final resting places.

Gravestone Symbolism

Tips for photographing gravestones

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