Last year Ancestry organised the “Find A Grave Community Day“, and it was an amazing success thanks to everyone who participated … there were more than 100 meet-up points around the globe, and more than 100 cemeteries were visited, and people contributed more than 250,000 photos on the days leading up to, and on, Find A Grave Community Day 2014.
Now Ancestry and Find A Grave have high hopes of beating that 2014 record, and their next global meetup is scheduled for Saturday, 17th October. While they love to photograph graves in cemeteries in general, they also have the aim of it being to fulfill hundreds of thousands of photo requests still outstanding on Find A Grave.
“We all know how important cemeteries are to our family history research. Your work to fulfill outstanding photo requests and building memorials helps people around the world who cannot visit these cemeteries in person. We know a lot of this is done on an individual basis and we thought it would be great to try and organize a single day to come together as a group in your local community to meet one another while you do what you love to do.
Last year we had meetups in 100 cities, and we hope to expand even further this year. Please note, these events are all volunteer run and are easy to set up. We hope you will be inspired to host an event in your local town and add it to the list below.”
So if you are interested and are wondering what you can do, and how to go about it, Find A Grave have given details on how you can participate …
How to Participate
If you would like to participate, the first step is to see if your city is listed on our Facebook events page, here. If it is, click on name of the city to see the cemetery (or if the city is large, a list of cemeteries) that will be hosting the event. If you find a cemetery you want to help with, simply click the ‘Join’ button on the right of the screen, just below the event cover image.
It will also give you the option to share this event on the social web to let your friends know about it and we hope you do – all are welcome!
If your city is not located in this list, we encourage you to contact a cemetery near you and ask them if it would be alright if you visited on Saturday, October 17th to take photos of graves that will be uploaded to FindAGrave.com. Please be sure to ask permission before you arrive.
Once the cemetery confirms this is ok, please go to our Google Doc and provide your Find A Grave Day meetup location including city and state, province or country, the time of your meetup, and Find A Grave cemetery URL.
We will upload new meetup locations on our Facebook events page each day so check back frequently.
[At the time of writing this post, there are Find A Grave Community Day events scheduled in Australia, England, Irealand and the US … but here’s hoping a heap more will be added in the coming days and weeks.]
What to Do on Saturday, 17th October
To ensure a successful day, we encourage you to look up the cemetery you will be visiting and go through the list of the outstanding photo requests. Some cemeteries have one, others have hundreds. Then work with cemetery staff a week or two before the day of the event to locate the graves you are wishing to photograph on a map. Most offices are more than happy to look up the name and provide the section and plot number for each request. Just please keep in mind asking them to do 100 might be taxing on their staff. Let them know how many you are trying to fulfill and then let them advise what makes the most sense based on their own resources.
We have put together a page of resources for you here. Be sure to go through that before the event. Items include a cemetery etiquette guide, a link to download the Find a Grave mobile app where you can batch upload photos (iOS and Android compatible) and where you can easily search for your local cemetery.
Ancestry and Find A Grave staff members will be attending a select number of events across the globe and we’ll post an update on exact locations in the next week or two. Our hope is to be able to meet many of you in person, and that you have the opportunity to meet others in the community who share your love of cemeteries and giving back.
Make a day of it. Bring the family out. Meet other volunteers. Get to know your local cemetery staff a little bit better. Help those who cannot get to the cemetery in person secure a photo of their ancestors grave site (with or without the marker).
Then upload all the photos you take to FindAGrave.com. If you are fulfilling a specific photo request for someone, you can go to the main cemetery page (this is the page for the cemetery that has the total number of records, photos of the cemetery, a map, etc.) and then click on “# photo requests.” Scroll down until you find the right person and then click on the ‘fulfill’ link on the right. You can upload the photo there and they will be notified you have done them a great service. And if you decide to share any of this on the social web (events, photos, videos, etc) please use the hashtags #FGDay and #FindAGrave if you can!
And while we’re on the topic of cemeteries and graves, here are some other topics that Find A Grave think you may find helpful:
- What is a photo volunteer?
- How do I add a photo of the cemetery?
- What information should I include from a headstone?
- How do I clean a headstone or grave marker?
- Are there any suggestions in order to take a photo of a headstone that is hard to read?
- What if the individual photo request cannot be fulfilled?
- What if there is no headstone?
If you plan on joining in, please let Find A Grave know where you will be and make sure to either RSVP for an existing event by checking their Facebook page for events here or registering your event so others can join by completing this quick form.
Will you be there?