*Grave and memorial inscriptions

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Wilfreda99
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Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby Wilfreda99 » 30 Nov 2018 11:53

Hi
I belong to a group of Friends of the local (redundant) church and (closed) graveyard and we would like to put the memorial inscriptions online, so that they are free to view. There are about 350 graves so not too onerous a task. We are trying to decide whether it would be better to put them on a website such as Find a Grave, or to create a spreadsheet of all the details and put them on our website. I have found details of graves using the latter method in days gone by but can't find any now so is this a redundant method? I would welcome any thoughts both from people searching for graves and from those uploading data - ease of use, etc.

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby tatewise » 30 Nov 2018 12:36

I am not particularly focussed on finding gravestones, but would advise using a well know site where you can contribute, such as https://www.findagrave.com/contribute, otherwise how would a researcher find them on your website?
There appear to be several upload options and videos on that site, but you need to join for free to get the details.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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LornaCraig
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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby LornaCraig » 30 Nov 2018 13:27

Are you planning to take photos as well as transcribe the information?
This site is a useful one https://www.gravestonephotos.com/ As the name suggests, it has a searchable index of photos and welcomes volunteers. For ways of volunteering/contributing, see https://www.gravestonephotos.com/volunteers/become.php
Lorna

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Wilfreda99
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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby Wilfreda99 » 04 Dec 2018 15:36

Thanks to both of you for your comments. I have had a look at site Gravestonephotos but I think Find a Grave looks more suited to our purpose as I would like to record the actual inscription rather than just the details of the names dates etc. I will have a play around more but I think you have confirmed my thoughts that one of these dedicated websites would be better than anything we can cobble together ourselves.
I put a name into google and that surname came up on Find a Grave, though not the relevant one because I had obtained it from Gravestone photos. Clicking on one on Find a Grave took me to a specific grave, details and photo. The same search on Gravestone photos only took me to the list of the surname and left me to scroll down to the relevant one (hardly impossible to do but one more step).
Thanks again, :)
Chris

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby themoudie » 06 Dec 2018 22:12

Aye Chris,

I have used and made contributions to both FindaGrave and GravestonePhotos. FindaGrave is an American site and appears to have close connections to the LSD website and Search engine. Whilst the GravestonePhotos is a one man band UK based website and if you enjoy one to one correspondence with the people adding data to the site or maybe would like more detailed information, this could be the site for your group.

Whichever you choose, enjoy it, make sure your images are crisply focused, enhance the image 'Contrast' if necessary to make any inscription/carving legible and make as full a transcription of the inscription as you can. An accurate (+/- 5m) latitude - longtitude of the headstone is also appreciated.

"...you have confirmed my thoughts that one of these dedicated websites would be better than anything we can cobble together ourselves." I couldn't agree more.

Good health and my regards, Bill

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby BillH » 06 Dec 2018 22:49

themoudie wrote:FindaGrave is an American site and appears to have close connections to the LSD website and Search engine.


FindAGrave was recently purchased by Ancestry.com which has no connection with the LDS church other than the fact that the founders were (or are) members of the church. The LDS church doesn't have any financial stake in Ancestry.com. Both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch have links to FindAGrave records on their web sites.
Bill Henshaw

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Wilfreda99
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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby Wilfreda99 » 07 Dec 2018 10:06

Thanks for your comments. I knew that FindaGrave was purchased some years ago by Ancestry who swore at that time to keep it free for use, in accordance with the wishes of its creator, but of course that might not last for ever. I hadn't realised that FindaGrave is accessible via Family Search. I might look a bit more deeply into the other site, perhaps I didn't research it properly. We want people to be able to find the information for free by putting a name into Google, so that those who aren't family history researchers can find out where their ancestors are buried. On the other hand of course people who are into family history probably put the name into a family history website before they do into google...…..
This could be particularly significant for people buried in our graveyard since about 1925. Transcriptions of burial registers prior to that date are available on FMP (OK, I know we have to pay for that!) but the register since then is still with the church warden of the next village, with which our congregation merged when the church closed. This is because some people are still being buried where a double plot was purchased originally. The register will never be completed and therefore possibly never passed over to the county archives, or not for a long time.
People who know their ancestors are buried here can ring up the church warden for details but I know of at least 2 graves where the person lived elsewhere but was buried here for no apparent reason.

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BillH
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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby BillH » 07 Dec 2018 17:00

Wilfreda99,

Just my personal opinion, but I would recommend FindAGrave as probably the best such site to use. It has a global audience and a very large number of graves already entered and many more being added all the time. I use FindAGrave all the time without going through either Ancestry or FamilySearch. One cautionary note is that I've found errors on quite a few of my ancestors. People sometimes add info from their research that isn't true. As with any such non-primary source, the info of course needs to be verified.

Another site like FindAGrave is Billion Graves which has a following here in the US but I'm not sure about its worldwide coverage. I find it a lot harder to use than FindAGrave so don't use it much. One thing it does have is the exact GPS location of every grave that has a picture on the site.
Bill Henshaw

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby AdrianBruce » 08 Dec 2018 20:47

Re access of FindAGrave from FamilySearch - because the index is not FS's own, it has to be imported and I'm not sure how often that happens. The page https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Find_A_Grave_Index_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) says:
This collection is being published as information becomes available from Find A Grave

The tense here implies that it's an ongoing project but is silent on how often updates take place. As a result, change may happen in FindAGrave that are not reflected in FS for some time.

The other aspect that you need to think about is copyright of photos. It is all too frequent that someone copies photos from FindAGrave to put in their tree, sometimes without even having the courtesy to acknowledge the original source. If anyone feels offended by this, then they probably shouldn't be putting their photos online anywhere. I mention FindAGrave but that's probably unfair - any photos anywhere are fair game for copyists - it's just that FindAGrave is such an obvious a place to go to.
Adrian

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby themoudie » 08 Dec 2018 21:29

Aye Chris,

Further to my earlier post, it would appear that by entering ""Robert Harvey" grave" into Google, it returns 45,900 results!

'FindaGrave' has 1,509 matching records found for "Robert Harvey".

So it appears that if you only use Google, or are keen and use a genealogy website or a Grave/Memorial record website, you are likely to obtain information. Whether you choose to then run the gauntlet of 'Pay per View' or 'Free' websites is personal preference. All are better than an Excel/Access database that may have personal foibles in its layout and content. Bit like commecial website 'Family Tree' software! ;)

Use which ever of the 3 online databases mentioned in this thread suits you and your group, if people require the information they will find it. The sooner you record the data the better. Two Parishes where I know I have relatives buried have been turned into 'green spaces' for the Parish. All the headstones being either laid face down to form footpaths, hiding the inscriptions and or placed around the perimeter of the graveyard along with larger memorials, where tree saplings and rampant ivy growth then obcsure the stone. No mapped record was made prior to the headstones being moved, as that would take up "too much time"! :cry:

Large rabbit populations can also have a similar effect, as headstones fall over due to their burrowing and the headstones are left to lie in situ, whilst the graveyard maybe closed on H&S grounds. The current decline of the Church, its congregations and peoples un-willingness to "keep" graveyards are all reasons that make your online contribution worthwhile. Go for it!

Good health, Bill

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby davidf » 15 Dec 2018 10:08

As with all "genealogy" resources, its horses for courses.
I see very little point in creating an additional "photo resource" - that would seem a diminution of voluntary effort and provided pictures can be linked to, why duplicate?

There is however I think a need for local enhanced curated cemetery records. Things I am thinking of are:
layouts (either really good location detail on something like the dreaded Google Maps) or diagrams - as found on the CWGC.org)
links to parish records / newspaper records
family groupings (particularly where the links are lost due to surname changes on marriage etc.)

Some of the sites (particularly BillionGraves?) are moving that way. However I am thinking of local community projects. I am acutely aware that I received in electronic form a draft of a memorial inscription (print) booklet from a Family History Society for a cemetery containing a lot of people sharing my fairly rare surname. I became aware that this could be significantly enhanced by a good index of family groupings based on both surname and maiden name (with cross references) and by hyper-links between records. Family crises have prevented me from doing this. It is a non trivial exercise - it's not just a matter of grouping all the "Smiths" together, each family grouping needs to be verified. (For instance: If a woman is buried with her husband, what was her maiden name and was she really the daughter of the man buried three graves along?). I am dubious of the large sites which may attempt to do this because I suspect that desktop workers elsewhere may be creating links that are not verified or even verifiable!

It may be that individual cemeteries could have locally created sites (on blogging software like wordpress) with a post per grave (linking if allowed to a photo on one of the big sites) and some form of standardised category tree and tag cloud. The free form of a blog post would allow for a photo, a transcription and a narrative of specific research done on those mentioned in the transcription. Local parish groups might then administer the sites and control/verify the main content. Open commenting then allows for discussion of speculative links.

Once people start linking into such sites in posts elsewhere, the search engines discover the sites and index them.

(One consideration is that currently memorial inscription booklets (print or CD) are meant to be a money maker for many family history societies. Putting them on blogging software loses this source of income!)

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby Wilfreda99 » 26 Feb 2019 16:59

I am sorry I haven't replied to you before, I forgot all about it over Christmas/New Year and since then have been concentrating on tidying up some of my data on FH. However I have now got back to it by entering some test data onto Findagrave and Billiongraves.
Findagrave is definitely easier, it allows me to forget how to do something and go back in later but with Billiongraves this seems quite difficult, I was soon tearing my hair out. One thing I especially like is that I can add all sorts of other stuff, eg there is a memorial window within the church to one lady and I added photos of that, and the window memorial text, which I am sure a descendent would love to find. (I have another one to add which was put on the door of the vestry safe. It says he was a man of literary gifts and a power for good, but I also wonder whether he spent too much time on church business!)

One query, which hopefully BillH will be able to answer - do I have to make a separate entry for each person mentioned on the gravestone? It seems to be duplicate effort but the second/third names don't seem to come up in the search if I don't, even within the site and when I have added to maiden name.
You are right that putting the name into google and hoping for a successful result doesn't always, or even, often work very well; I must have been thinking of my unusual family names when I mentioned that. But it does come up with a large number of people in Findagrave so at least there is a hint that one could look within that site.

Now to report back to the Friends committee of my findings and to get to work. I am looking forward to it, especially if this wonderful weather lasts.

Thanks again,
Chris

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby David2416 » 27 Feb 2019 07:16

That's valuable work you are doing. Is it worth exploring putting the information onto two websites, as aback up against future changes? Also have you thought of lodging a copy with either your local library or archives and the family history society.

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Wilfreda99
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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby Wilfreda99 » 27 Feb 2019 15:56

Yes we could put them on a second site, or perhaps put them into a spreadsheet to keep in our Friends group data (the Friends group is a sub-section of the parish council so if the group folds we could put the data on there). Actually this would be quite easy since I could just copy and post the epitaph from Findagrave as I do it, with names for searching. In fact this might tie in quite well with a possible second phase, that of putting the burial register since 1925 on-line (see my previous post). I am keeping all the photos. At the moment it is all backed up to various places, but I am thinking we should create some sort of shared Google docs type facility for the Friends members (all documents) since we have all been members for some time and no doubt will start leaving one way or another in the, hopefully quite distant, future.
In fact the local county family history society has a manual copy that was done in the 1980s when the graveyard was closed, which we were hoping to use as the source document. But it has been extremely difficult to identify who could give us permission to use their information (possible partly because they are hoping to publish it someday) so we have decided to go ahead on our own. Most of the graves are still legible, especially if we have the paper copy just to verify that we have noted it correctly, and of course we would have to visit them all to photograph anyway. We will work out what to do about the ones that are now really illegible later!
We have researched some of the occupants and put up information about them in the annual Heritage open days displays in the church, also posting them on our website and the local parish magazine; no doubt this work will develop as we come across the graves of various people that interest us. :D

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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby BillH » 28 Feb 2019 03:59

Wilfreda99 wrote:One query, which hopefully BillH will be able to answer - do I have to make a separate entry for each person mentioned on the gravestone?

Chris,

I have not created any new entries on Bilion Graves. I believe you would have to have a separate entry for each person. On Find a Grave you don't have to add any information other than what applies to that person so there is no duplication, not sure about Billion Graves. I only use BG to get information. If I want to create new entries, I do it on Find a Grave.
Bill Henshaw

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Wilfreda99
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Re: Grave and memorial inscriptions

Postby Wilfreda99 » 21 Mar 2019 16:51

Hi Bill
I joined the FindaGrave user group and asked the question there, they told me I need to make a separate entry for each person in the grave. Time will tell whether their user group is as good as this one.
Just waiting for the weather to improve to make a proper start. :D


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