I told my daughter this morning that I have a renewed appreciation for my role as a volunteer photographer for Find A Grave after I requested and received a photo of a headstone in St. Louis. The dates on the headstone enabled me to connect some vital information from other sources and lead me to the discovery of an obituary that had previously eluded me. Perhaps that doesn’t mean much to you, but to a genealogist it is priceless. Little bits of information become data bases of proof that support family relationships and stories, and often lead to new discoveries.
There are people all over the country who are busy recording the last resting places of our ancestors. Some of the top contributors to FAG have taken over 300,000 photos! Cemetery documentation is the number one hobby of many retired couples. When I was younger I might have laughed at someone with such an “unusual” avocation. But having witnessed the decay and decline and vandalism that plagues many cemeteries, I now understand why it is vital to have these headstones documented while they are still around. I have the paperwork for some of my ancestors, and I know they are in Gethsemane somewhere, but their headstones no longer exist.
So…if you need me today, I’ll be at the cemetery wandering around with a camera in hand.