The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

New research website to find family graves

Cemeteries have long been a resource for genealogists, with Find a Grave as probably the most popular, with 71 million records, and around 2 million searches each day.

However, there is a new kid on the block, BillionGraves.com.

Find a Grave creates a sort of online memorial for deceased persons. Genealogical information can be gleaned from these memorials, but that isn’t the primary purpose (Find a Grave lists “grave registration” as its primary purpose; genealogical information is a tertiary purpose).

At BillionGraves.com, they aim to build a fast, easy way to accurately collect and search the genealogical information on headstones using iPhone/Android apps. This goal needs a fairly complex website structure to support a mobile app. 

At BillionGraves.com the aim is to make it very simple to capture complete cemeteries full of records that may not exist in any other place. Many people who research family history have heard of the valuable information a researcher can find by stumbling upon a small family cemetery that isn’t on any map or in any database. The mobile BillionGraves app makes it easy to add those sorts of cemeteries to their database and map out all the headstones in them instead of just a select few. Then these previously undocumented and inaccessible sorts of records are easy to find, easy to search, and thus, easy to add to your research and share with others.

Another tool that is already available online is Names In Stone. The site is dedicated to carefully mapping out cemeteries. Names In Stone has worked well with the resources it has relying on hand-recorded data that is then added to the site. BillionGraves.com has automated the process using the iPhone app to map out the cemetery as you’re collecting photos and then making the transcription of those photos quick and simple (it’s fairly easy to collect one photo every 15 seconds or so—much faster than a by-hand system). 

Interment.net is also a great resource, but also requires a more complicated recording and transcription process.

So far, BillionGraves.com records 210 Douglas graves. find a Grave has over 10,000.

Now, where is that Christmas list?  I need to add an iPad to it.

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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