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Genealogy

Find A Grave Review

Gravesite information or cemetery records represent an excellent source of data for those interested in genealogy. Gravestones usually contain the birth date, death date, name, and some other details about an individual. These are valuable pieces of information that can help build a detailed picture of a person’s life and legacy. 

What is Find A Grave?

Find a grave website

Find A Grave is a website founded by Jim Tipton in 1995. It is now owned by Ancestry.com, which acquired the site in 2013. Jim Tipton had the eclectic hobby of visiting and photographing the graves of celebrities, and he started Find A Grave as a register for the graves of famous people. This is a feature of the website that is retained today. Users could search for a person of interest and find information about their gravesite as well as accompanying photographs. Find A Grave was initially exclusive to the United States but has since expanded worldwide. 

Now, Find A Grave is a service that allows people to search and contribute to a vast online database of cemetery records across the world. Volunteers take pictures of headstones at cemeteries and upload them to the website, creating a ‘virtual cemetery.” Even if an individual was not laid to rest in a traditional grave, their information can be uploaded on the website. The site is very much a collaborative effort and is entirely free to use; it is funded by advertising revenue.

What information can you get from Find A Grave?

To search the register, you must have the surname of your person of interest. You can also enter the first name, middle name, and the date (or estimated date) of birth and death. Finally, you can include the cemetery location, names of relatives, and more. The more information you have, the more likely you are to be able to locate the grave of your relative. 

The information present on any given grave can vary, depending on the family traditions, culture, and the circumstances of the individual’s life and death. Usually, you will be able to get their full name, date of birth and death, and familial relationships such as spouse and children’s names. There may also be other clues present that could fill in gaps in your family tree. 

The website also allows users to create memorials, leave virtual flowers, and join discussion forums. If they know the cemetery in which a burial site is located, members can also request for a volunteer to capture a picture of a grave. However, as volunteers (not employees) provide the photographs for the database, there is no guarantee that the request will be granted and how quickly the information will appear online. 

Find A Grave could provide valuable missing links and confirm previously unknown details about your relatives and ancestors. They have over 170 million records, a precious resource for budding genealogy enthusiasts. The website can be a valuable way for communities to connect and share interests such as local history, military history, and genealogy.  

Value for money

The service is entirely free for all users, so the value for money is excellent. 

Verdict

While the kind of information you can gain from Find A Grave alone is relatively limited, it represents an excellent supplementary tool to enhance your genealogy research. Because it is free, it could also be an excellent place to start to spark your interest in your ancestors. It can help you fill in gaps or generate new leads for you to explore in your genealogy research. Find A Grave can also be a great way to contribute to the community; you could become a volunteer and answer requests for grave photographs in your local area.