In the world of family history, there are a nearly unlimited amount of toys to play with–from family tree creators to DNA painters to “search engines” to aid in research. Of course, the problem is finding the time to adequately learn and use each toy.
One of my favorite toys is Findagrave, but I have barely used it (time constraints, you know). Since I don’t know much about it, I had to title this post Findagrave for Dummies because if you are ignorant of the site as I am, the little I’ve recently learned might be useful. If you know more about Findagrave, please chime in with a comment!
Every dead person is entitled to a memorial page on Findagrave. Even if somebody has no actual grave, there is a solution. This is what their FAQs page says about cremation.
What if someone was cremated or does not have a traditional ‘grave’?
Find A Grave supports common alternative dispositions to traditional burial. This includes cremation, burial at sea, and donated to medical science. In these cases, select the ‘Not buried in a cemetery’ option on the ‘Add a Memorial’ page. If there is an existing cenotaph within a cemetery for someone who had a alternative disposition, do NOT add another memorial under the alternative disposition.
What’s more, not only is every dead person entitled to a memorial page, but so is every pet buried in a pet cemetery (I kid you not).
A memorial page can be created with very little information. It might only be the knowledge that there is a grave in a specific location with the name of the deceased. But as soon as possible, it’s nice to include the birth and death dates, all correct name information, as well as a photo or two of the individual and a photo of the headstone. You can also add a transcription of the headstone, a short bio, and links to family member’s Findagrave memorials.
The first service I began using almost from the beginning was that of requesting photos of headstones. When a memorial had been started, but the headstone photo was not loaded, I would request a volunteer to take a picture. This is invaluable if you are looking for specific dates, for instance, that might be engraved on the stone.
For a few years I’ve added info to memorials in a hit or miss fashion. I had to submit additions and corrections to what I thought was an unseen administrator for approval. It took time to hear back.
I’ve also sponsored memorials for many family members, even ones that weren’t particularly close relations. This is a one time $5 fee that removes all ads from a memorial. I couldn’t bear seeing ads cluttering up memorials of the deceased.
But it was only this weekend, through spending a bit of time with the updated Findagrave website, that I discovered that although I had sponsored a lot of memorials, I only managed six. What did manage mean?
The answer wasn’t readily available, but what I figured out is that the person who adds the person is an automatic manager of that memorial. It can be a complete stranger who, as a volunteer, adds in some cases many graves to the site. This is understandable. It’s what made it easy for me to find people on the site to begin with.
But that is why I had to get permission when I was asking to edit dates and names and other information. I was asking permission of the manager–most often, a complete stranger with no knowledge of the family. When I first gave birth info on Isidore, the manager accepted it. When I edited it with corrected information once his birth record was found, the manager wanted documentation of the correction. Hmm.
So then I read up on taking over management of family memorials so that I could make sure to put up correct information and that I wouldn’t need to get permission from someone who, hypothetically, might not give it to me.
This weekend, I put in a request to take over management of a whole lot of memorials.
In the meantime, here are the links to the memorial pages of Celia, Isidore, their son Murray, and daughter-in-law Diana.