Tombstones and what's on them are often very helpful in genealogical and family history research. In times past it was often difficult to view a tombstone when the location of the family cemetery was a considerable distance away. This situation is slowly changing as sites like "FindAGrave", "NamesInStone", "Interment.net" and the latest to enter this market is "BillionGraves".
Each of the above sites handles tombstones a bit differently, however, their end result is that individuals can locate precious information left behind of their ancestors. With FindAGrave, individuals can upload pictures they have taken themselves along with pertinent information on that individual. Many graveyards have been transcribed and many more are being added all the time. It is a great service.
NamesInStone states "they are different as they allow a visitor to search an alphabetical listing of multiple cemeteries and then view the actual grave on an interactive map, almost like being there". Their site explains how to volunteer to map a cemetery which could be a great project for genealogists, families and Boy Scouts. Either way this site shows great promise and it will be interesting to follow their growth.
Interment.net is another great site for genealogists and historians. According to their site, "about 500,000 people visit their site monthly", "most of their transcriptions are of cemeteries that no longer exist" which is a great way to preserve the information once held in these places of memorials. They have been helping individuals with this great resource since 1997.
BillionGraves is relatively new to this market but has a great portable product as this is an app that can be downloaded to your portable device. It will work on an iPhone or an Android that uses true GPS. According to their site, "we aim to provide an expansive family history database for records and images from the world's cemeteries, all tagged with GPS locations".
Downloading the application is done through iTunes or the Android Market. There is an online users' guide with easy to follow instructions. Once at the cemtery it is a matter of taking pictures of tombstones and uploading them.
With such technology at our fingertips and everyone working together, this valuable information will be preserved for generations to come. The concept of "We" is greater than "Me" continues to be proven day after day as we all work together to make this information freely available to the world.
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