MeFites on Find a Grave? December 16, 2018 12:22 PM   Subscribe

I'm curious to know if any MeFites are active on Find a Grave.

I've recently started using it to share 19th century portraits and recent cemetery images from my photo collection, and would love to be able to help out folks here doing genealogy work who need gravestone photos or help with vital records work in the D.C. area.

Find a Grave obviously allows users to request these things from its community broadly, but I suspect we'd have better luck getting those filled MeFite-to-Mefite.

I've asked to have it added as an option for the "Also On" section of profiles, but I don't know if that's actually possible.
posted by ryanshepard to MetaFilter-Related at 12:22 PM (44 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

I haven't made any contributions, but as someone who uses it a lot, I appreciate your work.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:43 PM on December 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I love Find a Grave and have fulfilled requests and requested pics when I’m doing genealogy research. It’s such a great resource. Last week someone finally posted a pic of my grandfathers headstone which I had requested last year.
posted by ilovewinter at 2:59 PM on December 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I’ve used it a lot for research, and I really appreciate the work people do there.

All of my requests would be former black soldiers who died between the 1870s and 1930s, and honestly just finding an accurate name can be a challenge. Someone’s name or spelling could easily change by the time they died.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:42 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I’m active in the southeastern
Michigan area. Great resource, and a photo request is a great opportunity to get out amongst the stones for a while.
posted by disclaimer at 4:16 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Huh. It's never occurred to me to register at Find a Grave, but I really love old cemeteries, and I definitely could take pictures of headstones. I might sign up. If anyone needs anything in Eastern Iowa, let me know!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:54 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Huh. It's never occurred to me to register at Find a Grave, but I really love old cemeteries, and I definitely could take pictures of headstones. I might sign up. If anyone needs anything in Eastern Iowa, let me know!

It was recently responsible for my being able to send a cabinet card copy of an 1850s photo of a mother and child to the woman's great-great-great granddaughter. Find a Grave is a quietly fantastic community.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:00 PM on December 16, 2018 [13 favorites]


That's so good of you, ryanshepard.

Sometimes I use Find a Grave to go to the cemetery out where my father's people are buried and set a spell. The cemetery is not close to anywhere, even by Mississippi standards, and I don't know when I'll find myself out there again -- does anyone? So it means a lot to me.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:05 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was active earlier this year and fulfilled several requests for photos, but I haven't had time to go out since I started my new job. It's also really not the season up here for tromping around cemeteries and the light is crap anyway, but I'd like to start again in the spring.

I'm available as a photo volunteer in Northeastern California and Northwestern Nevada.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:23 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Love that sight. Great resource and accurate in my personal families grave Page. I can say there are more pictures of my great grand father then of myself on the web, the web that we know saying.

As a test I tried finding balisong. Couldn't find not to say it was a definitive search.

Not gonna e-mail the family.
posted by clavdivs at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2018


I'm not registered on it and I will someday, but in the meantime if anyone wants any photos of Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY, let me know. I have a LOT.
posted by cooker girl at 6:00 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm not registered on it and I will someday, but in the meantime if anyone wants any photos of Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY, let me know. I have a LOT.

Find a Grave allows you to add photos to any existing memorial page - many of the Mount Hope ones still need images.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:06 PM on December 16, 2018


I'm not registered but I've referred to it often and have considered registering.
posted by bunderful at 6:21 PM on December 16, 2018


Just check and a bit of a disappointment, in a way. I've occasionally gone on a walk with an elderly neighbor that passes through a cemetery. She mentioned that on another walk she had seen a headstone with my name. Not that uncommon. But was not going to go looking, but the search turned up nothing. Oh well, really did not need to do, that, selfie.
posted by sammyo at 6:47 PM on December 16, 2018


I use it all the time—I haven't added any new graves, but I have submitted info to connect related people. I'm registered, but I seldom log in.
posted by she's not there at 11:24 PM on December 16, 2018


I had no idea this site existed. My father passed away almost a decade ago after a long illness, and without sharing where his father (who died when he was a teenager) and grandmother were buried. I just found them, and other ancestors, within driving distance of where I'll be over the holiday. Thank you for posting this.
posted by davejay at 11:31 PM on December 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


I knew about Find a Grave, I've used it a few times, but it never even occurred to me that it was user driven. I will register immediately and start checking out some of the stones I've photographed! Cool!
posted by Sophie1 at 6:31 AM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thank you for your efforts, and for the reminder that I need to register.
posted by somanyamys at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2018


I've asked to have it added as an option for the "Also On" section of profiles, but I don't know if that's actually possible.

Seems eminently possible to me.

The SocialStuffs checklist:

The service must be a social network where other MetaFilter members can join and connect with you.
☑️ Looks like you can follow other Findagrave members.

The service must have a page that is a close approximation of "you" in the system. A profile page or a stream of your output is required.
Please include a working link to a profile/output page when you add a suggestion.

☑️ Yep. ryanshepherd's profile.

The service and linked page must be human-readable (no RSS) and available to the public without a login.
☑️ Yep.
posted by zamboni at 7:49 AM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I used this a lot researching family. I have a number of ancestors buried at Forks of the Creek Cemetery. Amazing place name.
posted by Oyéah at 9:02 AM on December 17, 2018


I'm on it. It's a great resource and enables for corrections to be submitted.
posted by jgirl at 9:51 AM on December 17, 2018


I added FindAGrave to the Also On suggestion list.
posted by zamboni at 11:58 AM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Remind me: is Social Explorer stuff viewable to logged out users?
posted by soelo at 12:32 PM on December 17, 2018


Holy cow. I had no idea this existed. Thank you all for turning me on to it. My mother died when I was 5 and I've never actually seen her gravestone as we moved away from the area. Low and behold, a quick search later and there it is. I shouldn't have done that at work though - getting all sorts of weird feelings at my desk.
posted by holmesian at 12:50 PM on December 17, 2018 [11 favorites]


This is an amazing site, I'm well into it now.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:00 PM on December 17, 2018


I’d never heard of this before. I’ve just signed up and there are lots of requests in my area. I love graveyards as it happens so I’m going to try over the Christmas break to get some photos. Thanks.
posted by billiebee at 1:35 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Remind me: is Social Explorer stuff viewable to logged out users?

Attempting to access it in incognito mode bumps me to the login page.
posted by zamboni at 1:48 PM on December 17, 2018


Another thanks for bringing this site to attention. I could have visited my various relatives' grave sites, but it would not occurred to me to try to dig up obituaries from the 1960's and 70's. I learned so much about people I thought I already 'knew'...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:43 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh nice, Central Vermont, I am signed up!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:13 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Find a Grave is fantastic. I am so glad you brought it to people's attention, and it's a great idea to add it as a social site.
posted by desuetude at 8:54 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love Find a Grave (even, with some reservations, the new version) and am happy to take photo requests by memail for the Pittsburgh area or Guilford and Alamance County, NC, and thereabouts.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:10 PM on December 17, 2018


I am yet another person who is grateful to the folks who have contributed the content: it's been a big help in doing family history research for relatives buried across the Midwest, from where I sit in New England.

(If anyone needs something checked in northeast Rhode Island, give me a shout.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:53 AM on December 18, 2018


I haven't made any contributions, but as someone who uses it a lot, I appreciate your work.

This is me, too. I visit at least once a week, but I never registered an account.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:18 AM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, thanks for suggesting this - I finally signed up there after having gotten a ton of otherwise-completely-inaccessible info there over the last couple years.

Through them I found where two sets of great-great-great grandparents are buried, which confirmed details in a written account we have that's always been a little in question (like, was this really written by the guy? -- turns out yes, it *has* to have been, because here are these graves in a completely random town in a state we otherwise have no connection to). I found two other branches of the family with very common surnames that had been dead-ends for years. It's amazing.

Another friend of mine, I was looking up some genealogy stuff for her and sent her stuff from findagrave and she wrote back that her mother didn't previously know where her (the mother's) father was buried until this, had never seen his grave.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:20 AM on December 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Hmm. I didn't know about Find a Grave, but it looks like I have photos of ancestor graves that no one else has uploaded there, plus some additional genealogical information. I should register and fill in some gaps.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:02 AM on December 18, 2018


I probably should be since DC's oldest cemetery (check out the list of famous residents, and yes, that's what they call it) is on my regular walking route through our neighborhood. But I am not.
posted by fedward at 5:23 PM on December 18, 2018


Ryanshepard, I'm in DC (for at least a few more months) and despite using Find A Grave for personal genealogy research all the time, I didn't even think to make an account. I will now. Love the idea of being able to add it to our profiles, if approved. Thanks for this!
posted by nightrecordings at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Huh. Based on this post, I just registered an account to send some corrections regarding my grandmother, but this is an interesting repository of obituaries and photos and so on.

It does kind of make me wonder who these people are that uploaded photos of my grandparents' graves, though...
posted by telepanda at 2:12 PM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


> It does kind of make me wonder who these people are that uploaded photos of my grandparents' graves, though...

Probably just cemetery-enthusiast completionists. (Not kidding.)
posted by desuetude at 8:32 PM on December 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's a pay-it-forward thing for me, but I have also encountered 3rd-6th(ish?) cousins who have either uploaded photos because they're closer or more directly related to an ancestor, or who have just dropped a note in the memorials section saying how they're related to the person.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:16 PM on December 19, 2018


Yeah, I think someone is methodically photographing all the graves in the Southern Jewish cemetery where a lot of my mom’s relatives are buried. I get the sense that they’re doing it as a service to the community as much as a personal genealogy project.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:55 AM on December 20, 2018


There are about one-and-a-quarter gravestones out by an old ruined mill in a state park near me; a family plot, not associated with any official cemetery. Find a Grave got me the information on the more intact of the two stones. I wish I knew who was buried under the nondescript shard of slate next to Mr. Richards' spot.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:49 PM on December 20, 2018


It does kind of make me wonder who these people are that uploaded photos of my grandparents' graves, though...

Sometimes the cemeteries themselves do this, other times folks take it upon themselves to do surveys. I often take photos of stones that have fallen or are otherwise damaged or neglected when I'm at cemeteries, just in case someone is looking for them and they're unlikely to be around (or legible) much longer.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:59 AM on December 21, 2018


Find a Grave helped me locate my mother's grave site nearly twenty years after I had last visited. I live a continent away from the cemetery where her ashes were interred. It's a huge cemetery and I would not have even known where to begin to look for it without the information on Find a Grave. I am very grateful to a user named Connie who had photographed the stone along with the coordinates of her plot.

Thanks to those of you Mefites who are active on the site. You are doing a real kindness. Warm and happy holiday wishes to everyone and a happy new year as well. ❤️
posted by thereemix at 11:50 AM on December 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hey! If any MeFite Find-A-Gravers live near Queens in New York City, and would like to poke around a creepy old cemetery for me, hit me up via MeFi mail! I could make it worth your while, for small amounts of "worth." :)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:24 AM on December 28, 2018


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