Not all research can be done from home—sometimes you have to head into the field. Cemeteries are crucial for any genealogist’s search, and this book will show you how to search for and analyze your ancestors’ graves. Discover tools for locating tombstones, tips for traipsing through cemeteries, an at-a-glance guide to frequently used gravestone icons, and practical strategies for on-the-ground research. And once you’ve returned home, learn how to incorporate gravestone information into your research, as well as how to upload grave locations to BillionGraves and record your findings in memorial pages on Find A Grave.
The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide Excerpt: Sample Tips
Here are some tips you’ll find in The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide:
- Notice everything that appears on a tombstone. Some markings on a headstone are obvious, but inscriptions that are subtle or vague can provide valuable insights about your ancestor’s life. Be sure to note everything that appears on tombstones, and consider alternative ways of interpreting what you see on them.
- Do your part to preserve tombstones. The tombstone tourist’s number-one rule is “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” Any form of tombstone rubbing will damage stones, so only take pictures (you can always use photo-editing software to enhance your photos later) and leave complicated preservation tasks (such as repairing headstones) to professionals.
- Research before your trip. Knowing the ancestors whose graves you want to visit (and where they’re located in the cemetery) will help you have a much more efficient trip. Use the cemetery’s website and resources like Find A Grave and BillionGraves to locate the cemetery office and the grave(s) you want to see ahead of time.
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