Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Resource You Should Be Using…

Several years ago, I received a link to a new website that looked promising.  In the intervening years, it’s promise has been more than realized.  www.findagrave.com is one of the best free resources out there on the internet.  It brings together people who want to help others and those who are asking for genealogical help.  You might say it is a perfect marriage!

I am not as active on www.findagrave.com as I would like, but I have been a member for a few years now.  I’ve taken some photos for people locally and on one occasion I took a lovely walk through Spaulding cemetery and took photos of the stones.  It seems that so many of our families have spread throughout the United States and sometimes it is impossible to be able to visit all of the places that we would like in our genealogical pursuits.  I have had many people who have supplied me with information via Findagrave…but I’ve also been able to do the same for others. 

One of the gravestones that I had had been trying for years to get a photo of was that of my 2nd great grandfather, Winslow Lonsdale Pope.  I knew where he was buried, but I had never been able to get to the area nor would I in the near future.  I first tried to get the photo many years ago when a genealogy friend promised me that she would go get the photo for me.  She lived close to the cemetery and enjoyed helping others, so she generously offered to take the photo when she got the opportunity to do so.  Unfortuanately, my friend got sick and died very quickly.  This was someone (Mary Floy Katzmen) was probably one of the most generous and helpful researchers that I have ever worked with and her website “The Original Johnson County Tennessee Genealogy Page” at http://jctcuzins.org/ was and continues to be a wonderful resource for anyone researching Johnson County, TN roots.  Anyway, one day I decided to post the request to have a photo taken of Winslow Lonsdale Pope’s grave.  Someone initially tried to find the grave and was unsuccessful and then later, a gentleman found the grave and took the photo and then took photos of all of the Popes that surrounded the grave and most of them were related to me as well.  He told me that he liked to take walks through the cemetery and enjoyed taking the pictures.  What a wonderful generous man!

Sometimes Findagrave can be a great resource for finding dates for individuals or searching through possible genealogical connections.  There are times when the information is incorrect – usually you can contact the contributor and these errors are corrected.  One of the great options is having the ability to connect relatives together.  As a researcher, when you find someone connected to their parents and sometimes this will take you to the grandparents – what a wonderful path to pursue.  So, I suggest you take some time and take a look at www.findagrave.com and perhaps even become a member.   There are requests sent all the time from people all over the United States who would just love to see a photo of a family member.  It is a  great feeling to get that heartfelt “thank you” from another researcher.