Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Why Share?

James Pippin - husband's 3rd great grand-uncle
born 1810 - died 09-11-1894
Greensboro Cemetery, Caroline County, Maryland

Three years ago I discovered the Find-A-Grave website. Those first months were spent searching the database for various ancestors. It was surprising how many memorials were already added.

Gradually my detective skills improved to the point I was searching cemeteries far and wide. Luckily, my husband was on board with this new adventure. His role was to drive to the destinations, and on rare occasions walk the graveyards.

One family we documented in those early days was the Pippin line. Doug and I spent many months traveling to the eastern shore of Maryland to locate these headstones.

Once this was accomplished I uploaded the photographs and added family relationships. At that time the main goal was to have a central place for the information. I never thought how my activity could affect another family historian.

That researcher emailed stating she had been searching for information for her husband's Pippin family for years. She had several photographs of headstones but no locations and family connections.

Linda goes on to say she stumbled on the Find-A-Grave site, and discovered the memorials. With the information I added she has been able to find many of her husband's ancestors.

What is the lesson I have taken away from this experience? I could have kept those photographs for my own personal use on Ancestry. By sharing I have helped a fellow genealogist with her research. That makes me very happy!

Also, looks like we have found another of my husband's relatives. Thus far there have been five connections to his family discovered on Find-A-Grave.

Are you sharing?


  1. I love Find-a-Grave, and I try to share anytime I can. My goal for 2012 is to help document smaller cemeteries in the area for Find-a-Grave, BillionGraves, and RestingSpot. It really does make such a difference in research for so many. You never know who you'll help!

  2. A great story, Deb! I love Find A Grave and the simplest post (or most extensive) can yield wonderful results!

  3. I am absolutely sharing! I love Find a Grave and have lost track of the connections I've made from that site!

    I also take the time, when I'm in a cemetery photographing my family stones to take photos of those around them. Then I go back and check to see if they are on Find a Grave. It they aren't, I upload it.

    It's my small way of giving back.

  4. What a great reassurance that your hard work has been worthwhile! I always find it interesting how many people are so unwilling to share and help each other in research when there is little doubt that they had help along their research journey as well. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. I love Find-A-Grave too. That site has been a blessing for me in regards to finding my ancestors in Morehead City. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is a great post. If everyone shared their information and photos so readily, it would be a huge advantage to the genealogy community.

    Unfortunately for me, Find A Grave has very little information in Canada. Perhaps one day I'll photograph some gravestones in my city and add them there to help other Canadian researchers.

  7. Find-a-Grave is awesome! That is one of my hopes for the New Year: to participate more in uploading info to Find-A-Grave in the hopes of helping others as well as documenting publicly what I've already found. No sense reinventing the wheel with each research foray.