Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - It's My Prerogative

Ellen Marilla Townsend Starr
wife of 2nd cousin 5x removed of husband
Greenwood Cemetery, Rockford, Illinois

Last week I had two different interactions on the Find-A-Grave website. Over the past several days I started thinking about how these diametric practices travel throughout the genealogical community.

The first response came from a Find-A-Grave volunteer for the memorial for my husband's 5x removed cousin. I made a request for possible transfer to my account to add links and other pertinent information.

About a week later I received the message the researcher does not transfer memorials. The reasoning being to maintain the integrity of the information on the website. She stated I could send whatever data and she would consider adding to the memorial.

The second response was an opposite as you could possible encounter. The initial request to this volunteer was for a photograph for several of my husband's Starr family members. Imagine my surprise when I opened my email to discover nearly 20 Starr memorials transferred to my account!

I found the two diverse responses to my requests very intersting. One with the main focus of accurate dissemination of information. The other freely sharing with fellow researchers all they have discovered.

While preparing to write this post I thought about what my "school of thought" has been since becoming active on Find-A-Grave website. Looking back I discovered many times I feel somewhere in the middle.

There are records of our close family relations that I was not willing to transfer. For those with the person was more closely related, and vital information to add, I accepted their request.

By the way, I did send on the additional information to be added.

So, what is your prerogative?


  1. For me, most of the photos I post are not of family members. I've had a few weird experiences with Find-A-Grave lately but will try to transfer within the guidelines.

    What I hate is when someone sends loads of information and I transfer the memorial to them and I get no "thank you". No nothing. Obviously this person is related to the memorial person by the details he provided but a little "thanks" is always appreciated:)

  2. I still rankle a bit about the fact that the pictures of the gravestones are the property of the photographer --- which is ok, but if that person is not longer associated with F-A-G or has changed email, or is just unresponsive, it is nigh on to impossible to get the information or copies within the guidelines.

    My other pet peeve is similar to Deb Ruth's concern about how difficult it is (sometimes) to correct erroneous information posted by someone else.

    That said, all in all, mostly I find wonderfully sharing individuals that go to great lengths to help other searchers.

  3. I have been adding, updating, and having memorials transferred to me on Find-A-Grave since about April of this year. Everyone that I've dealt with has been great. I think the two key points to successfully working with others on Find-A-Grave are to first identify how you are related to the person that you are referring to. This demonstrates your relationship and priority in owning the memorial. Second show your gratitude. You can post on the person's wall on Find-A-Grave to thank them for a photo or send them an email. This site is supported by all volunteers. Gratitude is so key. I certainly like to be thanked. It makes me smile for sure. If you don't get a response from someone managing a memorial after 30 days, you can email Find-A-Grave for assistance. Thanks for posting about your experience on Find-A-Grave. There will always be persnickety people out their hording memorials on Find-A-Grave for whatever reason. They may just need a little more convincing.