Our heartfelt THANK YOU to the millions of Find a Grave members worldwide! Find a Grave flourishes because of you!
Maybe you’ve been with us since 1995 and maybe you just joined our community. Members all over the world share in Find a Grave’s mission to “find, record, and present final disposition information from around the world as a virtual cemetery experience.” This involves:
- Traveling to cemeteries
- Taking photos of headstones
- Transcribing information from the headstones
- Noting plot locations
- Pinning GPS locations for headstones and burial locations
- Uploading all that information, including headstone photos, to memorials created on Find a Grave
- Researching further and updating memorial pages, managed by you or others, including adding additional photos about or of the individual being memorialized.
Thanks to your contributions over the past 24 years, our memorials database is the largest in the world and gets bigger and better as our community works together, not only documenting headstones but also building memorials to honor the deceased. All that information you’ve provided is available for free to anyone looking for an ancestor, a friend or their favorite film star.
We’d like to share some site numbers, so you can see the impact that you have made and why we are so grateful to you!
As these numbers came in, we were astounded. Wow! This mission to document headstones, locations, burials, and dispositions worldwide is one that we could never do without you. Let me say that again, Find A Grave exists because of YOU, you wonderful people! Generations to come will be grateful for your hard work and dedication.
For example, here is a story from Diane Gravlee, a Find a Grave volunteer who helped a family find closure.
“Being an avid Find a Grave member, when I saw a small 116 burial cemetery in Stewart, British Columbia, on our way home from Alaska a couple of years ago, my husband and I photographed each grave marker and uploaded them. About a year later at home in South Carolina, I got an email from a very excited man, who now lives in Ohio. When he was a young boy, his father left his family in Romania and went to British Columbia to work in the gold mines there. His father was killed in an avalanche and the family never heard from him again and did not know why. Eventually, the family moved to the United States. The young boy, now a man with his own family, decided to google his father’s name and my memorial for his father came right up and he learned what had happened to his father and where he was buried. This is the memorial that he found. Vilmos Fekete
I got a wonderful email of thanks. The man and his wife went last summer to visit the grave of his father and the Canadian government went all out with a mounted policeman, a Catholic priest and the mayor of Stewart along with some locals, all present to help celebrate the man’s father’s life. To have been a part of this happening has made all my Find a Grave work so worthwhile.”
When I think of our members, I’m reminded of a French word autrui which means other people. This is the root of the word in action that you portray every day, namely altruism. You sacrifice your time and energy in order to help other people for generations to come in their genealogical endeavors. This selflessness is one of the best attributes of humanity, and you have it. Our Community focuses on how they can help other people, whether living or deceased. For example, you search for the missing birth location for a memorial and use “Suggest edits,” helping the individual being memorialized and the manager of the memorial page. For a second example look above at the headstone photo request numbers and see the impact that you have made, the good that you have done for each other!
We have no doubt that the worldwide Find a Grave Community will continue to collaborate and thrive while documenting headstones, creating memorials to honor others, pinning GPS locations, and leaving no stone un…photographed. ☺ The Community is here to help one another, building more than a photo and memorials database, but in addition a knit collective helping each other and working together in preserving, documenting, and honoring those that have gone before us.
We’d like to highlight the amazing work being done on a regular basis. Please send us your success stories, examples of members helping you in your research or volunteers going the extra mile. Feel free to add as a comment to this post or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, the biggest and most sincere thank you for your hard work and contributions to this shared and vital work.
We look forward to all our future plans for Find a Grave and hope that you are as excited as we are!
-Katrina, Community Manager