Memorials for the Recently Deceased

[Update: Thank you for your comments on this post. We’ve made some updates to memorials for recently deceased folks based on your feedback. Updates include making it a little easier to get to the memorial and adding options to report duplicates, suggest corrections and add the memorial to a virtual cemetery. We’ve also added a few more details to the types of relationships and made those match up better with the information in the help files.]

Over the years, we’ve heard from members about the timing of memorials for people who are recently deceased. The time directly following the loss of a loved one can be challenging and when a family member finds that an unrelated person has created a Find a Grave® memorial for their loved one before the family has had a reasonable time to mourn, it can add to the emotional strain.

We’ve made some changes on the site that we hope will help close relatives, while still supporting the Find a Grave community’s efforts to catalog death and burial information. These changes include:

  • Limits on what is shown on memorials for people who have died in the past 3 months.
  • An option for memorial creators and managers to indicate their relationship to the person memorialized.
  • A simplified process for family members to request management of memorials of people who have died in the past year.
  • Other updates to support these changes.

These changes will apply to memorials added after January 11, 2022.

We are also updating our transfer guidelines to include some close relatives that are not in a direct line.

Here are a few examples to provide more details about the changes:

Memorials Managed By a Relative

When you add a new memorial, you’ll be asked, “Are you a close relative?” You can also set your relationship to people in memorials you already manage on the Edit page. If you select “Yes” and choose your relationship, the memorial will look and be displayed like any other memorial on the site.

When adding your relationship, use the checkbox to make your relationship public or private. If you choose to “Show relationship in source information,” your relationship will display next to your profile name at the bottom of the memorial. If you choose to keep your relationship private, nothing will be displayed next to your profile name for other members, but you will see a note that your relationship is private.

In memorials lists, you will also see a green dot (public) or lock (private) to indicate memorials for people you are related to.

Memorials Managed By Someone Who is Not Related

For memorials managed by someone who is not a relative, the manager’s view of the memorial will be just the same as any other memorial they manage. To other viewers, the memorial will display with limited information for three months from the death date. Here is an example of what a memorial for a recently deceased person will look like in a search list (for everyone except the manager):

In addition to limiting the information we display, we have also added a simple way for family members to request to manage the memorial. A close relative can click the “Manage” button, add their relationship, and become the manager of a new memorial for that person. Since the manager is related, the memorial will now display and act as any other memorial on the site.

After three months from the death date, the view of the memorial is no longer limited. The memorial will show as others do except that for up to a year from the death date, the option for a close relative to “Manage” the memorial will show on the memorial.

Adding Your Relationship to Memorials You Manage

Relationship information helps us make decisions about merges, transfer requests and memorials for the recently deceased. You can add your relationship to existing memorials that you manage. To add your relationship, go to the memorial, select “Edit,” scroll down, and choose your relationship. We limit the number of memorials you can manage with certain relationship types to help prevent abuse.

You can find a list of memorials you are related to by hovering over your profile name, selecting “My Memorials” and choosing “Related” from the dropdown menu next to “My Memorials.”

Updates to Transfer Guidelines

Memorials are transferred for relatives with these close relationships: child, spouse/partner, sibling, parent, grandchild, great-grandchild, grandparent, great-grandparent, niece/nephew, great niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, great aunt/uncle, or first cousin. This would include adoptive, step, and in-law versions of these relationships. Please show sensitivity to immediate and extended family members and their requests.

If two members are related within these guidelines and both would like to manage the memorial, the member with the closer relationship should be given management.

Learn more from our Help site here.

We sincerely appreciate all the volunteers and their work in adding memorials to the site everyday. We feel that these changes provide an appropriate balance between allowing memorials to be added for those who are recently deceased and showing sensitivity to their family members.

553 comments

  1. I definitely think that the person who created the memorial should have a say in the management. There are many close relative in most families and the manager should be allowed to be first choice.
    I don’t have a problem with transferring memorials to close relatives. I have documented a lot of cemeteries to help people find relatives. Those I like transferring so that the family can add important information.

  2. Thanks for making these changes. When my brother passed away in 2013, before we had his memorial service, someone, a stranger, had already created a memorial for him on Find A Grave. It has happen with my family more then once. It is upsetting. I then had to ask for a transfer and make corrections. I think it was a needed update.

  3. This is great.. This happened to me when my Mom passed away.. A total stranger posted her obituary within days of her passing.. When I went on Find a Grave to post her memory it was already there. And posted by a total stranger in Texas.. I got a hold of him and let him have it.. All because of numbers of contributions.. Ridiculous.. Thank You Find a Grave..

  4. A few of the things Find a Grave is NOT mentioning.
    When a “relative” claims a newly created memorial through this feature, they don’t just assume management. They become the creator. Meaning they can delete the memorial and recreate it, which has always been considered “bad form”. The ability to delete a transferred memorial was removed years ago for exactly that reason. But now it’s A-okay.

    There are now many duplicates of these and NONE can be submitted for merging. They can’t even be added to a VC for submitting at a later date. How massive a problem is this going to be in 3 months?

    The relationship flag matters in a merge. If the dupe is managed by a relative, the merge screen will place that memorial as the one to remain. Even when the transfer is now required, Find a Grave? And the duplicate was deliberate? And the relative never requested a transfer? Really, Find a Grave? Again, deliberately duplicating was always considered “bad form”.

    • Bad form? How would you like it if you’d planned as part of your grieving process to post your grandmother’s findagrave memorial only to log in just after the funeral to find SOMEONE ELSE had already made it and you can’t because dupes? And no, even after they transferred it to me it still lists THEM as the creator. They told me to delete and remake and sometimes I wish I did but the whole point was to have it be made on the day of the funeral and they hadn’t gotten back to me until 1AM my time (-8GMT). So I have to have their name on my grandmother’s memorial reminding me of the day I cried myself to sleep denied the ONE THING I was able to do for her.

  5. I Love the fact a change was made to the newly deceased memorials. I’ve had bad luck trying to get a family memorial that was made minutes after it hit the obit page. The transfer guidelines were always used to get out of transferring the newly passed family member. I too see a problem with limiting types of relatives, I come from a large Roman Catholic family and my relatives before me came from large Catholic families, I have 13 Cousins from just one Aunt And Uncle. I also believe this will turn some members away from digging deep for information on a memorial they create.

  6. I was glad to see this change -three days after my mother died, I traveled home, & pulled up FindaGrave to find someone unknown to me had already created a memorial for her, using a picture she or I would never have wanted used. At that time so recent after her passing, seeing that was very distressing. When i contacted the creator he said he had taken it upon himself to create a memorial for everyone that in our locality beause he couldn’t rely on their family to create one, and seemed offended that I contacted him about it. He was also reluctant to give me mangement of her entry, but finally did.

    • That’s because these people collect Graves like Facebook”friends” to major themselves look more knowledgeable or something! Disgusting!

  7. This is a great step for Find A Grave. Personally I would have liked a six month privacy period. Many people who lose family members need more time to mourn and grieve, and then begin to rebuild. StIll, I am grateful that its being adjusted, and that you heard the need.
    I would like to see great grandparents included in the area where we can delineate the familial relationship.

  8. I have been unhappy with Find a Grave for several years now due to memorials that I CREATED and was managing being taken from me and given to someone else???? Why when I created the memorial 1st and am related?? When I inquired from the person that now had my family member they claimed they did not know and would not transfer back???These removed memorials had ALL the info that I had contributed due to my knowledge of this family member and now someone NOT related is managing the memorial and will not transfer??? I normally ONLY contribute “FAMILY” but if walking a very small cemetery I will take pictures and post but I am happy to transfer to anyone who ask simply because they are not related to me!!! Since the removal and transfer of so many of my contribution I no longer add!!!

    • You can lodge a complaint with findagrave.com to request management and if the creator refuses, they were undetected after a period of time and do the transfer themselves.
      This galena to me when a creator refused to add information on burial to the memorial he’d created for my family. Took a while but finally got it done.

    • Obviously the rule about how easy a non-relative can take a memorial from a close relative needs A LOT of tweaking to make it fair for all of us.

  9. While I understand that the new changes may be helpful to some, particularly those who are processing the recent death of a friend or loved one, I would like to add my experience with just that situation when my mother died. I am a long time contributor, and I added a memorial for my mother, only to find that another unrelated person had already added a very incomplete, minimal memorial. It only included the most basic information and was not linked to the online obituary included in the cemetery information. As I had written the obituary, I knew it was available on the cemetery website along with plot and location information. I do not know why the person created the memorial without including the obituary information, but it was done. So I had to contact that contributor and ask to merge the memorials as they were “first”. I explained that it was my mother and I had already created a memorial. The contributor was gracious and the two were merged without incident and I was given management.

    So what I suggest it that memorials should not be made by non-relatives within 3 months of a death without some effort to contact family members. And if a contributor decides to create a memorial, they need to do their homework and make it as complete as possible.

    For me Find A Grave is about just that, finding the location of a person’s burial or the disposition of their remains. So often memorials are created without this information and I believe this is the cause of many problems. Just because you know a person existed in a family does not mean you should create a memorial for them if you do not know where they are actually buried! Not only does this lead to duplication, it leads to creating false information about a person and often creating a person that is not a real factual being. I recently ran across a memorial saying it’s a particular person but the truth is the information is fictional, created out of a contributor’s desire to complete the family tree, and the actual gravesite of the person exists in an actual cemetery under the proper name and information. This also causes great problems for new researchers as Find A Grave is now linked into that Ancestry website.

    For those who take the time and effort to photograph graveyards, I say “Thank you!”. That is a big job and I have located many an ancestor’s final resting places through these efforts. As long as the spirit of cooperation exists when more information about those burials comes to light, there shouldn’t be any issues. That said, I have run into memorial managers who either do not respond at all or respond in a spiteful manner, which goes against the Find A Grave policies. Sadly, there is no recourse for this issue as far as I know.

    On the whole, I think Find A Grave has functioned well. But the issues tend to crop up when people believe they “own” a certain person’s gravesite. Or feel ownership of the person themselves! While being related is certainly a valid piece of information, I do not believe that should “trump” a non-relative from creating or managing memorials. Many people can be related to one ancestor, or they may have left no descendants. Or a best friend may be the person who contributed the memorial and took the time to create it.

    No one should “own” a memorial. A contributor should be willing to work with new information. A manager should understand that they are not an “owner”.

    My two cents.
    Sharon L Lemkuil

  10. The “Are you a close relative?” isn’t showing up on memorials I don’t manage. Do I still have to send an “Other charge” message to the current (possibly unrelated) manager?

  11. Memorials Added and Memorials Managed. I am certain many members wear those numbers as a badge of honor, and these numbers promote their enthusiasm to quickly “add” or “manage” memorials, directly out of the local newspapers’ obituaries.

    While there is a benefit in having as many deceased added as quickly as possible, it is quite frustrating to have a loved one pass away today, and go to add them to Find a Grave later today or tomorrow only to find that they have already been added by the local Find a Grave addict in order to pad their statistics. When my mother passed, it was disheartening to see that her Find a Grave entry had already been added, and had to wait to claim her entry due to the claimant being so busy pressing onward to find more and more deceased, while ignoring my request for transference. It took weeks for the Find a Grave kidnapper to respond.

    And, some people want their privacy, even in death. To create an entry without knowledge of their or their family’s wishes demonstrates a lack of consideration for the rights of others.

    In conclusion, I propose the removal of the counters for Adding and Managing memorials. Those numbers seem meaningless, other than to feed egos.

    • I heartily agree! Maybe in the beginning having counters for Added and Managed was an incentive to grow Find a Grave membership numbers, but it passed “niche site” many years ago! Now those counters serve no real purpose other than sustaining the already-overinflated ego of “warehousers”. In my many years here, I’ve had two instances where the non-relative Creators absolutely would NOT transfer the memorial to me, a direct descendant, bc “it will hurt my numbers”. Find a Grave staff had to intervene and make the transfer. Nobody should have to do that to wrest a memorial from a non-relative Creator!

  12. I am happy to see this change being made, as I have seen many family members commenting on FaceBook as to how someone made a memorial before they could get to it, as soon as the obituary appeared in the newspaper. I have read how hurt that they were that someone who did not know the family did this. I have had an instance where I had created 2 memorials for my mother, as she IS buried in 2 cemeteries and someone deleted my memorial and superseded it with theirs. My mother couldn’t commit to being buried with my father or her parents, so we divided her ashes and buried her twice, in 2 different states. I have also been ignored in having transferred to me, immediate family members memorials. There are people out there that create memorials and claim “ownership” because they are the creator! I think that some of the serial creators are only interested in how high a number of memorials that they have and have no regard for the family’s. I have been working very hard to have all of my family’s memorials “linked” with their families. I think that FindaGrave has worked with me in doing this. I can appreciate the creators who have made memorials in states that I can not get to, to take photos of headstones in cemeteries that I will never get to visit, I always leave a flower and a comment as to how I am related. This new option of stating how you are related to the deceased is a very good addition! Thank You!!!!

  13. I have two questions.

    If a memorial manager discloses to Find A Grave they are a “close relative” but chooses not to publicly disclose the relationship, WHY does ANYTHING (“relationship is private”) need to be listed publicly on the memorial? Is it not enough that Find A Grave will know what that relationship is? Believe me, for a good genealogist, it would be a simple matter to quickly trace the memorial manager’s entire tree simply from triangulating a couple of such public signs. This infringes on the privacy of the memorial manager.

    If the memorial manager IS related to the deceased person, but chooses not to disclose that information at the outset (see paragraph #1), will that prevent them from protecting their management of the memorial in the future by virtue of their relationship? In other words, if I don’t label my mother’s memorial with the special designation, am I in danger of unexpectedly losing her memorial to a distant cousin?

  14. Why not stop showing the number of memorials added and managed except to the member on their page when logged in to their account and no one else can see them this will help stop the numbers game. Don’t try to fix something that is not broke. These changes will discourage people who are adding memorials to try to help others in the research that they are doing.

    • I agree, Guy. The “numbers” should only show up on your profile. There is no need to show everyone how many you have posted. That only feeds hoarders’ egos. I saw one manager who has over a MILLION! My question is how did he do that? There’s no way he sat for hours (weeks, months) and posted memorials.

  15. These are great changes to respect both the families and the volunteers… Thank You!!

  16. My father’s memorial was created by a non-family member. They do not accept messages. I have been wanting to get the memorial transferred to me for several years. The bio info comes from my website (photo as well). What can I do? I am his only child.

  17. It seems to me these changes are coming way too “late in the game”. I understood why you came up with something years ago to avoid having duplicate memorials but never liked that you prioritized the person who created the memorial instead of a family member. While that seems to be changing, I think now you’re creating confusion, not improvement, in the process.

  18. I’ve begun to update my memorials — I believe the point of view may varry on the choices – am I a child of my grandparent? Or can I possibly be the grandparent of a young person who died? Mixed views?

  19. What about the people that make a memorial and turn right around and transfer to Find a Grave?

  20. What about an option for listing yourself as “Descendant”? I manage the memorial for my 3rd great grandmother, for instance.

  21. I like the changes, basically, however, I wonder how it will work when multiple relatives have the same family but someone is more close than the writer/contributor. Does the contributor keep the memorial, and another opens a new one for the same relatives? I know a contributor,who has been in contact with me, who has taken it upon himself to research my family line and write basic information memorials for them all when he finds new information.

  22. Maybe I missed it, but will we be notified before a transfer
    is done? And yes- how can they really prove it? Unfortunately some people do lie….

  23. I have a lot of family and would really like to be able to add all of my family as relatives that I am the owner of the memorial. I was trying to go through all of my family and this new thing will not let me add anymore. That is wrong. If you related you should add any that you have the memorial rights to.

  24. – limit hoarders and score-keepers, but don’t be mean-spirited about it
    – recognise the effort made by those who originally set up a transferred profile
    – recognise more distant relations up to 2xgreat grandparent, 3rd cousin, etc., and other categories like “family genealogist”, etc.

  25. My mother’s obituary was “sharked” by someone with no relation to us. She wasn’t even in the ground when I found her entry as I was going to place her memorial. The guy’s attitude was “it’s in the paper, so it’s public domain”.

  26. Okay – I’ve reached the maximum number of nieces and nephews — ah – with ten kids in each of four generations and spouses for each aunt or uncle — I’m gonna reach a maximum? Come on, folks — reality says …

    • Agreed. Maximums on number of family members? I previously asked, “where’s the rationale.” Why not put maximums on the hoarders or those that upload whole cemeteries at one time?

  27. I would like to see the disallowance of memorials of people that ARE NOT DEAD as yet. Just because a name is on a grave without the year date of death doesn’t necessarily mean the person is dead. Many people when burying their spouse, etc have their name entered on the grave for economic reasons as well as their intentions of being buried eventually in that grave. Life happens and they get re-married, etc and get buried with their last spouse in a different grave. Thus the memorial is not accurate! This scenario has happened to a relative of mine and the “source” refused to take the memorial down of my living cousin. Ugh!

    • Karen, this is a similar to a situation I came across many years ago. Three infants in a family dying within a three year period nearly a hundred years ago. Because they were so small, they were buried one on top of another at the foot of a deceased neighbor’s grave, the only “stone” a 6-inch square chunk of concrete with the first child’s initials which could easily be mistaken for the same size “stones” used to mark the corners of a family post. Out of grief the parents and one surviving child moved to a town a hundred miles away, where they erected “proper” tombstones for each child in a family plot, as well as stones for the sister and parents when they too passed. I had no idea the three babies were buried atop each other in the first town until I found their names and dates in a list of burials for the cem in the second town, called that cem for more information and learned the babies weren’t actually buried there. That their stones are what are known in the cem business as “Memorial Stones”. Such stones were common in states still undergoing settlement in the last half of tge 1800s and early 1900s, i.e. pioneers on their way to their chosen destination lost a child or other family member before they reached it. The body would be buried in/near whatever town the death occurred, then a memorial stone would be erected after they were settled in their new home.

      The cem where the three babies were actually buried conducted periodic searches with ground radar and could verify their remains were under that weird square “marker”. At some point a year or so after the parents’ move, that cem had received a request to transfer their remains to the second cem, but for some reason it was canceled shortly after. I first placed a bouquet of artificial roses on the “marker” with cards stating the names and birth and death dates of each, encased in plastic sleeves, attached to the flowers. After the roses had to be removed, I’d stop at their grave whenever I happened to be in the cem. Far as I know, I was the only person who’d visited it in 50 or 60 years.

      As for stones for ex-spouses, the names and dates of a great-uncle are on stones in two cems twenty miles apart, and even with ground radar, it’ was never determined which grave his remains are actually in. Some unknown relative had added his death date to the double stone under which he was supposed to be buried with his wife, and other relatives erected a stone for him alone in the second cem. To add to the confusion, the records of each show his burial occurred in their grounds. One stone has to be only a “memorial”, but any person alive at the time has passed and no one alive has been able to figure out which is which.

      • This is all to common; I’ve one in my direct family and several in the area where I live and do local for Find a Grave.
        One has to know which ones which to be sure for one is real and other a cenotaph. If I do know I make entries on Find a Grave bio as to which it is and in which cemetery they’re buried if a cenotaph.

  28. I am TOTALLY AGAINST THESE CHANGES. I have been doing the grave yard crawl to find graves that no one has cared about since the person died. I add them to Find a Grave, then all of a sudden a family member wants me to transfer the “care” to them. THAT IS NOT RIGHT.
    Why didn’t you take a vote on this change before you just decided to change the rules????? GRAVEHOUND CLUB.

      • There is a lot of graves that would never be remember if people like myself that go to cemeteries and taken pictures and adding them to Find a Grave. Now Find a Grave makes it sound like myself and hundreds of other people that has been going to cemeteries has been wasting our time. I am so sorry for all of the people that I have upset my doing the thing that don’t do theirselves.

      • I won’t apologize for spending my vacations and time in going to numerous cemeteries to try and locate my own ancestors and photographing their gravestones. While I was there I took a lot of photos of gravestones in and around the same area as my ancestor relatives, mostly because I recognized a lot of the names. I have taken hundreds of photos of gravestones, gave them to my cousin who then posted on Find A Grave and she set up Memorials for them. All of my photos have her name on them which is fine. I took the photos and she started Memorials so that OTHERS would have a chance to view them and obtain information that maybe they were looking for, not for hoarding purposes. Anytime anyone has ever asked, both of us have transferred the Memorials to others and will continue to do so. I am no longer able to get out to the cemeteries and no longer live in the state where I took all of the photos but I sure am glad I took all those photos to share with anyone that needed them. I was able to find so many of my ancestors and was also able to provide so many other people with missing information that they were looking for. I thought that was what Find A Grave was all about. Sharing information with those that were searching for their families ties and that was my reasoning for taking so many photos. Right now I have tons of Memorials due to taking over management of my cousin’s Memorials due to her being very ill. We wanted to make sure someone was looking after her Memorials so they just wouldn’t sit and never responding to anyone if they had questions, edits or wanted a transfrer.

      • “I thought that was what Find a Grave was all about.” That is what Find a Grave is all about, and thank you for all the work you have put into taking photos and setting up memorials. The fact that you are willing to transfer is a blessing. I have three family members (a first cousin, and two great-grandparents) for which the owners are adamant they will not transfer to me. I have info to add, but I want to add it. I’m not arguing about it. They always cite Find a Graves “guidelines”.

        Without Find a Grave, I never would have found my 4th great-grandparents in Ohio. I was so shocked. It never occurred to me that would happen. Our whole family lives in Ohio. We live in Texas, so guess where we visited on our next trip to Ohio. It was amazing.

    • Maybe it isn’t “all of a sudden.” Maybe the family member is a new genealogist and a new member of Findagrave. Maybe they didn’t know where their relative was buried until they found “your” memorial page. It only makes sense they would want to care for their own relative. What doesn’t make sense is that you are irritated by that fact. You have done a lot of good deeds by doing the grave yard crawl, as you say, but do another good deed by transferring the memorial page to a family member. You can make someone very happy.

      • There is no problem if you wait the three months and have complete and accurate vital statistics. Unfortunately, in my experience, most non-family Memorial Creators do not have the Memorial correct and there are numerous information blocks blank. The “grave robbing” Obituary Listers want their numbers. Waiting three months for family is not a problem, death is forever.

  29. I am chairman of a cemetery committee for my synagogue and am directly responsible for burials in three cemeteries in town.
    Upon discovering Find a Grave, I found there were no listings for the four Jewish cemeteries in my town, so I created those cemeteries and populated them with memorials.
    While I’m not related to any of the people in these cemeteries, I am acquainted with most of their families or friends, and I take it as a personal obligation to ensure the Find a Grave memorials are as complete and accurate as I can make them, using Ancestry, obituaries, and friend and family contacts as resources.
    Once the cemeteries were created, I was distressed to find that ‘mega creators’ were entering new memorials as early as the morning of the day on which an obituary appeared in the local paper.
    In response, I began creating a record for a person our committee buries as soon as I’m contracted by the funeral director about the death.
    In the 11 years I’ve been doing this, only one family has raised a question about their loved one’s memorial, and that person’s concern changed to gratitude, when I explained that I was ensuring that control of the memorial was ‘in the family.’
    Most family members are grateful for memorials and the relationship links created and photos uploaded.
    I encourage family members to take over management of the memorials, but most are satisfied to leave them in my care.
    I believe I can abide by the intent of the new Find a Grave policies by creating memorials as un-related and by continuing to transfer management, when related people request.

    • Don, you are one of the Kind Souls we should all be grateful exist. Many elderly friends and family members are either not online or have no interest in learning to navigate a site such as Find a Grave or Ancestry, etc, and prefer I do their tree-climbing for them. In one instance on Find a Grave I came across a head and shoulders photo of an ex-son-in-law’s recently-deceased uncle at the same age his son, my grandson, is now, which neither had ever seen. The resemblance was/is uncanny. Gives me a start each time I see it in my Photos folder! Perhaps Find a Grave should have a category for Unrelated Kind Souls willing to attest they have absolutely no interest in being rewarded other than a “Thank You!” from a family member who’d never find such tidbits without us. Just sayin. ..

      • Totally agree. There are many kind souls out there that are merely trying to share what information they have available so that others can benefit from it.

  30. Thank you. Memorials for both my mother and father were created by someone who heard of their impending deaths and made a memorial before the obits were even published and before they even knew what cemetery. “Cemetery unknown” makes it way too easy to do that. A long time ago, I decided to only take photos and add memorials for those who died no less than 40 or more years ago, (unless prompted by a request by a family member) and I only add memorials and headstone photos to help descendants find their kinfolk. Like I hope that someone is out there doing for me, instead of just adding to their total memorial count. Perhaps that memorial totals number should no longer be made public…

  31. I do like the ability to add if you are a close relation and I have already go online and done that. But Grandparents is the furthest we can post. I manage several sets of great grandparents and great great grandparents and great/great great uncles/aunts. It would be nice to show that as well. I would also suggest direct line descendant button or at least a note space to add that information.

    • Agree! Being a “late-in-life baby”, many of my first cousins and all but one of my grandparents had passed before I was bitten by the family history bug, so my climb up the tree began with great-grandparents. When I discovered the joy in photographing tombstones, I looked for the oldest graves of total strangers, the “forgotten” resting places of those souls that hadn’t been visited in decades. Then I’d look up the Dearly Departed in censuses and such and write blog posts with the information I found in hopes a descendant would find an ancestor they never knew existed. Only once did I create Find a Grave memorials with photos of the stones of inhabitants of a tiny cem I found in the middle of nowhere, and happily transferred them to family members who requested a transfer. I firmly believe this is what Find a Grave is supposed to be about, not adding or creating more memorials than anyone else.

  32. While creating a memorial for my mother, before getting pictures I wanted to post, someone had already put the obit picture on the page. She had just died. Why would they feel it was their right? I try to link family members because future generations will not have any knowledge of the people I knew. Also, making corrections from Ancestry and other sources, so the information is correct. I’m also willing to help others find their ancestors.

    • It is not a “RIGHT” to post information on someone’s memorial. It IS a courtesy. Info such as Obits & photos often become available soon after death. If you do not want that person’s photo to appear on your mother’s memorial, post one which you do want, arrange the order of the photos as you would like them to appear, then politely notify the person that tried to help, that you didn’t need their photo.

      • It appears to be one upsmanship! Look what I found that you didn’t have!
        What about contacting the creator of your family members memorial and asking for it to be transferred to you so you can do it a you’d like. I think anytime who wants to add to someone else memorial should contact them first and see if they want it!

      • I didn’t have time to post a photo on my mother’s Find a Grave site. I started it the same day she died. She was 97, so death was not a surprise.
        While visiting an uncle’s grave, I found a stone for a classmate of mine who died in the early 1990s. This was 20+ years after he died. So, I took a photo of his stone (because I had known him since we were five). I can only assume that no one cared about those who died years ago. So, I made a Find a Grave page for him.

    • I felt the same way after having someone post a memorial for one of my family members. But then, thought, at least it was out there, it was something I didn’t have to do. However, in trying to get my own niece’s memorial from this person was a horror story. The person that started the memorial for my niece was not related to our family at all and would not transfer her to me. That is totally wrong. I finally had to go to the board and plead my case and it was transferred to me but we shouldn’t have to go through hoops for our own close relatives. I know there are people out there that read their local newspapers and then set up memorials and I am glad they do, otherwise I might have missed some of my own more distant relatives. We all need to play nice and be kind to one another. This is about our families, not just a bunch of names that means nothing to those that are not related in any way.

      • In a perfect world, Find a Grave (and Ancestry!) will FINALLY eliminate the “contest aspect” some over-competitive individuals believe it to be. Untilbthen, it might be a good idea to allow multiple memorials for a Dearly Departed, similar to how Ancestry allows, even encourages, multiple family trees for the same person, giving users the ability to compare information and decide for ourselves via our own research which bits are valid and which are just wishful thinking. I’ve spent hours and days on Ancestry trees adding information in the Comments section the tree creator may not have, as well as pointing out incorrect bits that generally are never corrected, but at least they’re there for anyone serious about obtaining accurate information by reading what’s in Comments.

    • I’m sorry meant no disrespect i was trying to reply to a Mr. Scott Jones. You should be able to create a memorial for family first, but I also know that it is most helpful for the obit to be there. I am on ancestry and have a family tree and know how helpful the obit can be for many reasons. But I do agree that family should have first at it especially since they have more correct knowledge than someone who is not as closely related.
      Bonnie

    • That’s great! I totally agree it should be done by family members. Like you, I try to leave a clearer path for future genealogists than we had and make the way clearer!

  33. I have actually heard of people making memorials for their elderly friends or relatives whose demise is imminent in order to prevent from someone jumping in the minute they pass. They fill in all info except death date then go back and edit when the time comes. Utterly pathetic that they actually had to resort to doing that!

    • Thank you! There’s not a snowflake’s chance my kids or grandkids will publish my obit or create a memorial with all the information I’d like to should be included, so pre-creating my own memorial is a wonderful idea! Could also pre-link myself to my two deceased ex-spouses as well as post photos of myself I think are best, not some of the crappy ones they snapped on-the-fly on their phones.

  34. The changes are nice but what about Great Grandchild, Great Niece/Nephew? The memorials I have created and manage are my family either by blood or marriage and include my Great Grandparents, Great Aunts/Uncles, distant cousins, etc.

    • That’s my question as well! 95% of my Find a Grave account is my direct line. There’s now no protection for my gggrandparents. Also, we are now limited as to how many grandparents we can have.

      • Dana, the new rules make no sense to me either. Checking the memorials I legitimately manage or created from my own shoe leather was NOT on my To-Do List this week, but now it’ll have to be. Thank you, Find a Grave, for creating a situation that’s causing the very people you need to survive unnecessary work and stress when this site used be stress-free for most of us..

    • I agree I think they have opened a can of worms here making to many rules causes to many problems you can’t legislate morals some things just have to play out an don’t change even if not perfect . If they piss off all the workers ( volunteers ) pretty soon be less help an concern . The ones doing this work (free) should be respected as much as the ones mourning there’s so many family’s an it’s public information after someone one dies . There are a few people that don’t want there obituarys in paper had an Aunt did that an can happen. I’ve had 300 emails from here ( find a grave ) today crazy . Is there going be a problem with already find grave members that have family here now manage now ? I don’t understand all this needs be done now. Some these family’s all are gone dead or barely anyone left as my case. Some just don’t want there’s friends family’s forgotten it’s truly an memorial . I think value should be on one another being good to one another not be devided .

  35. I was so pleased to hear this. I felt the same emotions when someone added my husband before I was ready. Didn’t think it would affect me like it did as I have been working with Find A Grave for many years now. We need to respect the families who just lost their loved one. Slow down and give them time to grieve.

  36. I think that they should wait if they are not related. There are several that read the obits and add them right away which I am glad that they add them just not the day of the death or maybe even the week of.

  37. I created and manage my step-father’s memorial, how do I list it?

  38. I have had others add my family members before I had a chance to do it but instead of ranting about how unfair that it, just ask nicely…..and I repeat NICELY…and most of them will turn the site over to you. I do not think this change was warranted and will cause a lot of our dearly deceased to probably not show up on findagrave.
    Margie Keller

  39. Lots of good comments here. Regarding posting obituaries…anytime I have post an obituary, I edit the names of any surviving members of the deceased, obviously only on RECENT obituaries. If there is a question on an older obituary, I also err to the side of caution and list them only as a “surviving relative”. Since listing living relatives is a cardinal rule on just about any genealogy site, and Ancestry basically created the rule, I would think Find a Grave would adopt the same.
    When my father passed away, I was the designated one to write the obituary, with a strict regard to my mother’s approval. At the 11th hour, a relative was at the funeral home submitting a new obituary, and included my full complete name and location of where we lived. They also listed with my children’s names complete with middle names. The family member was not in the least trying to improve the obituary, but has the “hoarder mentality” to keep the chain of names intact for genealogy reasons. This family member went on to list GG-parents of my father who have never lived in this state. It was pure selfishness and a breech of my personal desire for my own family’s privacy. I’d like to ask Find a Grave to follow Ancestry’s lead in requiring living family members to be edited for discretion in posting obituaries.

  40. Duplicate memorials and hoarding relatives: I do my bit to add memorials when I can, but not when I get as much verified information as I can. I don’t bother Find a Grave with any current family conflicts unless it is off the charts in dishonesty. As posted above, I have a family member who has crowned them self as the only one in our family to research our genealogy. They have acquired the management of some of our ancestors that are five or more generations back…also grabbing siblings, other wives and children from various distant cousins. I’ve been researching for over 40 years, and have allowed them to keep their title unchallenged. When my mother passed away, I was shocked that they did not already have her locked in. I created her memorial, and as fate would have it, I was able to connect to all her siblings and mother….not manage…just link them. Sometime later, I looked back, and all but two were linked out of my mother’s large family. Thy had added a good bit of superfluous information, created another memorial for several of them, and convinced Find a Grave to move them. I’ve never had any luck with Find a Grave acknowledging the damage this person had done. Now my mother shows few relatives, all which are deceased. I’ve just had to accept their behavior, as frustrating as it is.

  41. I love this new feature. In my county there are 2 individuals who jump right in and add memorials for people they don’t know and seem to relish the idea that they have hundreds of memorials in their name. I asked one of them to transfer my grandparents memorials and received the comment that they wondered why I asked when I had been a member of FindaGrave the number of years that I was and refused my request. They were eventually transferred but only after I had left a flower with a remembrance. I sometimes go to create a memorial for a relative only to find one of these two individuals has already created one. When my mother passed away I created her memorial just hours after her passing before it became public to prevent either one of them from doing it but before I could attach a picture a non-relative attached one. I received an email from one of the individuals saying they noticed I had already created a memorial. Obviously it was his intention to add one more memorial for himself. I appreciate all those who do take the time to create memorials but please think of the other person who is a relative asking for a transfer if you are a non-relative seeking to increase the number memorials managed.

  42. I thought everyone was doing a good job on findagrave.com. I really enjoyed getting the information they had posted. I was happy when I went on line and my loved one name was all ready on the site along with the obit and picture. I always thought someone cared about my loved one. Thanks to all

  43. Thank you. I’m so glad to see this. When my husband passed away I was upset and angry that some stranger had made him a memorial and had even posted photos with my daughter in them without mine or my daughters permission. I wanted to do this for my husband but some stranger stole this from me along with stealing my photos.

  44. I am curious how this may impede me or others that do free genealogy research and attempt to link family members for these families that are not related to me. Just curious. I do think the changes might be nice. I am wary of Ancestry though, trying to capitalize on all this free work/information, and further limiting others unless they subscribe to the rather expensive Ancestry subscriptions…just a thought

    • And a valid thought it is, Alan. I’ve never been happy with the changes made to the infinitely more user friendly format pre-Ancestry.

      • Pre Ancestry Find A Grave was a mess. They did not follow their own rules and they could not be contacted. Linking Memorials to Family Trees was a big plus. Errors in Memorials were easier to identify and posting certificates and Census information was not necessary.

  45. In my area there are two people, Anne and Doin, neither of whom I know, who must get at the newspaper early in the morning and put all the new obit people on Find a Grave. In my experience, they’ve always been good about transferring memorials to me when I’ve requested them. I am grateful to them for the reason that they at least get the deceased on record. If we wait for families to put them on Find a Grave many of the deceased would never get on record and generations hence will lack data they seek. I wish there were a way to allow for that. I am aware that not all the integrity of those two early-morning-workers seem to have. But could the administrators work on that? Thanks so much for Findagrave.

    • I agree with you. Not every person who dies has a closely researching relative.
      There is one or more persons in my geographical area who are early birds also. I do not find fault with their efforts, and, even if they cannot ID a close relationship, a relative who would like to manage the memorial can still contact the manager and request a transfer.
      I don’t see the need to ID no relationship and withhold a bio.

    • I found my aunt and two cousins memorials the day their obituaries came out and they weren’t even buried yet! To me that’s like people collecting Facebook “friends” who they don’t even know just to appear most popular!

    • I think any & all help from Find a Grave volunteers very helpful & greatful regardless of time posted matter fact the sooner the better as most family’s time of death & grief would appreciate it. This seems like a office staff problem . I have been pretty happy with (find a grave) people have been nice very helpful and personal . I’ve only had one bad expirence of a transfer . Iam sure there can always be a nut or problem as we are not perfect . I have no idea why not want original obituarys as they contain the most information of ones death in most cases . Seems like Ancestry sales ploy there . I hope you don’t choke out staff & helpers with rediculous policy an rules . l’d like take the opportunity here to Thank very much the Find A Grave Volunteers workers & Staff for your Site help care an being nice God Bless you all. It really does mean a lot so much to be able look up find share an when your old can’t always get to go or see . I am amazed at the true care energy thought an work . Thank you . Bob

    • I appreciate all that FindaGrave does; it’s a wonderful resource. But please, I would like to add my voice to the request to include more relationship choices, specifically, at the very least, great-grandchild, great-great-grandchild, and great-niece/nephew. It makes no sense to be labeled “not related” when we really are! Thank you.

      • Do we REALLY want to list that many descendants who are living to a memorial when part of the issue is family privacy? Just listing the number of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-greats, etc. ought to be enough. Then someone who is actually related knows the number they’re looking for, but someone who is just trolling for connections will have to work at it to get the info.

  46. Although it is likely rare, there are some families who want to manage a memorial to change the true facts. As more people become aware of Findagrave, I fear for the accuracy of family links

    • I agree with you. I had a lady ask me to remove her daughter’s obituary that someone else had posted before I managed it and she wanted me to change her daughter’s death date. Her daughter had committed suicide and she didn’t want anyone to know and wanted her death date to coincide with a time when her daughter was in the hospital for a minor surgery so she could say she didn’t make it through the surgery. I told her to contact the board of FAG as I did not want to change the correct information.

  47. I think this is a great idea. There is a contributor in my area that makes memorials as soon as someone dies just so that person can have a high number of memorials & there is always problems getting edits done because that person has so many memorials or getting a transfer from this person. So when ever someone in my family dies I have to make a memorial admittedly or this person sees the obituaries in the newspapers or on the funeral homes sites and makes a memorial and then it is a struggle getting a transfer from this person. Thank you so much. I’m not saying this person shouldn’t make memorials because that is what FindAGrave is all about but you have to give a grieving relative time to make a memorial for their love one or at least let that person have the memorial if they are related to that person.

  48. I have created memorials of my husbands parents and grandparents. How do I show relationship, do I click grandchild, and then somewhere in the memorial state that I am married to their grandchild? Thank you.

  49. This is a very welcome and necessary change. I also believe it should include the great and great-great category as well. Many people who add graves of strangers do not have accurate information or even a picture of the grave. After watching posting routines, there is a person in my hometown who probably goes through obits daily and immediately posts them on Find a Grave. I call that grave robbing, not genealogy. Collecting other people’s deceased family members to bump up numbers is not the point of Find a Grave, at least I hope not. I only add family members, some by marriage, and a few very close friends. As a result, I have less than 100 memorials to my credit and some of those were transferred.

    As far as a simpler method to transfer, I like that too as some of the big number members will not transfer and have made it difficult to contact them.

    I also would like to see any obit posted on a memorial omit the names of survivors and where they live. Too many people just add the entire obit to the page.

  50. I have made several responses to the previous responses but I don’t see any of them posted.

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