Congratulations to Bob the Greenacre Cat, the Find a Grave® featured volunteer of the month for March 2022!
Bob has been a Find a Grave member for about five years and in that time has worked diligently adding memorials and headstone photos from all over England, Scotland, and other countries as well.
Bob started using Find a Grave about five years ago, as he knew where most of his ancestors died but not their final resting place. He enjoys traveling to new destinations as “you never know what you find and go through some stunning scenery.” He has traveled “all over from Scotland in the north, throughout Northern England to Wales and the Midlands to the south, passing through the Borders, Lake District, Pennines and Peak District.” During the covid pandemic he found “cemeteries a safe place to get away and unwind, fulfilling requests or just taking photographs.” He likes to help those who are looking for graves and has inspired others to become photo volunteers with his dedication and efforts for the community.
His profile name derives from a cat in Greenacres Cemetery who followed him around as he was photographing. The cat wanted to be in every photograph, walking in front of the headstones, which resulted in Bob retaking photos over again. He eventually solved the problem by “taking several photos of him, which made him content and he just followed but kept out of shot.”
Bob has worked in many cemeteries in his travels. One that he likes is Saint Mary’s Chapel at Ellel Grange. The chapel and mausoleum was “built by the Preston family to save having to travel to the local church and to have a separate place to worship and be buried.”
He has also photographed most of the memorials in Blackley and Urmston Jewish Cemeteries in Manchester. He only wishes that he could translate the inscriptions to add what is included. If you can help translate the Hebrew inscriptions found on these stones, you can send the original Hebrew and the translation through Suggest Edits. Here are a couple of examples:
Manchester General Cemetery has proven to be an interesting challenge to him. He found that fifty years of records had been destroyed and that the only record for the cemetery is the headstones. He’s added over 12,000 photos to this cemetery alone, logging the upright headstones. He is starting work on the headstones that lay flat along with cleaning them up, knowing this will take much longer than the upright stones.
The most memorable graves he has documented were inside the chapel at All Hallows Churchyard. The nave and chancel of the church was built in the late 13th century in Early English Gothic style. The Shireburn family was buried there in altar tombs with effigies in the 16th century.
Our accolades to you for your extraordinary work on the site, in cemeteries, and for the community! We are so glad that you are a Find a Grave member and appreciate all your efforts in recording and memorializing those that have passed.
We welcome your suggestions for Volunteer of the Month. If you’d like to submit a volunteer for consideration in future months, please send an email with details of their work to email@example.com.