Find a Grave® Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Sue, the Find a Grave® featured volunteer of the month for June, 2022! Sue was nominated by member Patricia McElhaney, as she helped her with family discoveries last winter.

Volunteer of the Month

Sue doesn’t remember exactly when she came across Find a Grave, but thinks it is likely she was doing genealogy research years ago. “Once I joined Find a Grave, I do remember seeing you could be a volunteer to take photos and our cemetery is fairly easy to photograph so I thought why not. As the years went on I decided to start taking photos of all the sections and that is mainly what I’m doing now. My goal is to photograph or input as many memorials as I can before I can’t do it anymore. I am very lucky as the cemetery staff is wonderful to work with. Due to Find a Grave requests we have uncovered three markers so far buried beneath the soil. I also have to give credit to my girls, grandkids and my best friend who go with me so we get more accomplished. 

Every person has a story. I’ve found my history through headstones and newspaper articles more than through family storytelling. If by taking photos of stones leads someone someday to learn just a little piece of their history than I feel I’ve done something worthwhile.

Sue has definitely spent time in worthwhile endeavors. Patricia contacted us about Sue and told us the story of how she was able to help her with discoveries.

Patricia needed more information about her family member as there wasn’t clarity in the historical records. On census records for her great-uncle, William Maxon, she found the name Ira and was confused as her great-uncle’s name was William. She thought maybe he had a brother named Ira that she wasn’t aware of. Sue and Patricia researched and found more records that included the name Ira W. with the same birth and death dates as William. This led to the thought that Ira dropped his first name and went by William in his adult life. It was important to find the headstone and see what name was inscribed on it.

Sue spent many days over this last winter researching and helping Patricia with information for her great uncle and others. She contacted the cemetery to inquire if that was where he was buried. With confirmation, she excitedly traveled to the cemetery to find and photograph the stone. The headstone wasn’t in sight so she probed the plot area trying to find it. It didn’t take long to find a stone. They started removing the ground covering it and sure enough unearthed the headstone for William Maxon (1896-1963). This headstone provided further proof that William didn’t use Ira as his first name. Patricia not only found the information that she needed, but also found a new friend, Sue.

We are so appreciative of the efforts of all Find a Grave volunteers and the help that they provide one another – discoveries are made, puzzles solved, and friendships created.

Do you know a Find a Grave member who would make a good Volunteer of the Month? We welcome your suggestions. Please send an email with details of their work to feedback@findagrave.com.

4 comments

  1. Great sleuthing, Sue! Knowing how to uncover information both written and hidden beneath the earth is so valuable. Two years ago I began uncovering and writing about a family cemetery in Minaville, NY. I wondered who my 2nd paternal great-grandmother’s father was, knowing where the cemetery was. It had been neglected for decades, maybe since the late 19th century. I and a friend cleared it; I have written a history of the burials, and found the work so rewarding. I plan to involve myself as a volunteer at an active cemetery in the same town. I need to improve my photography skills, though! Maria Ernest Rochester, NY

  2. I have been happy with your people and their work. My father, God rest his soul, never knew where his brother was, he was suppose to be missing in action, you found his grave in Manilla. I am forever grateful for that and many others you have tracked down in my family since. I don’t know what I would have done without you! God bless you all for you kindness and willing service to others. Many, many thanks.

  3. Searching for facts can be hard and take a lot of time. It is wonderful that Sue went the extra mile to help Patricia find her great uncle’s stone! Finding what we are looking for is so exciting. I have found that out many times. Find a Grave has been a wonderful resource for me in connecting family members and facts

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