Finding Uncle John

Carol learned the value of taking care of and being part of a large family from her parents. Now, she’s a grandmother and does everything she can to keep her family close and spending time with one another. Carol is the keeper of the original documents, belongings and pictures of family members who have passed on and enjoys sharing these with her family, as well as having them join her in researching.

Carol and Mother
Carol and her mother on Carol’s wedding day

In early summer of 2020, while the pandemic was raging, Carol’s granddaughter joined her for the day and they took to researching family online. Carol has always been interested in finding out the roots of her ancestry. Part of this stemmed from the last name “Shakespeare” that appears in her mother’s side of the family tree.Her granddaughter, who is a member of Find a Grave, suggested that they search for their family members’ memorials.  They found memorials for Carol’s parents and many other family members. 

Then Carol asked if they could look for her uncle, John Shakespeare.  She had lost contact with her uncle when he moved to California many years before.  Carol’s granddaughter explains, “I made the search, hoping in my heart that he would appear, but not knowing if this was just one search that would not return what we desired. The first result in the list was him. I turned to look at her, to glimpse her reaction, and she was shocked. After all the searching she had done, the hours of looking to find those who had become unconnected, we had found him.”

John Shakespeare
John Shakespeare

Carol was amazed and grateful for the sacrifice of time and effort that Find a Grave members have made over the years to help people like them who come to the site in hopes of finding their family.  They offer their heartfelt thanks to everyone who has added pictures of their family’s graves and to “the people who searched all over and helped to provide some closure when there were more questions than answers.”

Their experiences on Find a Grave have encouraged them to contribute to the site so that others can experience the same feelings of joy they did when they saw the gravestones of their family members for the first time.


  1. I appreciate all the work done by FG volunteers. Finding family members and connecting them to their extended family is a wonderful thing. Genealogy is the future and I’m so happy that FG is part of that.

  2. I have spent most of my time reconnecting family members through links on FIndagrave. If you find a persons burial location then you can link them back to other family members. I once found a baby in a small pioneer cemetery whose parents had moved back to town 200 miles away. I have always thought families should be linked together even if they are not buried in the same location. I thought being the only member of a family and a child buried by yourself seemed very lonely. They are linked together again.

  3. Thank you to all of the volunteers of FG. I work with older folks. On several occasions, I have had the opportunity to pop open my phone and show them their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparent’s graves. Their faces light up instantly. They will never be able to physically go to these places, but through the hard work of FG volunteers they can still experience the thrill finding their ancestors. I cannot describe how much of a blessing that each one of you are, nor the difference you make.

  4. I volunteered for several years as a Find A Grave contributor. While the work was very satisfactory, getting assistance from cemetery staff was less than satisfactory. Sometimes the staff will refuse my requests, sometimes they will help for a short time and then quit. So, disappointing.

  5. Researching Find a Grave Memorials connections is my Hobby. If I do not have first hand knowledge of the Family, I will search to find sources and documentation so their Memorials can be updated.

    I feel all Find a Grave Memorials deserve to have Tombstone photos and to be connected to their families. I began working on Family member memorials, that I had first hand knowledge of, because some of what I found on Find a Grave was incorrect. Later, I expanded my activity to families in the Counties where I have lived.

    I have accepted 332 suggested edits to my memorials and have had 8,540 edits approved for suggestions I have submitted. I have have had a few suggested edits disapproved because I was the first hand source and could not find Internet documentation of my suggested edits. When you live in Farm county, you often know people by their Nick Names, that are not posted online, and you will often know their extended family. Many Rural people born prior to 1940 were born in their Parent’s Farmhouse, but will use their parent’s Rural mail address on their Birth Certificate.

    One concern I have, is the veracity of Memorials created by contributors who have created over 100,000 memorials.

    My 2 Cents :=)

  6. I take great joy in linking family members, adding missing details, correcting errors, etc. I always search thoroughly before creating a new memorial…I have found several duplicate memorials by doing that.
    My best finds were my paternal 10 time great grandfather and family! He was a captain in the American Revolution! The other exciting find was locating my husband’s long lost older brother Jerry! When I linked him to his dad, my father in law, we were contacted by Jerry’s daughter, and found out we have 7 nieces and nephews!
    I love being able to help locate family and linking them…to me an unlinked memorial is so sad.

    Find a Graver since 2014
    Lori Jo Everts-DeWitt

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