Tag: Grave Markers

Indecipherable inscriptions on centuries old tombstones revealed using 3D technology.

Indecipherable inscriptions on centuries old tombstones revealed using 3D technology.

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Stuart, Erin and Alan Melanson in graveyard.
Erin and Stuart sit through an enthralling tale told by fellow ‘Melanson’ cousin, Alan Melanson.

This new technology is so very exciting to me. I’ve found that the information that proves to be most valuable from tombstones is that found on those from before 1850.

After 1850, most of the information is available in accessible records. Although there are records prior to 1850, the information on them is minimal at best. The earlier US censuses are the best example because the censuses prior only provide the full name of the head of the family and age ranges of spouses, children and others. This leaves a wide margin for error that is much narrower in later censuses that reveal names, ages, birth years, immigration data, occupations and relationships to the head of the household.

In a previous post, I described the fun my family and I had ‘tombstone hunting’ in Nova Scotia. We made a point of stopping at as many graveyards as possible and taking photos and transcriptions of the tombstones that had related surnames. The most memorable graveyard we visited was that of the well known “Graveyard Tour” at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Our tour guide was a fellow Melanson family member and his knack of weaving entertaining and enthralling stories was evident as he led us through the maze of tombstones, recounting the most scandalous and mysterious tales. Several of these tombstones from the 1600s and 1700s were unreadable and this new 3D technology seems to be the answer to discovering and recording many of the actual transcriptions.

Grant Aylesworth, a Mount Allison anthropology professor, and the Government of New Brunswick’s archaeological services division are now reading the inscriptions on those illegible grave markers from the 1700s, using this new 3D software technology. The software derives the inscriptions from digital images of these tombstones. The innovative technology is freely available and is easy to learn and implement, although attempts are being made to streamline the process to encourage others to explore these old tombstones and recover as many inscriptions as possible.


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A primer on cemetery research to find ancestors.

A primer on cemetery research to find ancestors.

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I’ve always loved gravestone and cemetery research to find ancestors.

Although I do most of my genealogical research via the internet, and in a very small amount via snail mail, there is something visceral about visiting the actual graves of our ancestors and recording the information about them (and their families if in family plots).

In previous posts, I related the story of my family’s genealogical driving tour of Nova Scotia a few years ago. The first was about our exploring a community cemetery and the other was regarding our experience taking the Fort Anne graveyard tour.

When you’re working on researching distant generations of ancestors, cemetery research is one of the most satisfying, hands on forms of genealogical exploration you can do. It’s one way to connect with a tangible reminder of particular ancestors, which is often an elusive feeling.

Finding a tombstone or other sign of the resting place of an ancestor can give you insights into who they were.

Is their tombstone humble or grand?

Does it contain an inscription that speaks of a simple life, of one that hints at a great love story, or a somber and religious disposition?

What dates are inscribed?

The information source is rich, yet locating cemeteries and navigating the research process isn’t always straightforward. Here’s how to get started with genealogical cemetery research.

 

What can I expect to learn from a cemetery?

 

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions to 22 Aug 2015.

 

It’s important to note that cemeteries and grave markers can be excellent sources of information about the deceased. While they are not primary information sources, they can clarify details such as:

  • an ancestor’s name, including obscure details like maiden names and middle names or even occasionally pet names;
  • date of birth;
  • date of death;
  • names of family members including parents, spouses, and children;
  • religion;
  • military service; and
  • fraternal order membership.

Cemeteries are a wonderful source of information that can confirm what you’ve learned from earlier research. In other cases, you’ll garner information that you didn’t know.

For example, there may be symbolism on a tombstone suggesting that your ancestor was a member of the Masonic Lodge or perhaps they are buried in a Catholic burial ground. Each of these small clues can open up new avenues for research and exploration.

 

How to find out where someone is buried?

 

There are many ways to find where your ancestors are buried.

The first is to look at any records associated with their death, including certificate of death, obituaries, church notices, and other funerary documents. Consulting similar information for spouses, siblings, children, and parents can also sometimes lead you to the right information.

If you know your ancestor’s religious affiliation, it’s possible to find out if there’s a church or community cemetery. Consult local records and histories.

Finally, there are a number of cemetery guides online that can help you locate an ancestor’s gravesite.

You might also want to try billiongraves.com and findagrave.com. They can be very helpful in locating family members and their information.

 

Making the most of a cemetery visit.

 

Whether you’re already near a cemetery where an ancestor is buried or you’re making a special trip, there are several things you’ll want to do to make the most of your visit.

The first is to bring a copy of any information you have about the ancestors, such as names and dates of birth. If you have a map or details of the cemetery, bring those as well, as large burial grounds can be difficult to navigate.

To document as much information as possible, bring paper and writing implements or electronic devices to record information and make any notes.

Consider bringing a digital camera with you to document the cemetery, individual headstones, and the relationship between specific stones that may be useful later.

Avoid taking grave rubbings, if possible. It’s a source of conflict but most people today feel that the risk of damage to the stone is too high. A high resolution camera now yields a wonderful degree of detail.

A final note on the logistics of cemetery visits: dress appropriately for being outdoors, and think ahead to things like bug spray and sunscreen. Wear a hat, and bring plenty of water as your visit may be a lengthy one.

If the cemetery you’re visiting is on private property, get permission first.

If the cemetery in question has a caretaker and you’re able to find them, spend a moment saying hello and explaining your mission. They may have valuable information.

Finally, if you’re headed into a cemetery that’s overgrown, isolated, or in an unknown area, consider bringing a companion for both company and safety.

A professional genealogist can help you with all types of genealogical issues, from completing all your research to answering specific questions about cemetery research.

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Jillynn Stevens is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.


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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – 26 Oct 2014

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – 26 Oct 2014

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Following are the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions for the period up to October 26, 2014.

 

FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions
Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions for the period up to October 26, 2014.” src=”https://www.emptynestgenealogy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/medium_168942956.jpg” alt=”Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions” width=”446″ height=”215″ /> Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions for the period up to October 26, 2014.

Argentina

Bahamas

Cape Verde

France

Indonesia

Peru

South Africa

United States

 

Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

Canada

England

photo credit: Infinite Ache via photopin cc


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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – June 26, 2014

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – June 26, 2014

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Following are the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions.
FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions
Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

The list is extensive and will break into multiple pages as June 18th seems to have been a very busy, productive day at FamilySearch.org.

The countries with the most additions are Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, United States and Poland.

 

FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Argentina

Belgium

Bolivia

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Croatia

Czechoslovakia

Denmark

El Salvador

Germany

Honduras

Hungary

India

Indonesia

Italy

Mexico

Netherlands

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Puerto Rico

Russia

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United Kingdom

  1. England, Kent, Manorial Documents, 1241-1976
  2. England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997
  3. England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952
  4. Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009
  5. United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United States

Venezuela

Worldwide

 

Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

Canada

Poland

United Kingdom

United States

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc


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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – April 8, 2014

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – April 8, 2014

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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions” src=”https://www.emptynestgenealogy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Capture.png” alt=”Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions” width=”150″ height=”285″ />Following are the newest Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to date.

 

FamilySearch.org

Australia
Belgium
Brazil
China
Colombia
Haiti
Italy
Peru
Philippines
Portugal
Spain
United States

Ancestry.com

Ireland
Isle of Wight
New South Wales

 


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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – March 23, 2014

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – March 23, 2014

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Below are the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions.

 

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions” src=”https://www.emptynestgenealogy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/little-girl-genealogy-pictures.jpg” alt=”Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions” width=”320″ height=”213″ />FamilySearch.org

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Barbados
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Costa  Rica
Czechoslovakia
England
Germany
Guatemala
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Moldova
Netherlands
Nicaragua
Peru
Portugal
South Africa
Spain
United States
Worldwide

 

Ancestry.com

Argentina
Brazil
Denmark
England
Germany
Guatemala
United States

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