By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
This is one of the most unusual events we have covered here, but one of the neatest, too, as it combines history, community service, and outdoor exploration: Ancestry.com, the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, is seeking help in documenting local cemeteries. On October 7 through October 9, 2016, global cemetery meet-ups are taking place for people to help record history and preserve local cemeteries.
The company asks people to visit a cemetery in need to “take photographs and videos of headstones, explore the grounds, and share stories and discoveries with others who want to make a difference. With your thoughtful contributions, history will never be forgotten.”
Through the Find A Grave website, volunteers can locate a nearby cemetery that has a need or request for documentation. Find A Grave is a free resource for finding the final resting places of famous people, friends and family members. People who live too far away or who can’t locate a burial spot of a relative or friend sometimes ask for help on the site for locals to visit the cemetery and get more information or a photo (which you can then upload to the site).
Find a Grave has started a list of cemeteries in need. Volunteers are asked to help preserve their local cemetery by taking photos of the graves and making sure there is a memorial for everyone who has been laid to rest there. I did a quick search on the Find a Grave site and found at least a couple dozen photo requests locally.
Whether you participate or not, you can follow along online to see the findings of this year’s event: the hashtag #FGDay will help track pictures and videos posted to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also get updates on the event by following the Find A Grave Facebook page.