Sunday, April 17, 2016
BillionGraves Takes The Anxiety Out Of Searching For Loved Ones
Yesterday, I had the privilege of taking my friend, Cathi, to Quantico National Cemetery to visit her father's grave. Six years ago Cathi had moved to Arizona and has been unable to visit her father's grave regularly. As you can imagine, the cemetery is rather large, and since it had been awhile since Cathi had come by, her memory needed to be jogged as to where the actual grave was located. She knew the Section but could not remember where the actual plot was.
I have been working with BillionGraves for a number of years. I knew that using BillionGraves' app, which provides the GPS location for every gravestone photographed, we would find Cathi's father in a matter of moments. After opening the app, we entered her father's name, William E. Mulroy. Immediately, the record of his burial showed up, and by simply tapping on the map icon, we were given the exact location of his headstone in relation to where we were standing.
There are several ways to volunteer with BillionGraves, the top two being photographing and transcribing. To photograph headstones, simply grab your smart phone or ipad and download the BillionGraves app. When you arrive to the cemetery of your choice, open the app and click on the camera icon. You will see the name of the cemetery appear in the camera with the live image. As you walk grave by grave, simply take a picture of each headstone. When you are done photographing, you may upload the pictures immediately or wait until you get home.
After you upload the pictures you have taken, you will want to transcribe the photos. Log into BillionGraves on your computer and on the dashboard you will see a Photos icon. When you select Photos, you will have the option to select the photos you have taken. Each picture you click on will give you a form to complete with the information from the headstone. Should you choose not to transcribe the images, the photos will go into the BillionGraves database for another volunteer to transcribe.
Volunteering for BillionGraves is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the genealogy community. There are millions of individuals, like Cathi, searching for the headstones of their loved ones. Whether the search is for family history purposes or to reminisce and pay respects, being able to access the gravesite immediately allows for time to be well spent.
For more information regarding BillionGraves, visit BillionGraves.com.
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