In doing ancestry research, I always check to see if my ancestor has a memorial set up on findagrave.com. I have frequently found valuable information and obituaries on these memorials.
Find a Grave links to my parents:
Many people go through cemeteries and take pictures of grave stones and submit them to findagrave.com. This is a wonderful service and I’ve found many of my ancestors memorials are already established.
However, in many cases the individual who so kindly took the picture and set up the memorial only knows the information that is on the tombstone and the location of the cemetery. So, many of these memorials need to be enhanced with additional information.
Here is my process for helping to improve my ancestors findagrave.com (FAG) memorials. Note: to make many of these changes, you will need to set up a FAG account, which is free and easy to do.
- Go to www.findagrave.com (FAG) and search for the ancestor I’m researching to see if they already have a FAG memorial set up. (I check my ancestors page at ancestry.com to see if they have a FAG source listed and link from there, which is sometimes quicker than doing the search through findagrave.com.)
- If no memorial for them is found, I add a burial record by clicking on the “Add Burial Records” link on the left navigation bar.
- Verify and improve Names (like adding maiden names and nicknames). If there is information missing and someone else maintains the record, you can do one of two things:
- You can request the memorial be turned over to you to maintain by providing your relationship to the person and your FAG number. (You can do this by clicking on the name of the person that maintains the memorial and will see their contact information (email address). If no contact information is available, you can submit the request using the “edit” tab at the top of the page and use the “Suggest any other correction or addition” link to request the transfer to you. Once it’s transferred to you, you can make these changes through the individuals Memorial Page as long as you’re logged in.
- OR You can use the “Edit” tab at the top of the page to submit your changes to the person who maintains the memorial.
- Connecting Family Members. Findagrave.com allows you to add parents and spouse. First you need to find or add the parents and/or spouses to obtain their FAG Memorial Number. Then go back to the memorial of the child and/or spouse and click on the “Edit” tab at the top of their FAG memorial page, then click on the “Relationship (parent and spouse links)” link. You can then add the FAG Memorial Number for the Father, Mother and/or Spouse and Year married. You can also add more spouses. This will then be sent to the person maintaining that memorial for approval. My experience has been they are added fairly quickly in most cases.
- Adding a biography. I highly encourage you to add a “story” about the person if there is not one and you have enough information to do so. Submitting an obituary is also a good idea if you have one. This, in my opinion, makes the person more real when you can read a story about them. To add a biography, I click on the ‘Edit” tab at the top of the page and use the “Suggest a correction or addition” link. If you maintain the memorial, there will be a link on the memorial page to add and/or edit Bio.
- Uploading photos. If I have a picture of the person or their grave stone, I will upload it to the memorial. It’s always nice to see a picture of the person. Keep in mind, that although these pictures are marked as copyrighted by yourself, some folks believe they can take the picture and use it without permission, so don’t upload any pictures you don’t want copied (this is the www after all). Also, you can further protect it by making sure the Meta data on the photo shows you as the copyright owner.
- Add Flowers. Adding flowers is easy peasy….just click on the “Leave Flowers and a note” box at the bottom right of the memorial page. A list of flowers to select from will show up. You can also edit the default selection of flowers by clicking on the “Contributor Tools” link in the left toolbar. On your Contributor page, on the bottom left is a section called Customize. You can edit the Default Flower Category.