The Monumental Archive Project – An Open Platform for Recording Historic Cemeteries

The following is from a blog posted at The Monumental Archive Project website, announcing their official launch.

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The Monumental Archive Project was established to act as an open platform for historic cemeteries research to address issues of accessibility and sustainability, whilst also stimulating creativity and collaboration.About

It has been a year in the making and is still in the beginning stages. It is being launched with one collection of more than 20 locations in Barbados, with more than 2000 monuments. From here, it is hoped that the collection will grow, and that users will also share their results, their tips, their ideas.

You can search the archives, you can download the entire file, you can explore them through maps, you can learn about the individual sites or churchyards. This blog will act as a space for discussion and guest blogs about individual research experiences, ideas and tips.

Read the full blog.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Reburying the Dead in Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

The following excerpts are from an article August 20, 2016 at the chieftain.com website.

ST. AMANT, La. — Louisiana continues to dig itself out from devastating floods, with search parties going door to door looking for survivors or bodies trapped by flooding so powerful in some cases it disturbed the dead and sent caskets floating from cemeteries.

In a uniquely Louisiana problem, some families are also trying to rebury relatives whose caskets were unearthed by the floods.

At least 15 cemeteries across seven parishes have had disruptions, the Louisiana Dept. of Health reported, although they don’t yet have an estimate of how many graves, tombs, and vaults have been damaged.

Read the full article.

Heroes’ Memorials Demanded for Czech Assassins of Holocaust Chief

The following teaser is from an article posted August 21, 2016 at theguardian.com:

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The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich is recognised as one of the most audacious operations of the second world war. But Ján Kubiš and Josef Gabcík, the two British-trained Czechoslovak paratroopers credited with killing one of Hitler’s most fanatical henchmen and chief mastermind of the Holocaust, are believed to be buried in Prague in an unmarked grave.

Now campaigners are calling on the Czech Republic to rescue their remains from obscurity and give them the burial they deserve. The pair are believed to lie in Ďáblice cemetery in Prague in a common plot also used to bury executed Nazis and wartime collaborators. The spot is close to where thousands of political prisoners killed under Czechoslovakia’s former communist regime are thought to be buried.

Read the full article.

Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania Under State Protection

The following excerpt is from the August 9, 2016 edition of the Baltic Times.

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An old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius has been registered among cultural objects protected by the state, under a decree signed by Lithuania’s Culture Minister Sarunas Birutis on Friday.

Data provided by the Jewish Community of Lithuania indicates that the old Jewish cemetery on Olandu Street was used from 1828 to 1940, with about 70,000 individuals buried there. The cemetery was demolished during Soviet rule between 1961 and 1963.

Read the full article.

Teens tipped over headstones at 175-year-old Michigan cemetery

The following teaser is from an article posted on clickondetroit.com

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Teens tipped over headstones at 175-year-old Michigan cemetery ‘because they were bored’

GENEVA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Authorities say three teenagers have confessed to tipping over and damaging more than 30 headstones at a cemetery in southwestern Michigan.

The Van Buren County sheriff’s department says in a statement that two 15-year-old boys and a 13-year-old girl told deputies they tipped headstones at Lacota Cemetery in Geneva Township on March 19 “for fun and because they were bored.”

Read the full article.

Savannah State University Plans to Build on a Cemetery

The following teaser is from an article posted at 11alive.com:

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A public hearing is planned to consider concerns about Savannah State University’s plans to build a science and technology center on the site of an old cemetery.

The Savannah Morning News reports that the area was part of the Placentia Plantation Colored Cemetery a century ago.

Read the full article.

Read a more extensive article titled “Savannah State University seeks to build over abandoned cemetery” at http://savannahnow.com/

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for February 16 & 22, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:
FamilySearch Logo 2014

You will find new marriage records from Kansas and Maryland this week along with England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887, England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004, and United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945. I’ve also included updates from February 16 on the following list. Check out all of the marriage records from a variety of states, including New York, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. Other highlights include New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted 1917-1957, California San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index 1936-1949, Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920, and New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1943. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

California San Francisco Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving 1954- 1957 – 375,314 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887 – 256,201 – 93,511 – New indexed records and images collection
England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004 – 481,340 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Gary and East Chicago Crew Lists 1945-1956 – 17,094 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kansas County Marriages 1855-1911 – 148,676 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland Marriages 1666-1970 – 96,638 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Delayed and Corrected Vital Records 1753-1900 – 31,701 – 11,788 – New indexed records and images collection
United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945 – 143,374 – 0 – New indexed records collection

BillionGraves Index – 227,783 – 227,783 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Canada British Columbia Marriage Registrations 1859-1932; 1937-1938 – 6,123 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index 1936-1949 – 22,858 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
England and Wales Census 1861 – 2,504,271 – 111,092 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
England Durham Diocese Marriage Bonds & Allegations 1692-1900 – 35,079 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Florida and South Carolina Airplane Arrival Manifests 1944-1945 – 0 – 127 – New browsable image collection.
Florida Knights Keys Passenger Lists 1908-1912 – 5,399 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Honduras Civil Registration 1841-1968 – 0 – 609 – Added images to an existing collection
Idaho Birth Index 1861-1911 – 60,430 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Idaho Death Certificates 1938-1961 – 118,152 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Illinois Cook County Deaths 1878-1994 – 3,732,138 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Marriages 1811-2007 – 276,945 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Bergamo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1901 – 6,965 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Caltanissetta Civil Registration (State Archive) 1820-1935 – 78,629 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Grosseto Civil Registration (State Archive) 1851-1907 – 113,690 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Modena Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1942 – 67,474 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Prato Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1923 – 7,183 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Reggio Calabria Civil Registration (State Archive) 1784-1943 – 0 – 2,143,899 – Added images to an existing collection
Italy Viterbo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1870-1943 – 90,051 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kansas County Marriages 1855-1911 – 311,857 – 2,333 – Added images to an existing collection
Kansas Marriages 1811-1911 – 185,068 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Liberia Marriage Records 1941-1974 – 24,625 – 24,406 – New browsable image collection.
Louisiana Parish Marriages 1837-1957 – 46,810 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maine Crew List Arriving at Eastport 1949-1958 – 7,239 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland County Marriages 1658-1940 – 53,762 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Minnesota County Marriages 1860-1949 – 570,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Mississippi Tippah County Marriages 1858-1979 – 19,583 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 57,837 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York County Marriages 1847-1848; 1908-1936 – 252,052 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted 1917-1957 – 1,270,298 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1891-1924 – 0 – 3,243,611 – New browsable image collection.
New York Passenger Lists 1820-1891 – 30,480 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1943 – 0 – 971 – New browsable image collection.
North Carolina County Marriages 1762-1979 – 1,796 – 1,796 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
North Dakota Manifests of Immigrant Arrivals 1910-1952 – 11,631 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013 – 92,719 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio Washington County Court Records 1810-1930 – 0 – 6,421 – Added images to an existing collection
Oklahoma County Marriages 1890-1995 – 126,532 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ontario Births 1869-1910 – 125,109 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Pennsylvania Crew Lists arriving at Erie 1952-1957 – 44,119 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Áncash Civil Registration 1888-2005 – 0 – 3,146 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Cajamarca Civil Registration 1938-1996 – 0 – 3,175 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 180,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Poland Radom Roman Catholic Church Books 1587-1966 – 1,884 – 62 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Portugal Portalegre Catholic Church Records 1859-1911 – 4,441 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991 – 48,422 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Cádiz Municipal Records 1784-1956 – 0 – 57 – Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920 – 0 – 189,353 – Added images to an existing collection
Utah County Marriages 1887-1937 – 337,714 – 124,465 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Venezuela Archdiocese of Mérida Catholic Church Records 1654-2013 – 0 – 405,819 – Added images to an existing collection

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for January 4, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

This week showcases sizable additions to collections for Italy L’Aquila Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1865 1911-1943, and Italy Udine Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1815 1871-1911, Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 and, South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Austria Upper Austria Catholic Church Records 1581-1919 – 39,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 – 1,355,484 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Germany Baden Church Book Duplicates 1800-1870 – 27,020 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy L’Aquila Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1865 1911-1943 – 63,630 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy Udine Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1815 1871-1911 – 252,037 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991 – 0 – 140,942 – New browsable image collection.

BillionGraves Index – 283,072 – 283,072 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

United States Databases
Alaska Vital Records 1816-1959 – 57,479 – 77,968 – New indexed records and images collection.

New Hampshire Death Records 1654-1947 – 0 – 1,460 – Added images to an existing collection.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of November 17, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

Nearly half a million more free records were added to the Billion Graves Index this week. Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939 , Minnesota Duluth and Wisconsin Superior Crew Lists 1922-1958, Poland Evangelical Church Books 1700-2005, and the US Freedmen’s Bureau Hospital and Marriage Records also have significant additions. For these and more, follow the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

BillionGraves Index – 471,375 – 471,375 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
California Immigration Registers of Japanese Filipinos and Hawaiians at San Francisco 1928-1942 – 9,385 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Guam Passenger and Crew Lists 1947-1952 – 8,127 – 663 – New indexed records and images collection
Maine Bath Seamen’s Proofs of Citizenship 1833-1868 – 3,555 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan Crew Lists for various ports 1929-1966 – 163,256 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Minnesota Duluth and Wisconsin Superior Crew Lists 1922-1958 – 208,667 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Poland Evangelical Church Books 1700-2005 – 0 – 168,622 – New browsable image collection.
Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939 – 0 – 897,183 – Added images to an existing collection
United States Freedmen’s Bureau Hospital and Medical Records 1865-1872 – 132,483 – 41,496 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Workers Discover 19th Century Burial Vault Under New York City’s Washington Square Park

An unexpected burial vault came to light under the famed Washington Square Park in New York City a few days ago. Once a potter’s field, thousands of folks are buried in the park. Following is a teaser from the November 5, 2015 edition of Newsday.

A large pile of disarticulated human skeletal remains was found under Washington Square Park by workers from a contractor with the New York City Department of Design and Construction, officials said on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. Photo Credit: NYC Department of Design and Construction
A large pile of disarticulated human skeletal remains was found under Washington Square Park.

Workers upgrading century-old water mains under Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village this week made a surprising and grisly discovery: a burial vault dating back to the 19th century with a large pile of skeletal remains.

The vault, which is about 8 feet deep, 15 feet wide and 20 feet long, contained the remains of more than a dozen people, according to officials of the city’s Department of Design and Construction. A contractor excavated the site, and archaeologists and anthropologists will be working there to gather more information, officials said Wednesday.

Read the full article.

Free Cemetery Records Databases at AmericanAncestors.org October 30 through November 7, 2015

The following was received from NEHGS:

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October 30, 2015 — Boston, Massachusetts — “Your ancestors have been dying for you to uncover them. NEHGS has opened the cemetery gates so you can start digging!”

Just in time for the Halloween celebrations and to add some fun to ancestral research this holiday, AmericanAncestors.org and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made their complete collection of American cemetery databases accessible for FREE to guest users on their data-rich website.

The collection of more than 100 databases comprising more than one million records is accessible FREE from Friday, October 30, through midnight on Saturday, November 7. The collection includes cemetery transcriptions from New England and other states and was compiled from many different sources to create a unique group of cemetery offerings.

Registration at AmericanAncestors.org is required as a FREE Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of databases on AmericanAncestors.org and to access web content such as making purchases from the NEHGS online store. Unlimited access to more than one billion online records on the website and to other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.
Family historians may start digging for their ancestors in these historic American cemeteries at: http://www.americanancestors.org/free-cemetery-databases.

The cemetery databases included in this special offering and FREE Access event are:

  • American Jewish Historical Society – New England Archives: Jewish Cemeteries in Massachusetts
  • Boston, MA: Old Cemeteries of Boston
  • Brooklyn, NY: Cemetery Inscriptions, 1686-1882
  • Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections
  • Charleston, SC: Inscriptions in Old Jewish Cemeteries, 1762-1903
  • Dedham, MA: Church and Cemetery Records 1638-1845
  • Gloucester, MA: Burials in Gloucester Cemeteries
  • New York: Long Island Cemetery Inscriptions, 1652-1910
  • North Andover, MA: Burials in Ridgewood Cemetery, 1848-1950
  • Northampton, MA: West Farms Cemetery
  • Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index
  • Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Sterling, MA: Leg Cemetery Records
  • Westbrook, CT: Cemetery Inscriptions
  • Western Massachusetts: Jewish Cemeteries of Western Massachusetts

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 130,000 constituents through an award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org.

NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field, and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99–101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for October 5, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

Major additions this week to the United States World War II Draft Registration Cards 1942, Brazil Sao Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980, Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014, Italy Asti Civil Registration (State Archive) 1803-1814 1911-1935, Maryland Baltimore Passenger Lists 1820-1948, Massachusetts Boston Crew Lists 1811-1921, and New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1997 collections. Twelve additional collections were also updated this week. See the table below for details.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Brazil São Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980 – 991,910 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Brazil São Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980 – 0 – 13,738 – Added images to an existing collection
Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 – 0 – 1,377,861 – Added images to an existing collection
Honduras Civil Registration 1841-1968 – 178,391 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Asti Civil Registration (State Archive) 1803-1814 1911-1935 – 0 – 279,461 – New browsable image collection
New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1997 – 0 – 724,182 – Added images to an existing collection
Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809-2013 – 0 – 17,580 – Added images to an existing collection
Peru Cusco Civil Registration 1889-1997 – 176,344 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES
California San Diego Airplane Passenger and Crew Lists 1929-1954 – 47,380 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Idaho County Birth and Death Records 1883-1929 – 33,063 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kentucky Confederate Pension Applications 1912-1950 – 25,786 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland Baltimore Passenger Lists 1820-1948 – 873,918 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Boston Crew Lists 1811-1921 – 424,219 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 29,690 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 3,961 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Montana Cascade County Records 1880-2009 – 79,821 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Montana Teton County Records 1881-2012 – 11,394 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Utah Weber County Marriages 1887-1939 – 94,859 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans 1925-1949 – 352,726 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States World War II Draft Registration Cards 1942 – 1,067,147 – 1,067,143 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lakeview Cemetery on North Avenue in Burlington, Vermont

The following teaser is from an article about Lakeview Cemetery that was posted at the Burlington Free Press website.

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Lakeview Cemetery on North Avenue in Burlington was established in 1867 with the city of Burlington’s $3,500 purchase of 23 acres from H.B. Sawyer.

It was designed in the popular park-cemetery style. Seven additional acres were purchased from J. A. Arthur for $2,000 in 1868. The cemetery was officially consecrated in 1871. Planned in the style of a well laid-out park at the outskirts of the city and end of the trolley line, Lakeview, with its meandering roads and specimen trees, was more than a burial ground.

As was common during the period, it became a place to picnic while visiting loved ones’ graves. The peace and tranquility provided in such a beautiful setting was completed with sweeping views of Lake Champlain to the west.

Meandering through the cemetery today offers a glimpse into Burlington’s past. Notable war veterans, from the Civil War up to the present day, include a number of members of the Civil War Massachusetts 54th regiment, profiled in the award winning movie “Glory.”

Read the full article.

Ancestry Find A Grave Community Day is October 17

I see that Ancestry is sponsoring another Find a Grave Community Day. This year it’s on Saturday, October 17. The following is from Ancestry’s blog.

Last year was an amazing success thanks to you, our incredible volunteers, who visited over 100 cemeteries and contributed more than 250,000 photos on the days leading up to, and on, Find A Grave Community Day 2014. In hopes of beating the 2014 record, we are hosting this global meetup again on Saturday, October 17th to fulfill hundreds of thousands of photo requests still outstanding on Find A Grave.

Read more.

Read the full blog.