BillionGraves is proud to announce the addition of the Veteran Finder tool on BillionGraves! This unique feature utilizes the power of GPS to locate Veterans in cemeteries all over the world!
With the BillionGraves Veteran Finder tool, you can now find any Veteran of any US Conflict, Branch, or Rank, anywhere in the world. (International military information coming soon) You can search by specific names, locations, cities, or search the entire county to identify and honor the brave men and women who fought in the name of freedom.
To use the BillionGraves’ Veteran Finder tool follow the steps below:
- Log into your BillionGraves account: (https://billiongraves.com/login)
- Make sure you have an active subscription to BillionGraves Plus. Upgrade to BG+ today if you haven’t already. (https://billiongraves.com/bgplus-buy-now)
- Search and navigate to your cemetery of choice using the blue “Search BillionGraves” button found on the top right corner of any page, as seen below. (https://billiongraves.com/search) In this example we have chosen the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
- On the cemetery page, scroll down to the map section and click on the BG+ icon in the top right corner.
- This will now populate a full-screen map of the cemetery. In this case, it is the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Click on the Veteran Search Tab and then on the “Show Veterans” toggle. (As shown below)
- Using the options below, choose which Conflict, Branch, or Rank to search by. In this case, we have Selected World War 2 as the conflict and the Air Force as the Branch. For now, we will leave the Rank empty. Remember, start your search large and use the filters to help you narrow in your results. If you don’t see any results, try removing one of the filters or refining your search. When ready, click on “Show Veterans”!
- This will now search the cemetery you have chosen for all veterans with the criteria you selected. In this case, this map is of all the Air Force Veterans who served in World War 2
- You will also see a list on the left side of the screen that shows you all the details for each of the results. You can scroll through this list, selecting on any individual to expand their profile. You will also see that when you click on a result it will highlight their location on the map with a BLUE pin.
- You can also use the additional filters above to search by exact name, dates and by location. You can look at all the veterans in not just a cemetery, but the entire city, or county.
- NOTE: Load times will vary depending on the cemetery and how big of an area you are searching. For example, if you are looking in a national cemetery that has hundreds of thousands of veterans it may take a few moments to properly search. Especially if you are searching an entire city or county, it can take a little bit to search through all of that data! Be patient, the results are worth the wait!
- Here is all of the Air Force Colonel’s who served in World War 2 inside of Salt Lake County.
- NOTE: Use the “RANK” filter with caution. As not all headstones use the same abbreviations for any particular rank. For example, “Col” can return results for Colonel but also be Lieutenant Colonel because of how some stones are transcribed. If you do find an error in a transcription, please be courteous to others who search after you and update the record properly.
The combinations and discoveries are endless! Play around with the different filters, locations, to explore and honor millions of Veterans from around the world from the comfort of your home! You never know what stories you will find on the headstones of these courageous men and women.
We will continue to expand this feature to handle other country’s military information in the future. Our goal is to honor and preserve ALL nations veterans. If you have information about specific country military veterans, symbols, abbreviations, ranks, conflicts etc… please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love your assistance and expertise in identifying and displaying these incredible individuals.
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In today’s world, technology is growing at a rapid pace. It is now routinely found in areas that heretofore had not even been imagined by our parents, let alone our grandparents. One such area where you may not have considered how technology could be used is in our cemeteries. Yes, that’s right, I said cemeteries. And, of course, it is the youth who lead the way.
“A couple of months ago I was looking for an Eagle Scout project with some of my friends, and my mom showed me a website called billiongraves.com that basically is trying to record images of gravestones and log their GPS locations. Since I am into using technology, that appealed to me right away,” said Cade Fuhriman, a 16-year-old high school student from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cade’s mother is Rachel (Frieden) Fuhriman, daughter of Martin and Deb Frieden, who grew up in rural Elgin and graduated from Valley High School in 1996. When Cade discovered that all the cemeteries in Utah had already been documented, his mother had an idea.
“I knew of a place just down that road from where my parents live, the Apostolic Church Cemetery, that would be perfect for a project like this. We checked it out and no one had done anything with it yet, so here we are,” explained Rachel, who now lives with her husband Shawn in Salt Lake City.
The Apostolic Church Cemetery, located southeast of Elgin on Abbey Road, was mowed and cared for by the Frieden family for a number of years. Cade estimates that there are more than 400 graves to be photographed and transcribed in the cemetery, several of which belong to his relatives. As we walked among the grave markers, he stopped to do a little cleaning and take a photo of his great-great-grandfather’s grave, Jacob Friederich Sr.
“There are many people buried here that are our relatives, including some with the last name of Friederich, Schneider, Butikofer, and Frieden. It’s just amazing that you can do something like this, which could be very helpful to someone searching for a relative who doesn’t live close by,” said Deb Frieden, Cade’s grandmother who lives just down the road from the cemetery.
The goal of billiongraves.com is to preserve at least one billion graves by using modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so that users worldwide can access those records from anywhere. The site can be searched by location of a known cemetery or by an individual’s name. It is relatively easy to use and anyone can create an account for free.
As Cade began the project, he expected that preparation and organization would be the most difficult part of the task.
“Doing some cleaning of the stones so that they will be readable when they are photographed will take some time, and I will have some family members helping me with that. I also have a group of 8 to 10 fellow Scouts who will help me transcribe all the information from the stones into billiongraves.com. I have to make sure that we aren’t redoing graves that may have already been done and that we aren’t overlooking any, as well,” said the aspiring Eagle Scout.
Fuhriman is a member of Troop 7630, which is in the Great Salt Lake Council in Utah. He is hoping that after he returns home, he can complete the project within a couple of weeks. As of this writing, 502 images had been entered into billiongraves.com for the Apostolic Cemetery, which is actually located just across the county line in Clayton County.
“When I was researching the Apostolic Cemetery, I noticed that of the 127 cemeteries listed in Clayton County, only four of them had documented photos. There seems to be plenty of opportunity for anyone else who is interested in doing something like this to help document their family or community history,” observed Cade.
Billiongraves.com has partnered with familysearch.org and myheritage.com to assist those who have a desire to discover more about their family history through the use of technology. Anyone who creates an account on billiongraves.com can become involved in the transcription of gravestone photos already uploaded by others like Cade. If you are interested in taking photos of gravestones, the first step is to determine if a cemetery has been documented and to what extent. After downloading the billiongraves.com app on a smart phone, you can visit the cemetery to take photographs and add to the site any information that has not already been recorded.
It might interest some to know that a search of Fayette County on billiongraves.com currently lists 59 cemeteries, of which only 11 have documented photos. On your next trip to any cemetery in Fayette County, you might want to consider taking your smart phone along and playing a role in the preservation of your community’s history.
Fuhriman’s interest in technology and his experience as a family historian consultant for his congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City made this project a perfect fit for him. Combining those two things, as well as the connection his own family has to the Apostolic Church Cemetery has been rewarding for him.
“I hope that when this project is completed, it will benefit people here as well as people who may not live in this area but do have an interest because their family has a history here. Hopefully having the information available online will help people make connections that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” closed Fuhriman.
While technology may frustrate us from time to time, there is no doubting that it can often be used to turn a daunting task into a more manageable one. By helping to create access to information in cemeteries across the country and throughout the world, you just might be able to help someone find that lost relative for whom they have been searching. Or, like Cade Fuhriman, you might learn a little about your own family as well.
In the heart of the genealogy world, Salt Lake City, Utah, we observe a State Holiday on the 24th of July called “Pioneer Day”. Not only is this an excuse to enjoy a parade, fire up the BBQ, and light off more fireworks; in Utah we celebrate the first settlers reaching the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
Pioneers – The Genealogists Headache?
Utah’s pioneers are just one out of countless examples of excursions made by millions of people across uncharted lands in the pursuit of life, opportunity, and freedom. History books in every Nation are filled with countless stories of courageous families trenching into the unknown to build a better future.
So what does this have to do with genealogy? Well, EVERYTHING.
Every genealogist, at some point in their research, must come to understanding that people/families may have moved at some point in their life. Advances in technology or resources at any moment in history have had an enormous effect on the movement and expansion of families. This “mobile era” is a source of frustration for MANY genealogists.
The Secret to Finding Your Pioneering Ancestors
BillionGraves’ Global Family feature shows you all the people with the same last name everywhere in the world on one map. “How does this help me?” Well, here’s one example. Are you looking for family in the 19th century that lived in the mid-west? Perhaps they were part of one of many excursions west. Were they a part of the Oregon Trail? The California Gold Rush? Manifest Destiny? BillionGraves’ Global Family feature allows you to look at cemeteries along these routes that contain families to any given last name.
For example, here are all the burials of the “Washington” family throughout the United States. Looking at the dates on the headstones you can see that the Washington Family DID travel west. Homesteading in California, Oregon, Arizona, and even some in Utah.
Global Family Is KEY to finding your Pioneers!
Thanks to BillionGraves’ invaluable GPS data, genealogists are connecting families across time AND geography.
So the next time you suspect a pioneering family, use the Global Family feature on BillionGraves to quickly and easily find those elusive family members! Once you find those family members, don’t forget to read the inscription of those stones for any clues to their relationship or any other family members.
You never know what treasures you will find on headstones. Who knows; you could be one search away from finding those elusive family members or breaking through your genealogy “brick walls”!
Don’t take our word for it. Read what EllenRT, a long time genealogist, and BillionGraves volunteer has to say about BillionGraves…
“Thanks to [Global Family] I found the grave of my GGGrandfather in a cemetery that I would have never searched. I have been looking for his gravesite for more than 30 years!”
BillionGraves’ GPS technology shows you the family members you NEED by looking at who is around the world. Thanks to our better GPS data, you just found more family!
Thousands of genealogists around the world use BillionGraves’ Plus services to use better data to find family for them. Upgrade your account today and use BillionGraves’ POWERFUL tools and BETTER data to add family to your family tree!