We’ve been working with MyHeritage for sometime now. But since we started our new global initiative, I’ve been amazed by some of things happening. Right from the start, MyHeritage organized a group project to document a particular cemetery in Israel using the BillionGraves app. The project involved about 80 people. It was a somewhat rainy Sunday morning. They documented one the oldest, largest cemeteries in Israel: The Segula Cemetery in Petah Tikva. Even with a little drizzle going on, they documented about 75% of the entire cemetery, totaling about 51,000 headstone images! They mapped it out well beforehand, so they knew exactly where to start when they went back to finish the remaining 25%. Each employee averaged 700 photos, at a rate of approximately 280 photos per hour. Some employees took over 1000 photos!
They discovered some of the state of Israel’s “founding fathers” buried in this cemetery.
This is the kind of thing “BillionGravers” experience. You’ll never know what you find. And it’s a rewarding experience in so many different ways. You’re documenting a cemetery, furthering genealogy work. Sometimes you come across a “gem”. Maybe it’s a headstone of someone famous. Other times it could be a cool, unique looking headstone. Other times it could be a barely legible headstone that you find in a middle-of-nowhere Peruvian forest. It’s always a thrill!
One of users, Charlene Boyd, says “Cemeteries tell so much about our history and it is up to us to listen to their stories.” Read more. Paul Smith, described it well: “When I get to the cemeteries, I find people I’m not looking for.” Read more.
I encourage all BillionGraves users- both previous users and new users to take a look at this MyHeritage event. It’s inspiring. Previous users, you helped us get started in documenting the world’s cemeteries, now we need your renewed efforts to help us finish! New users, you’ve probably already gotten a taste of how rewarding this experience is. Potential users, download the BillionGraves app and try it. You’ll see.
Our global user network is expanding. Especially because of our recent global initiative with MyHeritage. The effort to document the world’s cemeteries is on fire. Take a look at the success MyHeritage has had in Israel here. They coordinated a large group with a well drawn-out plan.
This was a well organized project. They mapped out sections and then sent out teams of two.
It was early Sunday morning in Israel. Cloudy and a bit drizzly. It didn’t stop the group from collecting over 50,000 images though!
These projects are always fun. It’s fun for yourself, your family, a group- everyone. It’s fun for older people. It’s fun for younger people.
We have a special request to all previous contributors: Let’s all work together to document every cemetery in the world! You’ve been a part of this since the beginning. Although you’ve been a huge part of the success in documenting cemeteries from your previous contributions, there is still more work to be done. This goal can be achieved with your renewed effort! Get re-engaged by organizing groups to document an entire cemetery, going out alone and gathering headstone photos, and/or go out as a family and gather the headstone photos of your own relatives. As you already know, it’s fun, easy, and rewarding. Not just for yourself, but for others who are waiting for a family member’s headstone photo to be uploaded from your area. You’d be surprised how many people will thank you for your contributions. We see it all the time. The example below inspires me:
Lyle Clugg received a message from another BillionGraves user saying, “You found my family’s graves. I live California. Lost my father as a child, and lost the family history with him. So amazing to find my great-grandmother’s grave, [as well as two of her children's graves]. THANK YOU! I saw their graves. Made my day.” Read more.
MyHeritage’s planning and coordination led to an incredible success. You can be part of your own success story. Documenting local graves is a tremendous way to get involved in preserving history.
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