Happy Memorial Day weekend to those in the US! At a time when we pause to remember those who fought for our freedom, we visit our cemeteries and show our love with tokens and kind words. In honor of Memorial Day, some members of the BillionGraves team put together a fun video about finding your ancestors’ headstones using BillionGraves.
You may have seen the good news: the BillionGraves Index is now available through FamilySearch! Now when you conduct a search on FamilySearch, BillionGraves data will be included in the results. You can also choose to search through just the BillionGraves Index, if you want to narrow your results. BillionGraves is a great genealogical resource, and we’re excited to have this new avenue to access our GPS-encoded headstone data. FamilySearch also provided a great article about getting started with BillionGraves on their blog last week.
A Few Clarifications
We’ve been checking the comments on some message boards and we want to clarify two things:
1. The data on BillionGraves is created by the public. We respect that and we intend to always make the database free for the public to use.
2. You don’t necessarily need a data plan to use BillionGraves. We’ve looked into the $150 Samsung Galaxy Player, which has GPS, WiFi, and a camera, and it works great. You won’t be able to see that you’re in a specific cemetery, but don’t worry, we’ll take care of that on our end, and your pictures will be added to the correct cemetery.
Don’t forget to check the Leaderboard this weekend to see what you need to do to get on it! (Or stay on it, if you’re already there.) Have a great weekend and keep adding photos for Million More in May!
We’re halfway through the month! Right now, we have over 100,000 images that need to be transcribed. Because many headstones have multiple individuals’ records on them, those 100,000 images could translate to 150,000 or 200,000 new records for our database. Transcribing these records will bring us so much closer to our goal!
Thanks for all the transcriptions you’ve done so far. For all you super-transcribers, check out our transcribing shortcuts to help you get through even more records faster.
Many people are interested in completing transcriptions for the photos they upload—did you know you can do that? Here’s how:
From your dashboard on BillionGraves.com, click on Images Uploaded. Click on one of the albums containing your photos (these are usually grouped by date). Then click on a photo you want to transcribe. Clicking next at the top of the page will take you to the next image in that album, so you can easily continue to transcribe all of the photos in your album. For a more detailed description, read our blog post on the subject.
What if a headstone was transcribed incorrectly? That’s OK. You can edit transcriptions and make improvements to them. From any headstone’s Record View, there is a blue button that says Edit on the right next to the name on the record. If you click Edit, you can make any changes you’d like to the record.
We are so grateful for everyone’s volunteer efforts here at BillionGraves. Keep up the good work! Just under two weeks left to reach our goal of 1,000,000 new records!
Our records continue to grow, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of our volunteers! We hope you’re having a great month capturing and transcribing images.
Have you gone out to the cemetery with a group yet? As you know, we highly recommend it. Not only does the picture-taking go faster, but it’s great to spend time with others in a worthy cause.
One BillionGraves user, Michael McCormick, headed up an event with his university church group. He tells us that at the end of each school year, the group likes to have some kind of gathering to celebrate. “Traditionally, we get together and have a BBQ,” he says. “Someone mentioned that we should do a service project as part of the closing social. A few people suggested ideas, and I suggested BillionGraves.”
So the group, excited for this unique service project, headed to the cemetery on April 9.
The number of records flowing into the database this month has been monumental! We are so appreciative of the efforts our volunteers are putting in. Participation this month has grown dramatically—in registrations, image uploads, and transcriptions. Your efforts have provided a giant boost to the BillionGraves database. Thank you!
Because there has been so much participation, we’ve decided that rewarding just the top 25 on the Leaderboard is not enough. Now, if you’re among the TOP 50 picture-takers or transcribers at the end of the month, you’ll earn some great prizes!
If you find yourself on the May Leaderboard as of May 31 at 11:59 PM GMT (7:59 PM EDT) as EITHER a transcriber or photographer, you will receive the following appreciation gifts:
Top 10 picture-takers and transcribers
BG+ account free for one year
$10 Subway gift card
BG+ account free for one year
Choose a BG+ account free for one year OR a BillionGraves t-shirt
Choose 10 Record Watches OR a BillionGraves t-shirt
And finally, spots 41-50
Thanks again for your contributions, and we hope you’re excited about the new prizes! Although, you may have to fight harder to retain your spot on the Leaderboard this month!
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Promotion is open to all to participate for free. Registration is required.
Awards will ship within 30 days at the end of the promotion.
Recipients may be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
T-Shirt winners will be required to provide their requested size.
If a winner is on the Leaderboard for both categories (i.e. a leader in picture-taking and transcribing), the winner will be awarded the prize corresponding to the highest ranking on either board. For example, if a user is ranked #35 on the picture-taking Leaderboard and #19 on the transcription Leaderboard, he or she will be awarded the prize for spots 11-20, or a BG+ account for one year and a BillionGraves t-shirt.
Remember, to reach our goal of 1,000,000 new records this month, we just need two thousand users to take 500 pictures each.