Guest Blog Post BY PATRICK WILLIAMS:
When I was a young child, I learned about Genealogy from my Grandmother. My teachers and leaders at church would always talk about it. Growing up as a Mormon, it was talked about a lot in regards to Temple work and the action of “Redeeming the Dead”. As soon as they started talking about “Genealogy” I would automatically tune out!
So my fellow Genealogy nuts, lets talk about the 5 reasons why your Grandma-ma wants you to do Genealogy and why we will convince all the cool Hipsters to stop hanging out on Instagram, and start hanging out on BillionGraves instead!
#5- Genealogy work is just so boringggggggggg!
Oh contraire! This couldn’t be further from the truth. Do me a solid, and go ask your Grandparents, or your parents about how they met. Go ask them about their parents or their great grand parents. The stories that they will tell you about where you came from will not only blow your mind, but they will give you such a great appreaction for your heritage and your own very blood line.
When we read about the hardships, tragedies, and triumphs of our ancestors, it makes us realize how relatively easy we have it, and how fortunate we are. And it gives us a real sense of debt and gratitude.
#4 Why do the Genealogy agony?
Because it gives YOU a lever to pry simple questions about you out of your own parents. What do you and your parents have in common here? We now know that, if the family history is to be saved at all, this late, with the old folks passing on, the time is now or never, and we want to save what we can while we can.
If, years from now, someone in the next generation wants to REALLY dig into the family stuff, at least we must give him or her a good, solid, scaffolding from which to begin, preferably with lots of interesting family stories too.
# 3 where do I even start?
This can be the most difficult question, but with amazing resources such as BillionGraves it makes starting very easy. How easy is it you ask?? You can install the genealogy camera app on your iPhone, android or GPS-enabled phone to record grave marker locations worldwide! You can Transcribe & Search grave images for free on the Billiongraves.com website! That’s just as easy as posting a picture of your food from Café Rio you took the other day with the hashtag #soyummy!
What started out as a “simple” project has now become all consuming. One of the nicest things to happen from this research is how you can spend hours and hours talking to your parents about your “finds” as opposed to talking about their health. The bottom line is I now enjoy playing detective and sharing my finds with any and all relatives who care to have the information.
#2 I would rather text and take pictures on Instagram!
Ok all you “hipster” kids. Do me a favor, take out your phone and search for the #hashtag #graves on Instagram and or Facebook or Twitter. You will be amazed at all of the amazing photos and rich history of the Millions and Millions of gravestones that are being uploaded on a daily and hourly basis.
Just to give you an idea of how cool and fun this work is, Genealogy websites are receiving millions and millions of hits every single day!
#1 I don’t want to learn about my family!
Now, in my humble opinion, this is just plain dumb. After everything is said and done in this life, all we have is our family and maybe a few close friends.
How people went from one side of our country to the other with the slow moving vehicles–how they existed–what their trials, loves, and happiness’s were, etc.
So all my “Hipster” friends- it’s very simple and easy to get started. Pick up your iPhone and go to www.billiongraves.com and get started today!
What where are some challenges and questions you may have had when you first got started doing this work? Please leave your comments below! Let’s start a great conversation!
If you have any questions about starting your own project or feedback, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Patrick Williams
Patrick Williams is an SEO Specialist and avid Blogger. When not slaving over google search results and building links to the god’s of the internet, Patrick is a single dad to an adorable little boy. He also coaches high school soccer, and is an avid sports fan. He also has many leather bound books, that smell of rich mahogany. He is also fluent in the Cambodian language.
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.
From your Android or iPhone app, you can now access the Mobile Records Search for free.
The Mobile Records Search feature enables you to search for headstones on the go. While you are at a cemetery taking photos, you can search for specific names to find ancestors. When you find a headstone you want to view, tap on it, and you can view both the image of the headstone and a map of its location in the cemetery.
We hope you enjoy this great feature. To unlock this feature, tap on Records on the BillionGraves Home screen on your app. If you are having any problems accessing the Mobile Records Search, check your dashboard in the app to be sure you are signed in, then return to the Records view to begin your search. If you have any questions, feel free to contact support.
Users who purchased the records search (for $2.99) before it became free have been given a notifications package as a replacement for their purchase (a $4.99 value).
What if one of the headstones you come across has important information on the back? Or what if it’s an obelisk and has information on all four sides of the memorial? Remember, you can link images of the same headstone together while you are taking pictures with the BillionGraves app. Tap the link icon in the corner of the camera view in between each shot of the headstone you want linked together. So if you take a picture of all four sides of an obelisk, you will tap the link icon three times—in between each picture you take. Then, when the images are transcribed, all four images will be available on one screen for the transcriber to see. That way all the information for one headstone can stay together.
We’ve created BillionGraves with the intention that it would work on any Android device; however, not all devices support the BillionGraves app. Certain hardware and software combinations do not support the app, and some carriers cause certain phones to lose functionality as well. We’ve compiled a list of devices that we are certain support BillionGraves, and we’ve also created a list of devices that users have reported issues with. Please let us know in the comments your experience with your device—good or bad—so we can share that information with our users. Thank you for your comments.
Devices known to function correctly:
- Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101
- Dell Streak
- Dell Streak 7
- HTC Desire
- HTC Desire HD
- HTC Desire S
- HTC Droid Incredible 2 (ADR6350)
- HTC Droid Incredible C (ADR6300)
- HTC EVO 3D (PG86100)
- HTC EVO 4G (PC36100)
- HTC EVO Shift (PG06100)
- HTC Glacier
- HTC Incredible (PB99400)
- HTC Incredible S
- HTC Liberty
- HTC Merge (ADR6325)
- HTC Sensation 4G
- HTC Sensation Z710e
- HTC Thunderbolt (ADR6400L)
- HTC Vision
- HTC Wildfire
- HTC Wildfire S A510b
- Huawei Ideos X6 (HUAWEI-U9000)
- LG Ally
- LG Optimus C (LG-LW690)
- LG Optimus S (LS670)
- LG Optimus T (LG-P509)
- LG Optimus V (VM670)
- LG Revolution 4G (VS910 4G)
- LG Thrill (LG-P925)
- Motorola Atrix 4G (MB860)
- Motorola Backflip (MB300)
- Motorola Defy (MB525)
- Motorola Droid
- Motorola Droid Bionic
- Motorola Droid Pro
- Motorola Droid Razr
- Motorola Droid X2
- Motorola Droid2
- Motorola Droid2 Global
- Motorola Droid3
- Motorola DroidX
- Motorola Milestone (A854)
- Motorola Milestone X
- Motorola Photon (MB855)
- Motorola Triumph (MOTWX435KT)
- Motorola Xoom
- Nexus S (Samsung/Google)
- Nexus S 4G
- Samsung Captivate (SAMSUNG-SGH-I897)
- Samsung Droid Charge (SCH-I510)
- Samsung Epic 4G (SPH-D700)
- Samsung Exhibit 4G (SGH-T759)
- Samsung Fascinate (SCH-I500)
- Samsung Galaxy Ace (GT-S5830)
- Samsung Galaxy Gio (GT-S5660)
- Samsung Galaxy S (GT-I9000)
- Samsung Galaxy S 4G (SGH-T959V)
- Samsung Galaxy S II (GT-I9100)
- Samsung Galaxy S II (SGH-T989)
- Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G (SPH-D710)
- Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 5.0 (YP-G70)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab (7”) (SCH-I800)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab (7”) (SGH-T849)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000T)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab (WIFI only) (GT-P1010)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (WIFI only) (GT-P7510)
- Samsung Infuse 4G (SAMSUNG-SGH-I997)
- Samsung Transform (SPH-M920)
- Sony Ericsson Xperia (E10i)
- Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc (LT15i)
- Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY (R800x)
- T-Mobile G2
- T-Mobile myTouch 3G
- Telstra Smart Touch (T3020)
- Toshiba Thrive (tablet) (AT100)
Devices that do not always function correctly (as reported by users):
- Asus Eee Pad Transformer (Android 3.1) *
- Australian Telstra Smart Touch (Android 2.1) *
- EVO phone
- HTC Deside Z
- HTC Eris, Android 2.1
- HTC Inspire 4G
- HTC Thunderbolt *
- HTC Wildfire S A510b (Android v2.3.3) *
- LG Optimus *
- Motorola Triumph *
- Samsung Captivate *
- Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G *
- Samsung Galaxy Apollo (i5801)
* Works for most users.