Million More in May kicks off today! We have 31 days left to add one million new records to the BillionGraves database.
We’ve been encouraged in our efforts by a post from Shelley Crawford on her blog, Twigs of Yore. She’s let us share her recent experience using BillionGraves with you.
During school holidays recently, Shelley took her son with her to the cemetery to try to find some kind of activity he would be interested in. Using an iPhone and an Android tablet, the pair collected 70 photos in their short visit at the cemetery. And the kicker? Her son is six years old! Shelley comments on her son’s experience:
He did great! He seemed to enjoy the activity – wanted to stay longer and take more pictures but we were out of time. He’ll deny later that he enjoyed it or said any of that… but he did. It was only a short trip. It had taken us a while to leave the house (someone didn’t like any of his socks…) and I hadn’t planned to stay for long anyway, not knowing how the outing would turn out.
So there you have it, proof that BillionGraves is so easy to use, a six-year-old could do it.
We are certainly impressed with the six-year-old’s efforts, but we had no doubt that BillionGraves could be used easily by both children and adults! Thanks, Shelley, for sharing your experience and allowing us to share it with others! Go check out her genealogy blog to see what other tips she has to share.
So now you should have no excuse to download the app (if you don’t already have it) and head out to your local cemetery to start contributing to Million More in May! If you want a refresher on using the app or the transcribing process, visit our User Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.
BillionGraves is all about making family history research accessible. The driving force behind it is the idea that a volunteer force records headstones around the world and compiles the transcribed data in one place on BillionGraves.com. The database is free to search on the web, and it is now free to search from your iPhone or Android phone as well!
Why you should visit your local cemetery
Think of the BillionGraves effort as a wall waiting to be painted. If the painter puts smatterings of paint haphazardly across the wall, he’ll probably miss spots and leave an uneven layer of color. Yes, the wall will be painted, and yes, he can fill in the gaps, but if he had been methodical about painting the wall, he would be certain he covered the entire wall, and his cleanup work later would be reduced. There are clear benefits of being methodical about the picture-taking process with BillionGraves, too. Since we have volunteers working around the world, we can all finish painting the wall in record time. If you paint in your corner of the world, and she paints in hers, and so on, we’ll be certain we are covering the world’s cemeteries and collecting all the data we can to help people research their families from the comfort of their homes.
We can reach our goal of collecting one billion graves with the efforts of our volunteers. We appreciate your efforts, and we encourage you to continue to gather records from your local cemeteries. While it is exciting and moving to visit cemeteries where your relatives are buried, it is also vital to capture the data waiting for you in your local cemetery. Think of my mom. She lives in Florida, but all of her relatives are buried in the West, either in Colorado, Utah, or Idaho. She is waiting for the research from all of those cemeteries to be collected so she has access to her relatives’ information. While she waits, she has the opportunity to visit her local cemeteries in Florida, record the headstones in those cemeteries, and supply the data other families are waiting for in Maine, Kansas, Venezuela, or any other place around the world.
Get the youth involved
Getting your children or grandchildren involved will also speed up the process. Kids have natural technological abilities that we adults didn’t grow up learning. They can be a force for good as you visit cemeteries in your area. Let them provide service for their community, and let them learn at a young age the respect and appreciation for those who have gone before them that you have.
We can’t say this enough—we appreciate every effort from every volunteer. Let’s keep telling our friends about BillionGraves, visiting our local cemeteries, and transcribing the wealth of data that is flooding into our database.