Monday, February 28, 2011

Find A Grave Fans - Your Ancestors are Taking a Break, Part 1 is a website dedicated to creating a virtual space for real cemeteries. Volunteers can create memorials for specific gravestones and even upload photos of the actual gravestones. This is a really nice feature for genealogists who are researching their ancestors and don't live close enough to visit in person. What's even better is that descendants can request to have photos taken by volunteers. I happen to be a volunteer who goes out and photographs stones on occasion.

The United States is a very large country. I think that some folks in other parts of the country haven't realized what a snowy winter we've had here in New England.

So, if you been wondering why all those photo requests you've been sending out have gone unanswered it because your ancestors are taking a break.

They decided to let their descendants focus on documents for awhile instead of gravestones. Most gravestones in my region (Norfolk County, Massachusetts) have been under three feet of snow most of the winter.

Earlier this month I went out and visited five cemeteries around the region. Most of them are inaccessible. Never-mind the gravestones being covered by snow, the cemeteries themselves are inaccessible. Many of the roads haven't been plowed. The ones that have are dangerously slippy due to ice.

Things have started to thaw a bit here in Massachusetts only to have two more dumps of snow in the last week.

Find a Grave fans, be patient, and check back in April!

Evergreen Cemetery, Medway Massachusetts


  1. Thanks for making me smile, and for the gorgeous views. Yes, the ancestors are definitely on winter break!

  2. Love the pictures! Just think what this winter would be like in a 1700 or 1800's era home!

    Thanks for the reminder....


  3. OO, but the joy of seeing these pictures is more than worth the wait.
    I concur that we have to really think about life in the 1600's with this weather and even in the 1800's which was 200 years later.
    No modern stoves, light, warmth other than animal and skins and well built thick homes.

  4. Great post and absolutely beautiful photos! I wonder every year how many of the FAG grave markers I request are buried in snow. Thanks for the visual.

    ~ Regina =^D

  5. It is similar here in Nebraska. We were lucky to have a February thaw and I did get some photo requests fulfilled. I just hope the people don't mind there's brown grass around the stone instead of pretty green grass. Last year we had tons of snow and there was no chance for pics. I am getting anxious to get back to the cemeteries.

  6. Beautiful photos that remind me that our ancestors are truly buried.

  7. What a great post! I had signed up in January to volunteer to take photos at cemeteries near me and have lots of requests. I am anxiously awaiting for the snow to thaw and the cemeteries to clear up for my first trips.

  8. *Dear Find A Grave Requests*
    Unless you can Fed-Ex me a snow blower and enough gas to power few boxes of handwarmers. I'm on hiatus until spring.
    A Fire warming Find A Grave Volunteer

    Dont eat yellow snow LOL

  9. Living in upstate New York I can so identify with this post! I was thinking the past few days of signing up as a photo-taking volunteer and decided though that I would state my photo-taking would only occur during late Spring, Summer, and early Fall!

  10. I was in Boston last winter (Early November through to the end of January), and hoped to get to Plymouth and Cape Cod to look at some of my Ryder / Rider family headstones. How naive was I! Blizzards, snow and icy roads kept me from almost any venturing outdoors except to NEHGS. Even that seemed difficult for me coming from "down under" ie Australia!

  11. Linda - I just want to let you know that last year was one of those "100 year" events. It was a tough winter even for us New Englanders. It was very unusual. Unlucky for everyone who came to Boston last winter. This year we've been blessed so far (knock wood) with warmer temperatures and very little snow.