The rewards of gravestone photography

alisandeOctober 10, 2013

As I've mentioned here before, I started taking pictures of gravestones after finding photos of my great-great-grandparents' graves (in London) online. I was moved to see it, and so grateful to the stranger who took the time to take the pictures.

Not surprisingly, many others feel the same way. Tonight I received the following message via FindAGrave. The writer refers to a gravestone containing several names, including a baby named Susan who was born and died in 1960.

I am not sure how the grave memorial pictures are selected for this site but want to say thank you for posting this wonderful picture. Susan was my sister. She was born the same year as me. She lived a few days and when she passed on. My father had to put his grief aside and lay Susan in her casket next to him on the seat of the family station wagon where both of them traveled from New York through a blizzard to Pa. so she could be laid to rest in peace with family.

Also listed on the grave marker is my Grandma (Hazel) and Grandpa (Charles) whom I received my middle name. Along with them my grandma's son Russel, who like Susan died very young.

Although I never had the chance to meet her I miss her dearly and think of her. My father passed in 2003. I am sure they are together with Grandma and Grandpa and Russel as well as all the remaining family members who have passed, as they wait for us to join them when our time on this earth is complete.

Thank you again for posting this wonderful picture. God bless you.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I am so thankful for the people that do what you do. I have found so much invaluable information from the pages of I recently passed the link on to several people who have been amazed.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 7:41PM
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what a moving letter....

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 7:44PM
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How nice! It's obvious your good deed meant so much to her. Do you receive many comments from the photos you post?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Oh, how very touching. You really brought comfort to that family. Good for you!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:56PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That is so lovely, Alisande.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:20PM
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What a wonderful message! I'm glad she took the time to write you.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Find a grave web site does not 'select' the photos. These are submitted by volunteers all over the country and world. They do control the posting to the web page. For large photos, the pixel count of the photo is reduced to fit and to help speed downloading of the page to a user's computer while browsing. However, the picture may be stored at a higher pixel count and the higher pixel count is available.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:47AM
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A beautiful letter.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 5:28AM
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Thanks, everyone. I thought I had responded before this, but I guess not. Today I uploaded my 1,700th photo to FindAGrave! That sounds like a lot to me, but many other volunteers have far surpassed it.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:26PM
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I meant to add that while the maps are back (with their own tab on each cemetery page), it's no longer possible to search individual cemeteries for names. I don't know why they would remove that function.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:46PM
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I just made contact with a guy who takes pics of cemeteries and he has taken over 87,000 photos for one huge cemetery alone. I actually just went back and read his letter to me to check the number. I had requested some photos for very old headstones and my request was granted almost immediately. Turns out he is in the process of adding all the information for his pictures on find a grave. He just hadn't gotten to my family's photos but had them on his computer. He just doesn't take one photo but will get very close to get dates and then the whole headstone, family plot shots etc. I've sent him family information so that it can be added to the find a grave site. He even made a special trip out to take an additional photo of a Confederate Solider Marker that was barely seen in one of his photos. He brushed it off with a small paint brush (no cleaning product) and took a photo of it.

Alisande - I have a couple headstones that I want to post for you to see. One has phrase "Now we know" on it and another has a strange symbol. I'll have to go through my family tree photos to find them.

I just read an article from the County where I grew up. One cemetery brought in a herd of goats to eat away the brush and debris so that old graves could be found. One part of it is well kept but I guess the other part has been neglected for years. I have family members at that cemetery, so I will be interested in finding out what is found. Evidently, it took 3 weeks for the goats to eat through all the growth.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:43PM
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I'd like to see those, Mboston. And yikes--87,000 photos!! It took me five years to do 1,700. Although some stones can be read clearly in one photo, I usually take two for each memorial, and occasionally three if two or more stones are related.

I like the idea of the goats!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:27PM
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you are awesome for doing this and wowsers...87,000 pictures...that is incredible!!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Keep up the good work. It's a great place to search for bones.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Goats will clear out pesky kudzu vines! Though, to completely eradicate kudzu, the goats may have to graze the same location for more than one year since kudzu spreads from its roots and the kudzu will not be gone until the roots have been decimated.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:35AM
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I'd never been to this website before. I found my maternal great grandfather and grandmother's memorials and my paternal grandfather. Very cool

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:32AM
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