Genealogy and cemeteries

I get asked reasonably often how I feel about cemeteries. Do I like them? Do I find them intriguing?  Do they scare me?

Cemeteries are libraries of people to me. I’m okay spending a bit of time in them when I have a mystery to solve, but as technology changes, it’s becoming more and more common for the information I need to be found online.

There are a number of cemeteries in New Zealand online, thanks to their local councils – but not all are.  Those that are online don’t always have headstone images for each entry – something essential for most genealogists.  A headstone often contains a birthdate or year, confirmation of a spouse (living or passed), and sometimes the names of children.  All fantastic proof of information you may be unsure of in your research.

I like spending a bit of time searching for a particular ancestor in a cemetery, especially when it’s sunny and warm.  Finding the correct headstone (whether marked or not – an older headstone with unreadable lettering can break a genealogist’s heart!) feels fantastic – which is why I also assist with FindAGrave – why should a family member or genealogist not find a headstone they are after just because they can’t travel to the cemetery?

But you won’t see me anywhere close to one if it’s late afternoon or a dreary day. As much as they are the original genealogical resource, they do kinda creep me out!



1 Comment

  1. Find a Grave has been a real god-send…but really? Creeped out by them? I love being around them. I find them so beautiful and quiet, even when they’re right next to a road, the air seems different. Yes, as my family would confirm for you, I am a little “touched in the head” when it comes to such things 🙂

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