For Memorial Day, See Images of Ancestors’ Headstones on FamilySearch.org

Contributed By Camille West, LDS.org Church News

  • 25 May 2017

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and headstones in Concord, Massachusetts.  Photo by Linda Darlene Alderman.

With the approach of Memorial Day on May 29, many people are planning to connect with their ancestors by visiting their graves.

A joint effort between FamilySearch and BillionGraves makes it easy to either locate and visit a grave or view ancestors’ headstones from home.

My Ancestors’ Headstones

If traveling to a cemetery isn’t an option, a new experience at familysearch.org/memorial called “My Ancestors’ Headstones” allows you to scroll through images of headstones of people related to you—all from the convenience of home or on any mobile device.

Once you sign in to FamilySearch.org with your LDS Account information, you can learn the location of a headstone, learn exactly how you are related to that ancestor, and click a link to see more photos and stories about that relative.

“We hope visitors to the website will have a one-to-one heart-turning discovery as they connect with their family members who’ve passed on,” said Justin Russell, analytics and campaigns manager for FamilySearch.org. “If they click on the address provided, a Google map appears that can guide them to the cemetery. Plus, through another link to BillionGraves.com, a user can see the exact location of the headstone.”

Visit familysearch.org/memorial to see images of headstones for your ancestors.

BillionGraves.com

Screenshot from the BillionGraves mobile app.

The “View Burial Record” box on the “My Ancestors’ Headstones” website links to the individual’s burial information on BillionGraves.com, the largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data in the world.

Volunteers have taken photos of headstones in thousands of cemeteries around the country, recording the GPS locations as they go. Once the images are loaded onto the BillionGraves.com website, the information from the headstone is transcribed and becomes searchable data.

Help gather headstone information

There’s always a need for more headstone photos and data. Interested volunteers can download the free app (iOS, Android) and locate a cemetery to photograph and document.