Saturday, June 5, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #22

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #22

Thanks again to Amy Coffin of We Tree ( for the inspiration for this set of challenges. (

This week we were challenged to spend some time at Find-a-Grave and report on the experience.

While I have used the site, admittedly sparingly, in the past, this was the first time I really looked at it. Here was my experience:

I first saw a link: Search by Location, I clicked on USA - Iowa, and got 365 results.
To my surprise, I saw a list of individuals, not cemeteries, as I expected. Then, I realized I had clicked the "location" link under "Find a Famous Grave" not under "Find Grave" - First lesson learned!  ;-)

Under Find Grave, I used Search for a cemetery, then entered Coon Rapids, USA, Iowa, Carroll County - my hometown cemetery.

Coon Rapids Cemetery came up, with 392 interments listed along with 8 Photo Requests. There was also a very nice, active map of the location, which I knew to be true.

I entered 5 surnames in the search, to see what I would find:

SMITH - 31 names listed, none of them 'my family' - the first Oops; no excuse, I should have seen that 'mine' were entered before this.
KINNICK - 0 - surprise, again... shame on me, as well as others, for no entries.
SORENSEN - 0 - ditto!!
BOLGER - 0 - my wife's name; she and her family have not entered them either.
WILSON - 5 - Happy to see these, by a cousin of my wife, Shawn Brown

I followed up by looking at Shawn's activity - he had entered 42 memorials - good for him, along with 3 photos.

Well, I committed to do this Challenge because I thought it was important to do - even though I am "on vacation" this week. Now I understand why.

I registered as a Contributor and completed the Contributor Page.

One of my new projects will to be to begin converting my many blog entries under Tombstone Tuesday to memorials on Find-a-Grave. Thanks, again, to Amy at We Tree and to Thomas at GeneaBloggers for the reminder!

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. That is a good idea, make our Tombstone Tuesday entries, FindaGrave memorials!

  2. I have found some good information on my husband's family on this site. I may become a contributor when I have more information in order.

  3. Whenever I take pictures of ancestors' graves, I also snap as many as I can of strangers in the same cemetery. I add them to Find-a-Grave as a way of giving back.

    Thank you for playing along with the 52-week genealogy challenge. I'm glad you found it valuable.

  4. @Amy. Yes, a good reminder. I don't do as many cemeteries as I used to, when younger, but I will try to remember to do that more. So easy, such as good service! ;-)

  5. Good for you, Bill. I only recently started contribution to Find-A-Grave, too. If we all just posted our own families, just imagine the resources we would make possible for others!!