Friday, February 4, 2011

Genealogy Gravesites on Google Maps

Ever see something on the internet and wonder “when on earth are you going to use that?” I recently stumbled on the fact that if you have a google account, you can make your own google maps and share them with others.

Now I’ve been using google maps for a long time to get directions. I’ve even used it with Brooke to play a game we call “google earth” (it’s really rather simple: you put the street view onto location and while the other person isn’t looking, and then you cover up the address on the top left corner. Then you see how many guesses it takes them to find out the state (or country, or Canadian province) that is shown on the screen. Brooke loves this game!)

But I recently found a new, and kind of unique use for the feature. After documenting my ancestors graves in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and California (which only takes about an hour for each of the five branches that I did [one for each of my grandparent’s ancestors, and one for Brooke’s mom- see below]), I found the cemeteries on maps and got the pins as close to them as I could. Here is a picture of what you can see for my ancestors!

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You can customize the color of the pins on the map, and you can place them within about 10 yards of any particular point that you want when you are zoomed in all the way. You can also label them with a title and a paragraph or so of information about the location. Finally, you can click on them and get directions from any location- kind of handy if you only have a short period of time to try and find that graveyard your grandpa told you about three decades ago somewhere off the main road!

Naturally I need to verify as many of these as I can, so I’ve visited a couple of graveyards nearby to see what I can find. The Salt Lake City Cemetery is huge, and a bit overwhelming and difficult to navigate, and I wouldn’t recommend visiting on a cold and muddy day when you’re going to end up walking the length and breadth of it! The South Jordan Cemetery, on the other hand, is a bit cozier and has an interesting mix of older and newer graves. I’m thinking that I want to be in a smaller cemetery and make it easier for my great-great grandchildren to find me!

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, here are the links for the lists that I have done. If you see any corrections you’d like to make, please e-mail me and I’ll add you on as a editor! Also, if you are interested in helping me to expanding these maps beyond the Western USA, I’d love to work with you on that project!

Smith Family Graves

Barber Family Graves

Beckstead Family Graves

Pierce Family Graves

and from Brooke’s side of the family:

Argyle Family Graves

[P.S. I think that the links might be going a bit haywire, so if they aren’t working, and you’d like me to e-mail them to you, leave a comment or send me a note and I’ll send them on to you]

4 comments:

  1. How cool is that! Looks like you've covered every cemetery along the I 15 corridor!

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  2. You are AMAZING. That is so COOL.

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  3. Another fun website that helps locate family graves is "findagrave.com". I located the grave of my first American ancestor that left England in 1781 (?) and is buried in Maine. Most include a picture, dates that could be read by the volunteer who submitted it and any additional info if they had personally researched the person. My grandfather's grave included a photograph and his Eulogy. Since you're looking for graves and all...

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  4. I do this with family history addresses I encounter in my British research as well... whether it be cathedrals my ancestors were Christened/married in, addresses gleaned from a census, or whatever, it makes for an easy way to compare distances and one of these days when I make my way across the pond I'll have a whole list of places to go visit already to go.

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