Friday, July 10, 2009

Oxford, Alabama - An Indian Mound or a Sam's Club?

Terry Thornton of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi writes in to tell Grave Mappers of a big problem in Oxford, Alabama. It seems that a 1500-year-old Indian mound is being destroyed so the city can use the dirt as landfill for a Sam's Club.

You can read all about it at Deep Fried Kudzu. Ginger made a trip to the site and was stunned at what she found. The mound has been completely stripped of vegetation - except for a few trees at the top. And you can see the construction crews hard at work demolishing the mound.

Check out her article and the photos she has posted. Hopefully it's not too late to do something about it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New York Marble Cemetery Open Gate Day

If you live anywhere near the New York City area - or have relatives buried in the New York Marble Cemetery - you'll be interested in this information from Lydia Potter, a trustee of the Cemetery.

The New York Marble Cemetery, which was founded in 1830, is rarely open for visitors. However, on Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3, the Cemetery will open its gates for four hours each day - what a unique and exciting opportunity!

The Cemetery is located in Manhattan on 2nd Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

New York Marble Cemetery
Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3
Noon to 4:00 p.m.
2nd Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets

For more information, take a look at the New York Marble Cemetery Facebook page, or visit the Cemetery website at


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spotlight: Preserving Ohio Cemeteries, One Headstone at a Time

Linda Ellis of northeastern Ohio has been making a difference for Ohio cemeteries for over thirteen years.

It all started back in 1995 when Linda became a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society. At the OGS Annual Conference in April of 1996, Linda was inducted as a new member of the First Families of Ohio. This honor came because her great-great-great grandfather, Harmon Limes, Jr., was a resident of Ohio prior to December 31 of 1820 - in fact, he was the first marshal of North Lewisburg, Ohio. At the Conference, Linda - and her ancestor - received the First Families of Ohio Award and Pin, as well as their membership numbers.

After the Conference, Linda stopped at the small Quaker (Friends) Cemetery where her ancestor is buried. This photograph shows Linda "presenting" her newly acquired certificate to the ancestor she shares it with!

By June of 1997, Linda's pride in her ancestor prompted her to make two decisions: buy him a new headstone, and donate the original stone to the Champaign County Historical Society's museum in Urbana, Ohio.

Linda says, "I had to work at a distance by mail and phone to accomplish both. I ordered the stone locally and worked with a caretaker of the one nearby active cemetery. There was no water on-site at the Quaker (Friends) Cemetery, so the caretaker had to haul in water to pour the footer for the stone."

She continues, "The folks at the museum agreed to acquire the original tombstone. I do not have any children, and I didn't want to take the chance that if I kept the original stone that one day it might end up in a way that I would not want for it. Today, the museum has the stone sitting outside of a mock-up jail. The original stone has been on display for over ten years!"

Soon after Linda replaced her ancestor's headstone, the little Church next to the cemetery closed its doors for the last time. Erected in 1879 and the oldest building in town, its congregation had dwindled to just a few members, and its pastor had moved.

What would happen to the church and its cemetery? Their future was questionable. The church's options were to sell it to a developer or another congregation, donate it to a historical society, or donate it to the village of North Lewisburg.

Linda was afraid that if they sold it to a developer, the cemetery would be obscured by a double-wide mobile home, or worse yet, a neighborhood be built on top of it.

But the church decided to donate the church, the surrounding property, and the cemetery to the Village. And the village leaders had become aware of Linda's seriousness to keep the legacy of the Quaker (Friends) Cemetery alive. The cemetery was in very poor condition at the time - and the village administrator hoped that they could clean it up, locate its boundaries, build a fence around it, and eventually erect a monument there.

It took several years, but Linda's hopes for this little Friends Cemetery have finally been accomplished. The Church has now become a branch of the Champaign County Library. And the Village has taken over the care of the Cemetery, mowing it and installing a fence around it.

The most exciting moment for Linda was on July 29, 2006, when a beautiful Ohio historical marker was placed on the site of the Quaker (Friends) Church and Cemetery.

She says, "Almost a decade of time passed before recognition for this cemetery materialized - but when it did, it was in a way I never could have imagined."

"I would have never dreamt something as meaningful as that beautiful marker would happen to a cemetery that was almost lost and forgotten not that many years before," she says. "Many North Lewisburg and Champaign County residents worked tirelessly to make the plaque become a reality. I can never thank them enough; not only on my own behalf, but on the behalf of all those interred at the cemetery who can no longer speak for themselves. I can only hope that some small contributions from my husband and me aided them in their larger efforts."

The historical marker reads:

Side A : "Friends Church"
Among the earliest settlers to Rush Township were members of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, who emigrated from the eastern states, mostly Pennsylvania and North Carolina. At first religious services were held in the homes of devout Quakers who in turn built a small-framed meeting house on this site in 1842. The present Friends Church replaced the original structure in the 1870s at a cost of $4,245. Although not a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church supported local ardent Abolitionists who helped runaway slaves reach freedom in Canada. An epidemic during the winter of 1850-1851 reduced the Friends' membership and led to several Quaker families relocating to Iowa. The final religious service was held here on October 26, 1997, after which the church was donated to the village of North Lewisburg.

On the back of the marker are listed the names of prominent citizens of the community who are buried there, including Harmon Limes, Jr., Linda's great-great-great grandfather.

Side B : "Friends Cemetery"
The cemetery of the Quaker Church lies to the west of this building and was used from circa 1846 through circa 1885. It was one of the earliest cemeteries in Champaign County with the first recorded burial being Moses Winder on August 5, 1846, and the last recorded burial on May 18, 1885 of Caroline S. Pim. Among those interred here are Civil War veteran, William W. Fell; the first marshal of Lewisburg, Harmon Limes; and one of the first trustees to serve Lewisburg, Abner Winder Jr. As the church membership dwindled, the upkeep of the cemetery proved difficult and fell into neglect and disrepair. As with the Friends Church, the village of North Lewisburg took over ownership of the cemetery when it was donated in 1997.

Latitude / Longitude
40.13657 ° / -83.33536 ° - Map Marker

141 Winder Street
North Lewisburg, OH 43060
Champaign County

Village of North Lewisburg, Friends of North Lewisburg Branch of Champaign County Library, Champaign County Bicentennial Historical Marker Committee, and The Ohio Historical Society

Linda continues her great work to preserve and protect cemeteries. You can read more about her efforts at her blog, Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio.

Thanks, Linda, for your hard work for Ohio's cemeteries!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Is My Unfinished Cemetery?

A great question came up today - and the answer will probably help all of the Grave Mappers working on the Test Mapping Project for Names In Stone...

I wasn't able to finish mapping my cemetery in one sitting. When I went back to Names in Stone, I couldn't figure out how to get back into it to finish mapping. How do I find my cemetery?

Answer: There are two ways to find your cemetery to continue mapping.
  • After signing in to Names in Stone, click on the Membership Box and select "My Profile." On your profile page above your personal information are several green tabs. Select "Cemetery Projects." This will give you a list of the cemeteries you are working on. Click "Work on Cemetery" and you'll be ready to begin mapping!
  • After signing in to Names in Stone, select "Cemetery List." Select the state where your cemetery resides. Find your cemetery and click "More Details." You will again see the button "Work on Cemetery." Click on it and begin mapping!

Hope this helps - if you have any questions while you are doing your mapping project, please let us know. Chances are, other people will have the same questions as you do. We'll help you find the answers and publish them here for everyone.

Vandals Destroy Small Cemetery in Kansas

There were only about 15 stones in the turn-of-the-century cemetery in Trego County, Kansas. Just a small quiet country cemetery that most of us didn't even know existed. But today this little cemetery is in the news -- because vandals have completely destroyed it.

In The Hays Daily News, Mike Corn reports that sometime Friday or Saturday, vandals went into the cemetery and damaged every headstone. The damage is very extensive - smaller headstones were even used to damage and destroy the larger pieces.

Rich Schneider, Trego County's Sheriff, says, "I can't believe it. I don't know what kind of people do that."

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Trego County Sheriff's office - (785) 743-5721. You can read the full article about the vandalized cemetery at The Hays Daily News.

About the Cemetery

A sheriff's deputy contacted the Trego County Historical Society, who said that the cemetery is called the Saline Valley Cemetery.

A little internet searching leads to some interesting information about this cemetery. Gayle M. Garrett, a relation to the Franklin family who are buried there, photographed, transcribed, and shared the information on this cemetery at the KS GenWeb website in November, 2000.

You can view some great (pre-vandalism) photos, headstone transcriptions, and historical information here. Aren't we grateful to Gayle, who took the time to record and preserve this priceless information!

And every cemetery has a story. Buried in this little country cemetery are four children who were killed in a house fire on March 15, 1886. They are Thomas E. Franklin, age 10 years; Ira E. Franklin, age 8 years; Charlie Franklin, age 6 years; Earl Franklin, age 2 years.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grave Mappers Needs 50 Participants for a Test Cemetery Mapping Project

At Grave Mappers, we are always looking for ways to help preserve small, obscure cemeteries and their vital records – and we are announcing a great opportunity to do just that!

Grave Mappers is honored to be asked to conduct a Test Mapping Project for Names In Stone, the cemetery maps website. The Names in Stone team is continually working to make its site more user-friendly, especially for people who want to map cemeteries. To further this effort, they are planning a test project, which will allow users to have a mapping experience and then give input into how the website might be improved.

Grave Mappers is seeking 50 people to participate in this Test Mapping Project for Names In Stone. This is an exciting opportunity for you to test the website’s mapping capabilities, and to give feedback on how it worked for you.

If you would like to participate, you will be asked to map a cemetery that contains anywhere from one to 200 graves. The project will include three steps.

1. Collect all data at the cemetery, including photos of each headstone, headstone transcriptions, and a sketch with the location of the graves in relationship to each other. (You must map the entire cemetery, not just a portion of it – so choose a cemetery that fits within the criteria and that you will have time to complete.)

2. Create the cemetery map on the Names In Stone website; then add each individual grave to the map along with the headstone data and photo.

3. Fill out a post-mapping questionnaire that will detail your experience as you mapped your cemetery, giving input into what worked for you, and what improvements you would like to see.

All Test Mapping Projects must be completed by May 1, so that the cemeteries can be up and running on the site before Memorial Day. (If you need more time because of weather or other concerns, please let me know.)

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to Include your name, email address, and the city, state, province, or country where you live. You will be sent a confirmation email giving you specific instructions on conducting your mapping project.

This is a great opportunity to help in the preservation of the records of small cemeteries. We hope you will join us!

All screenshots used by permission from Names In Stone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Something New At GRAVE MAPPERS

When the new website, Names in Stone, launched back in December, we at Grave Mappers were thrilled. What a great new way to preserve cemetery records! We liked the idea of doing our part to get the word out and help other cemetery lovers see what an excellent new resource it is.

At the Grave Mappers blog, we have attempted to let people know about Names in Stone and give helpful mapping tips and hints to help other mappers get started creating their own interactive cemetery maps.

Now the team at Names in Stone is starting their own blog!

This new blog will launch on March 15 - and you will be able to access it from the Names in Stone website. They will be giving detailed instructions on how to map cemeteries, spotlighting cemeteries on their website, answering mapping questions, and giving all sorts of helpful tips so you can get the best use out of their site.

At Grave Mappers, the time has come for us to change our focus.

We hope that the Grave Mappers blog will become a central gathering place for people who care about cemeteries and want to help preserve the priceless records found there.

Here's what you'll find at the new Grave Mappers:
  • We will publish locations of obscure, abandoned, and endangered cemeteries.
  • We will encourage the preservation of cemeteries and their records through mapping at Names in Stone (we're still big fans!) and other documentation projects, as well as through on-site restoration and clean-up work.
  • We will spotlight individuals and organizations that are making outstanding cemetery preservation efforts.
  • We will keep you updated about cemeteries in the news.

Welcome to Grave Mappers! There's something here for everyone who loves cemeteries!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Do Cemeteries End Up in the Middle of Parking Lots?

Little family cemeteries are always in danger of the developer's bulldozer. Sometimes, the developers have an appreciation for the past and do what they can to preserve the graves that are in their way.

That's how parking lot cemeteries are created - rather than tearing out the cemetery, the developer will preserve the site, leaving a small cemetery in the middle of a movie theater parking lot, an apartment complex parking lot, a freeway interchange, or even a sports stadium parking lot!

View Larger Map

In an article at by Theo Emery - More Family Cemeteries Dying Away in the South - we can learn a little more about how development is affecting these little cemeteries.

Throughout the South, family cemeteries pepper the landscape. But as cities...radiate rapidly outward, the growth is swallowing rural land that swaddles the graves. In Tennessee alone, dozens of long-hidden cemeteries appear each year--sometimes in mid-construction--creating headaches for builders and heartaches for families of the dead. Some cemeteries are moved at landowners' expense. Those that stay sometimes become forlorn islands of green amid parking lots and suburban developments. Others are paved over or bulldozed.

For example, Stephanie at Southern Graves tells Grave Mappers of a small cemetery in Centerville, Houston County, Georgia. It's called the Gunn Family Cemetery, and she has been keeping her eye on it for quite some time now.

The little cemetery was originally in the woods, but with the passage of time and "progress," it is now right next to a strip mall. Stephanie says the stones are in bad shape, and it looks like there are some stones that are now missing. A small fence has been built around the cemetery, with "Keep Out" signs posted.

Stephanie has a video and photos of this little cemetery that you won't want to miss - check it out at Southern Graves.

As Grave Mappers, what can we do to help these endangered cemeteries?

Sometimes we are able to get into the cemetery and do clean up, preservation, and restoration work. Another thing we can do is preserve the records of these small cemeteries. There are many ways to do this - taking photos of the headstones and publishing burial listings are helpful.

A great new way to preserve the records is to create an on-line map of the cemeteries at Names in Stone. Creating a map preserves the records in a format that makes it possible for everyone to see the cemetery as it really is - who is buried next to whom. It's like a virtual walk through the cemetery. The records become searchable - so records that were previously unknown are now available for everyone to see and use for research.

Creating an online cemetery map is easy, quick, and permanent. Grave Mappers hopes you will try it - and help us preserve the records of these dying cemeteries.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mapping Question of the Day

A Grave Mapper in Illinois had a question about mapping cemeteries on Names in Stone that we all might run into.

Question: How do you map the grave for two people who have a double headstone?

Answer: When you are mapping your cemetery, you want to give every person their own grave, regardless of how many people share the headstone.

For example, if William Thomas and Rebecca Thomas were married and have a double headstone, they still each have their own burial spot under that headstone. So place two graves right next to each other on the map. Then if you attach a headstone photo, you can attach the same photo of the double headstone to each grave.

If any of you have questions as you are mapping cemeteries, don't hesitate to ask. Chances are, there is somebody out there with the same question that you have!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Come Share Your Cemetery Blog - The Grave Mappers Want to Know!

Come share your cemetery or genealogy related blog with the Grave Mappers. Visit the Grave Mappers Group on Facebook and share a link to your blog. It's a great way to let other cemetery and genealogy enthusiasts know what you are writing.

Who knows, you might link up with someone who has some information you need . . . or you might know something that will help them.

Have You Put Your Cemetery on the Map?

Thanks to all of you Grave Mappers who have marked your cemetery on our "Cemeteries Around the World" map!

Tami, Diane, Brenda, Niels, Adam, Jen, JD, Mark, Stephanie, Dan, JoLyn, Ann, Debbie, SP, Donna, C. Hopkins, Becky, Gus, Linda, Judith, Stephanie, Bonnie, and some anonymous readers have all added cemeteries. Thanks all!

We have cemeteries in:
  • Georgia

  • Virginia

  • Pennsylvania

  • Michigan

  • Colorado

  • Nebraska

  • California

  • Texas

  • Mississippi

  • Idaho

  • Utah

  • Illinois

  • Iowa

  • Wisconsin

  • Ohio

  • British Columbia

  • Denmark

Some interesting cemeteries you'll want to see are:

  • Monticello, in Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson is buried.

  • Mount Vernon, George Washington's Tomb

  • Christ Church Cemetery, Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin's grave.

  • Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln is buried.

Just click on the pointer and you can see the photo and cemetery information. Be sure to take a look - and add your cemetery to our map!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Winter Day at the Cemetery

I recently braved the cold and spent the afternoon at the cemetery. It was a peaceful day - a lot of snow fell early in the morning and then the skies cleared to a beautiful blue. I didn't do any mapping that day . . . just enjoyed the beauty of the place. Hope you enjoy it too!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That's a Strange Place for a Cemetery!

Bryant Family Cemetery

In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, there's a small cemetery located in the middle of an apartment complex parking lot. It's elevated and fenced - apparently the developer couldn't get permission to move the cemetery when he built the apartments, so they left it in the middle of the complex. Good thing in my opinion!

The cemetery looks like it belonged to the Bryant family and the last known burial was in 1916.

Perkins Family Cemetery

Also in Mississippi is the Perkins Family Cemetery. It's in the woods behind a subdivision in Washington, near Natchez in Adams County. The cemetery has a brick wall around it, but it's by a gully and some of the graves and wall have fallen into the gully.

There are four markers:
  • M'Cullough, Mary Jane
  • Perkins, Charles
  • Perkins, Sarah
  • Perkins, Joseph Sen'r
There is also a plaque here: In memory of Perkins: 1788-1988, Joseph & Sarah, by his descendants, 9 Apr. 1988.

Do you know of any cemeteries in strange and unusual places? Please leave a comment and tell us about them!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Become a GRAVE MAPPER - Get your official membership badge!

It's time to get mapping!

Become a member by joining the

GRAVE MAPPERS Group on Facebook


Send an email to:

In your email, please include your name, email address, and the state, province, or country where you live.

Next, get your official member badge. Just right click on the badge above and copy; then paste it on your blog or home page.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Edward Jackson Cole Family Cemetery

In his blog, Virginia Family Tree Genealogy, Kevin Lett has a great article about a small family cemetery in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Buried there are:
  • Emma Cole Simmons
  • Thomas H. Cole
  • Edward J. Cole
  • Athaliah D. Cole
  • John H. Cole
  • William T. Cole

It is also believed that Edward Thomas Cole and Ann Eliza Beal Cole are buried there. Kevin has done some great research on this cemetery and has included wonderful headstone photos. He also has a map of the area from 1864.

Give Virginia Family Tree Genealogy a visit!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Can I Do at NAMES IN STONE?

A lot of us are waiting for better weather before we can get out and do some serious cemetery mapping....

Now is a great time to visit and explore the Names in Stone website and find out what it has to offer.


The best way to search the Names in Stone database is to enter the last name of the deceased person you are searching for. If your results are many, you can refine your search by adding more specific information. You can also select a cemetery to search if you know where that person is buried.


You can select a state or province and see what cemeteries are already added to the database. You can also view a list of recently added cemeteries.


With unique on-line mapping tools, anyone can create a cemetery map. The website guides you through the process, which is very easy. Check out their Class B Cemetery Mapping Recommendations and explore the Grave Mappers blog for more mapping tips. It's a great way to preserve cemetery records.


There are three levels of membership options -

  • Free Limited Membership - search for cemetery burials; view and interact on the website; upload images and attachments to burial records; participate in forum-style discussions; print maps and records; and create your own cemetery maps.

  • $39.99/year Complete Yearly Membership - all of the above plus: save lists of cemeteries and records of interest and important research criteria; receive email updates when records and cemeteries are added pertaining to your list; use the database as a research assistant; receive discounts on grave decor.

  • $7.95/month Complete Monthly Membership - same as yearly membership for one month at a time.


You can add headstone photos, and other photos and images to a burial record. You can also participate in forum-style discussions about burial records, sharing knowledge and information.


For $9.95, you can decorate a grave with virtual flowers and other images that last three months. This is a headstone photo on Names in Stone that I decorated myself with virtual flowers. It's fun to find your ancestors' graves, especially those you are unable to visit personally, and decorate them. Complete members get a discount on grave decor.

At Names in Stone, there's something for everyone who is interested in cemeteries and genealogy. Grave Mappers invites you to take a look!

Names in Stone screenshots used by permission.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Creedmoor Community Cemetery, Creedmoor, Texas

Grave Mapper Nancy Hickman of Austin, Texas, recently mapped the Creedmoor Community Cemetery in Creedmoor, Texas. She is so gracious to share her mapping experience with us at Grave Mappers and to give us a history of this small southern town and its cemetery.

"It was fun trying out (the Names in Stone) format. I am new at genealogy research and the cemetery that I added to the site was my first...

"Before learning about Grave Mappers, I had thought that it was nice to have the list of inscriptions from cemeteries in the order of placement and having them in alphabetical order made it even easier to find a name, except when it came to figuring out which inscription belonged with what family. I realized that was not the case for anyone researching a family and not having that family history.

"The website is definitely a solution to the problem. It allows you to record exactly where a headstone is located, with additional information. It gives anyone searching an opportunity to see if any other headstones in the vicinity belongs to that family.
"I did this little cemetery as a contribution to the Texas Tombstone Transcription Project since it was one that I was going to in search of my GG Grandfather, Edmond Green Horne, who lived in the Creedmoor, Texas area.

"Here is the link to the information provided for the Texas Tombstone Project, the second picture shown of the lone headstone does not belong:

"The comparison of what can be done on Names in Stone and what was done for the Texas Tombstone Project tells it all."

"There are 41 Headstones and the earliest date of burial is for William Hardin Aiton, Feb 25, 1896 (age 23 yrs 10 mos & 22 days) - more than likely the grandson of Thomas Aiton M.D. b. Sep 12, 1858 d. Feb 14, 1902. The name caught my attention; the following is all I could find on him:

Newspaper Date:

April 8 1880 - Newspaper Article:"__Dr. Thomas Aiton has removed to Creedmoor, Travis County, Texas where he requests his correspondents to address him hereafter. Alluding to the season down there in his letter he says: `Most too much rain for planting. Farmers very busy planting cotton. Corn looks well, wheat and oats fine, grass excellent. Herds of horses, mules and cattle moving north.'"

Pike County Democrat, April 8, 1880, Pike County Illinois


Creedmoor is at the intersection of Farm roads 1327 and 1625, fifteen miles southeast of Austin in southern Travis County. Though in the 1850's the site had general stores, a grocery, a meat market, a drugstore, a barbershop, a blacksmith shop, and an ice cream parlor, the name Creedmoor did not appear until the establishment of the community's post office in 1880.

Some sources say the town was originally called Willow Springs; others say it was first called Creekmoor, but was renamed Creedmoor by settlers who wanted the name to express their faith. Dr. Jacob T. Wilhite, once the country's foremost authority on rabies and the founder and director of the Pasteur Institute at the Austin State Hospital, was born in Creedmoor. The town's population grew from twenty in 1896 to 150 by 1915.

In 1921, a cyclone destroyed its four-room school and one of the local gins. The town suffered a drought in 1925. A 1946 map showed Creedmoor with a school, two churches, seven businesses, and more than thirty dwellings.

In the 1950's, it had two gins, and cotton was still a major local industry. Under threat of annexation by Austin in 1982, Creedmoor became the ninth community in Travis County to incorporate. In 1990, Creedmoor reported a population of 194, a store, a post office, and the San Francisco Catholic Church. The population in 2000 was 211, with three businesses.

Thanks, Nancy, for your great work! At Grave Mappers, we are sure your contributions to Names in Stone will help future researchers find the records they seek! Click here to see Nancy's map of the Creedmoor Community Cemetery at Names in Stone.

Friday, January 2, 2009


In the 'About This Site' section of Names in Stone, there is a great story about a man and his search for his ancestors - and the role cemeteries can play in that search.

"A dear friend of ours tells the story of how a single visit to a small cemetery led to the discovery of many ancestors he had long been looking for.

"His research took him across the country to rural Alabama. His destination was the Bethel Cemetery located in the northeast corner of Butler County.

"After loading his research materials in the rental car, he began the hour drive from Montgomery to the Bethel Cemetery, wondering if his trip would be successful. Evening was closing in and he hoped that he would be able to locate the cemetery and glean the information needed.

"A few miles before his destination, he noticed the small Sandy Ridge Cemetery off the side of the road. He knew this wasn’t the Bethel Cemetery, but for some reason he felt he needed to pull over and explore.

"Much to his surprise, he found the headstones of a husband and wife whose names he recognized from prior research, but had never known where they were buried. What happened next made the entire trip worth it. There, nestled in the grass next to the couple, was the small headstone of a child—their child, who had died in his infancy. He was elated to find this information on the little boy, and to fill in missing pieces to the family puzzle.

"He continued on to the Bethel Cemetery and there, with the help of local historians, was able to find the headstones of many other family members—answering many more questions."

This is such a great story - it's the kind of experience we all hope for. Unfortunately, we don't get as many opportunities as we'd like to travel around the country - or the world - to visit cemeteries. And if you are like me, it really would be around the world. I would have to travel to cemeteries in Utah, Virginia, Delaware, Vermont, Illinois, Idaho, England, Wales, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and more to trace my roots. I would absolutely love it!

But it's not going to happen anytime soon. And that's where Names in Stone comes in. Although nothing beats a real cemetery visit, Names in Stone gives us the opportunity to virtually visit cemeteries - and it really is almost like being there. That's because it isn't only an alphabetical listing of burials. And it isn't just cemetery maps. It is a growing collection of interactive cemetery maps - which means that the record for every grave is attached right to the map. You can access that record just by clicking on the grave.

How is this like visiting the cemetery? Because now you can virtually walk up and down the rows of a cemetery and actually see who is buried next to whom. Just like the man in the story - if you can see the placement of burials, you can often establish family relationships and solve family mysteries in the process.

The best way to visit Names in Stone is to search for the name of a deceased person. You don't have to wander through the cemetery to find who you're looking for. Just enter the name in the search field. When you find the correct person, click to view the cemetery map. This will take you to that person's record - and to their grave on the map! Next you can click on the grave and find out information about that person - and click on the surrounding graves and learn even more.

There are many great cemetery websites out there, but I think Names in Stone is the next generation of cemetery websites. And it will become a more and more useful research tool as cemeteries are added to the site.

That's where GRAVE MAPPERS comes in. We need your help to populate the Names in Stone database. There are many small family cemeteries, abandoned cemeteries, and cemeteries in obscure places that only a few people remember anymore. If these cemeteries are mapped at Names in Stone, the records are preserved and become available for everyone to research.

Take a look at one of the newest cemeteries available at Names in Stone - Creedmoor Community Cemetery in Texas. Thanks to a Texas Grave Mapper for your hard work!