Our brand new book by Joy Neighbors is now available and ready to help you uncover your ancestors! Even better? One lucky reader will win a free copy, just by entering The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide giveaway.
This book contains detailed steps for using FindAGrave and BillionsGraves, plus guides for understanding tombstone epitaphs and symbol meanings.
To enter, simply fill out this form:
The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide features:
- Detailed step-by-step guides to finding ancestors’ cemeteries using websites like Find A Grave, plus how to record and preserve death and burial information
- Tips and strategies for navigating cemeteries and finding individual tombstones in the field, plus an at-a-glance guide to tombstone symbols and iconography
- Resources and techniques for discovering other death records and incorporating information from cemeteries into genealogical research
Excerpt: Sample Tips
Here are some tips you’ll find in The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide:
- Notice everything that appears on a tombstone. Some markings on a headstone are obvious, but inscriptions that are subtle or vague can provide valuable insights about your ancestor’s life. Be sure to note everything that appears on tombstones, and consider alternative ways of interpreting what you see on them.
- Do your part to preserve tombstones. The tombstone tourist’s number-one rule is “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” Any form of tombstone rubbing will damage stones, so only take pictures (you can always use photo-editing software to enhance your photos later) and leave complicated preservation tasks (such as repairing headstones) to professionals.
- Research before your trip. Knowing the ancestors whose graves you want to visit (and where they’re located in the cemetery) will help you have a much more efficient trip. Use the cemetery’s website and resources like Find A Grave and BillionGraves to locate the cemetery office and the grave(s) you want to see ahead of time.
The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide ends August 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET.