Wednesday, November 13, 2013, November 13, 2013

There is no cure for birth and death
save to enjoy the interval. 
~George Santayana

Hello and greetings to all of you from warm and pleasant San Diego. I would like to share with you today about a wonderful online resource for family researchers, called Find-A-Grave. Even though I have been aware of it for a few years, I have just begun to understand how truly valuable it is.

At one can find information on over 100 million people who are buried in cemeteries around the U.S., and around the world. Anyone can add a record for their own ancestors who may not yet be found in their growing database.

I have mentioned Find-A-Grave before in this blog when it was a resource for information on ancestors of ours. For example, several months ago I wrote about some of the earliest ancestors we are aware of in the line of my grandmother Nola Shannon Gower. Grandma Gower's 6X great grandparents are 17th century Irish immigrants John and Elizabeth McKnight, who are buried in Manokin Cemetery in Princess Anne, Maryland (See picture). Pictures and other invaluable information about these progenitors of ours can be found on at this link.

After the visit I made this past September to my Shannon great grandparents' graves in tiny Gray Cemetery outside Mountain View, Arkansas, I discovered first hand what a remarkable resource it can be, and how easily it can be used. Gray Cemetery is a very small burial ground on private property and is of great value to the descendants of the 30 or so Gray and Shannon folks who are buried there. But for most people there is not much of importance there, hence it has never been listed on

But after visiting Arkansas in September and finally locating Gray Cemetery (you can read that story here), I decided to add this cemetery to Findagrave and include the four people I knew who are buried there. Shortly thereafter some other folks came forward with info about other family members in Gray Cemetery and they added that information. You can now go to the Gray Cemetery page and see information about 8 persons who are buried there, including pictures. 

You can also use the links listed with the people there to go to the memorial page for their family members. For example, on the Gray Cemetery page, you can select "view all interments" and select Great Grandmother Finetta Dearien Shannon to view her memorial page, with pictures and information. On her page you can select the link for Grandmother Nola Shannon Gower, and be taken to her memorial page, which shows you her picture and grave in San Diego at Greenwood Cemetery, which gives you links to other family members.

Here are just a sampling of some of the many memorial pages of family members in Find-A-Grave, with links, pictures and other family data:

By the way, if you click on one of the last two links above, you will see that the picture of my Davis Great Grandparents was put on Find-A-Grave by Nancy Bushong, a second cousin on the Davis side of our family.

Find-A-Grave is a great source for finding where people are buried, getting information about ancestors of long ago, and adding information that you might have, for others to see. All in all it is a boon to family researchers and will become and even greater resource in the future, as people become more aware of it and add to it. 

Do you have loved ones who have passed away that you can add to Find-A-Grave? It is easier than you might think.
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Steve Shepard

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