An awesome lady named Molly took time out of her life to help me have 11 photos of my ancestors' and relatives' tombstones. I already gave her thanks on her contributor page, but this is my more public shout out to her and FindAGrave. With the success of the recent genealogy related tv shows, there are bound to be many coming online to search for their roots that have never even heard of this site. If you are one that has not yet discovered FindAGrave.com, go right now and give it a thorough browse. The site is awesome, and it works!
Something else I suggest: ALWAYS request a photo. Though your request will not always be fulfilled, receiving a photo does many things. It adds validity to what was posted on the memorial. Oftentimes, it also provides more information than found on the original memorial. Do not assume a creation of a memorial is the same thing as a transcription of the actual tombstone. I've created memorials based on death certificates and obituaries. Though I always add my source in the note section, others might not. Also, some contributors only provide the name and dates of the deceased. A photo might show a much longer epitaph including a quote or poem. I love seeing everything that is on the stone. You never know what clues or insight you might gain, enabling you to further enhance your knowledge of your ancestors' lives.
Some examples from my recent gifts:
- The memorial (#23744676) for my 3rd great grand uncle has his name as "Powahatan" Rauls. The photo provided has the name as "Powhatton" Rauls. Also, the birthdate on the memorial and the birthdate on the tombstone are not exactly the same. Finally, the tombstone photographed appears to have been added some time after his death. I would have known none of this without the photo.
- The memorial (#12819984) for Fred Robins lists only the year of his birth with a complete death date. A tombstone photo reveals the fuller name of "Frederick S." and complete dates of birth and death.
- The memorials for Rachel (#12819957) and Monroe Robins (#12819962) were also enhanced with photos. A picture of their tombstone reveals a quote from the poem Mortality by William Knox. I also see a small American flag placed at the bottom, likely in tribute to Monroe's Union service during the Civil War. Not to mention the symbols of the open book and finger pointing toward Heaven.
- A photo of H. Frank Robins' (#12819948) tombstone reveals his wife's name was Margarette. While this information might have been located by further browsing FindAGrave, it was not found on his particular memorial.
- The memorial for Alice Mae Huffman Robins (#30882382) has a slightly different birth year than her tombstone shows. The photo also reveals a nice sentiment inscribed at the bottom.
And don't forget the biggest bonus of all! I now have an image of Nancy Susan Robins (#28520338) and her husband J. E. Berry because a photo of them together is on their tombstone. Molly graciously took an up-close photo of it / them for me.
Molly has contributed more than 4,400 photos to FindAGrave. The work she did for me was located in Bollinger County, Missouri. If you have ties there, search what FindAGrave has to offer. You might benefit from Molly's generosity.