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Call to Add GPS

#52Ancestors

Have you visited cemeteries in search of a grave? Did a family member help you find the gravesite?

Each memorial day, my mom would load us kids up in the car along with cut flowers from the garden to meet my grandparents at the cemetery to decorate graves. Thus, I grew up knowing where the Crawford family plot was in the Dodge City cemetery.

However, I did not remember where all of the other family graves were, including my great grandfather and 2nd great grandparents. I learned where those gravesites were when my grandmother took me on a ‘family plot’ tour of the cemetery. Thanks to her guidance, I can walk to most of those family plots.

When I’ve gone to other cemeteries looking for graves, I’ve sometimes walked the entire cemetery before locating the stone. In larger cemeteries, I’ve been able to visit the office and get a general location for the stone. Even when armed with that information, I’ve haven’t been able to walk right up to the stone.

That’s where GPS technology can be very helpful. While on a Memorial Day cemetery visit to locate graves of collateral relatives in Kansas city, I was very thankful for that technology. We were looking for a grave in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Kansas City, Kansas and the office was overwhelmed. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the entire cemetery on BillionGraves. Using the BillionGraves app, we were able to drive to the section and then I was able to walk to the grave.

I had a similar experience while visiting the Olathe Memorial Cemetery in Olathe, Kansas. I can generally locate the stone of my great grandmother, Winnie Currey (Curry) who is buried there. During a visit to the cemetery a couple of years ago, we discovered that they had GPSed the entire cemetery and made it searchable on their website.

Since Find a Grave is the go-to source for many people looking for burial information, I was curious about the ability to add GPS coordinates to a record on Find a Grave. If using a GPS enabled device such as a smart phone, then adding those coordinates appears to be fairly simple. Pictured below are the directions from the Find a Grave site.

Curious as to what that looks like on the app, I checked the Find a Grave record for a collateral relative who is buried in the Dodge City cemetery. His record already has a tombstone picture. Thus, I can’t take a photo and quickly add it to the record. However, while using the app (and not the web site), there is a handy little button to Add GPS.

So, my plans for this memorial day weekend is to work on getting this GPS data out there by making sure a photo has been uploaded to BillionGraves and either adding a photo or adding the GPS coordinates to Find a Grave. Won’t you join me in this endeavor?