Article by R. Trent Briles, Curator of the BIN
What is it about volunteering that brings out the best in people? Spending time helping others out and not getting paid a dime for it. The satisfaction and pleasure one receives is not measurable and has no price tag attached to it. There are many forms of volunteering and I came across one form of it a few years back. I thought it would make a good story to post here on the BIN because it’s all about helping folks and it’s all about our mission to promote genealogy research and the preservation of family history.
Find-A-Grave has been around for a while and though it started out as a web site for the famous people who had passed on it has quickly turned into a valuable research tool for all amateur genealogist. And NO, this is not a paid advertisement for their web site. In fact, they have no clue I’m doing this article about them! Find-A-Grave has million of cemetery records at your disposal, both famous and non-famous folks. People from around the world submit cemetery records, photographs of markers, family history and biographies to their large databases and access is very easy and it’s free.
But what about the volunteering part? What I enjoy most about Find-A-Grave is I volunteer my time and help fill the request for photographs of grave markers within my area here in North Carolina. If you have a family member buried in another state or country, you can simply request a volunteer to locate the gravesite and take photos to which they are uploaded to the Find-A-Grave databases for all to see. Since joining a year ago, I have fulfilled 21 requests for photographs within my area and have posted over 188 memorials. Most of the requests come to you via email and are usually within a 50-mile radius of your zip code.
Find-A-Grave has helped me out in my genealogical research on several occasions and I have given back by volunteering my time to help others who need photographs of grave markers for the family members who have passed on. Whether you are looking for a famous gravesite or looking for a cemetery, check out the Find-A-Grave web site today and volunteer your time by helping out all amateur genealogists today!!!