Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Successfully Using

There are quite a few large, online database programs that list cemeteries. In addition, there are an even larger number of online lists, books and other publications that have lists of burials. In a few of the publications, the cemeteries are both clearly identified and have specific directions for determining the location. Even a fewer number of the publications and websites contain maps of the locations of the graves. The very large and rapidly growing website,, addresses the main issue in locating graves. All of the graves are marked and mapped with their exact geographical coordinates and by using a GPS equipped mobile device, you can navigate directly to any of the graves listed.

All of the cemeteries identified in the program are located on an interactive map. Here is an example of a screenshot showing the cemeteries in Utah Valley around the town of Provo, Utah.

The map shows cemeteries as follows:


Cemetery with 1000+ BillionGraves Images
Cemetery with BillionGraves Images
Cemetery with less than 20 BillionGraves Images
Cemetery without BillionGraves Images (Zoom in to see)

You can zoom in to accurately locate any marked cemetery. Here is a screenshot of the page for the Provo City Cemetery.

You might note that there are 21,472 images of graves and every singe grave is marked on a map and located with its geographical coordinates. This information comes from the fact that entries into the website are made by using smartphones or tablets that are GPS enabled. As photos are made by the website contributors, the images are automatically uploaded to the website where the images can be transcribed. Here is a screenshot of a map of the Provo City Cemetery showing the gravemarker groups with the number of markers in each group.

By zooming in on the map, you can see the markers for individual graves.

If you continue to zoom in, you can ultimately see individual graves. If you search for a specific grave or select an individual grave marker, you can see the information available about that grave. Here is a screenshot showing one individual grave.

The website is free to search and view the maps and grave information. There is a subscription-based Plus version that adds some extremely valuable features including identifying family plots within the cemetery, showing the identity of nearby graves, a map locating everyone with your same family names sorted by city, county, state or country. Here is a screenshot of the BG+ feature page.

When visiting a large cemetery, you may find it quite difficult to locate a specific grave even with a map supplied by the cemetery's sexton, if such a map is available. Using a smartphone with GPS enabled, you can walk directly to a grave. Here is a screenshot of the search page.

Here is the grave of my Great-grandfather, Henry Martin Tanner.

I have the BillionGraves+ version of the program, so I can see a list of all of the 133 people with the Tanner surname buried in cemeteries in Arizona.

In searching through the list, I find the grave of my Great-Grandmother, Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner.

I examined some of the other very interesting features of the website in a recent blog post entitled, "BillionGraves Plus adds powerful new analytic tools."

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