Finding the stones

As I was working through reviewing some of my genealogy records over the weekend, I thought I'd take a quick look at a site that I had been to long ago to see if there was any new information that might be of interest.  There was, and plenty of it.

The site in question is Find A Grave.  Basically, it's a database of gravesites and cemeteries showing memorial pages for more than 35 million grave records (that number is according to the bullet points on the site's front page).  Most of the people that I was looking for weren't particularly famous outside of the family, but I had a few successes this week.

Since I'd been looking at my Beach family line with the census records described earlier, I figured that would be a good place to start.  I opened the site's search form and put "Beach" for the surname, then filled in the fields for the "Cemetery in" dropdown lists as "United States" then "Indiana" and "Montgomery County."  Most of the records that came up in the search were direct relatives while a couple of them weren't yet listed in my own database.  Also, many of the records had photographs of the tombstones and their inscriptions.  I had most of the information that was mentioned on these pages already in my database, but a few of them did help fill in some years and dates that I was missing.  The grave marker photos also helped to add some color to my database, my favorite so far being the memorial stone for Nathan Beach and Mary Meharry, my 3rd great grandparents.

There is of course one strong caveat to the information on Find A Grave.  The website is not run by any governmental or civic authority.  It is run by individuals and allows contributions from the public to add content to the information displayed there.  Also, as much as we would like them to be, gravestones can have errors on them too.  Therefore, this website is definitely not a primary resource.  So, while I will take down information that I find there, I'll still keep looking for more resources to back up the data and further prove what I have in my own database.

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