Anybody who is in the genealogy community knows that Find A Grave recently released their first iPhone app. As appreciation I thought I’d write a little thank you post, for all the times that Find A Grave has helped me, and encouraged me to think beyond the impossible. While I have personally added most of my relatives onto the Find A Grave database, I have been able to locate my american ancestors who moved over here and left only a census trail to find them. Thanks to the kind volunteers who trawl about cemeteries, taking photos of headstones, grave sites and memorials, I managed to find birth and death dates for my great-grandfather’s siblings.

For anybody who has not used Find A Grave here is how it works:

You enter all the information you can about the ancestor you are looking for. (Screenshot below taken from Find A Grave)

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 11.12.46 AM

Then, if your search is successful, you’ll see a list of results matching your query.

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I did a broad worldwide search for the last name: Sterrantino. I’m going to click on Angela Sterrantino. And this is what most memorial pages look like:

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The most exciting part of Find A Grave is being able to contribute to the site, and help digitize the world’s cemeteries, one headstone at a time. I have been able to fulfill requests for others who may not be in the part of the country or world where they believe their ancestors are buried. So one hot summer’s day I walked over to my nearby cemetery in Northwest-Arkansas, and searched for at least an hour, found the ancestors that someone was looking for, took a photo of the gravesites and then uploaded them onto the deceased’s person’s page.

While this all sounds rather morbid, and a little creepy, it’s an integral part of genealogy! We all live and die, and the place where a person is buried, is just as important as the place where they were born. It is part of their life story. With the new iPhone app it’s even easier to contribute to Find A Grave. Almost everybody lives near a cemetery. If you don’t believe me, check out this screenshot I took on the Find A Grave app, with my location and all of the cemeteries that surround me:


So if you are interested in this valuable resource you can check it out at or you can download the app in the App Store.