Non-grave Find-a-Grave memorials and Wikitree

+47 votes
Currently, there is a find-a-grave challenge going on.  I'm trying to withhold my strong opinion about the use of volunteer time for this, but feel too strongly about non-grave memorials, especially on project protected profiles, to stay silent.  These are FaG profiles created for people who have no known specific burial location.

Non-grave memorials are akin, in my mind, to online trees. If such memorials contain source data, great, use the memorial as a jumping off point to find better sources for a profile you're working on.  But if not, I see no value in even having such a link on a Wikitree profile, much less as a source. And I really don't appreciate being contacted by a well meaning challenge participant that I should improve or fix a findagrave link that is basically useless for the quality of a profile. (I did use the communication as an opportunity to remove the link, so I guess there was some value to be had.)

What am I missing here?
in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (771k points)

If the Find-a-Grave memorial contains the details that you mention, I concur that it has value.
I have been a member on WikiTree for nearly three years and can't believe people are still so worked up about this when we have so many totally unsourced profiles here.

Before I joined here, I found that Find A Grave was a great place to enter information on relatives and make connections between them and other family members.  Keep in mind that WikiTree has a steep learning curve and is a lot more difficult to navigate than Find A Grave.  Family members can easily add their information to Find A Grave and many times it is accompanied by grave photos and / or other information.

All types of sources (Sources) including Birth / Death / Marriage certificates, wills etc. need to be interpreted and compared with information elsewhere to verify.  Unclear or misspelled information can appear in any primary document.  As we age, we sometimes make mistakes.  Sometimes nicknames appear on documents.

I think I have mentioned that my own grandmother's death certificate and headstone differ in both birth and death dates... this is explained in the WikiTree profile.  I can live with that, and hope that the mystery will be solved at some point.

My dad never knew anything about his grandfather.  I had been able to track him to Thomson, McDuffie County, Georgia but was uncertain if that was correct.  I later found an article in a historic newspaper about his death  (December 19, 1882) that said he was buried at the Thomston Cemetery when no relatives were able to be contacted.  My sister and I have surveyed the cemetery and not found a headstone.  I have found that there are several unmarked graves in the cemetery.  This was in 2011 and I did a Find A Grave memorial with a brief synopsis of what I knew and a copy of the newspaper article.  It is not a complete or maybe correct source but it is still the best I have.  I would rather have that than nothing.

My feeling is if you don't want to use Find A Grave, just don't use it.  I never add "uncertain" parents etc.  I just put the information in the profile of the children for further study, if I think I may know who they are.  We may all have different preferences but please respect the work of others.  If we make a mistake, we can correct it later when other information becomes available.  If the information or dates on FAG is unsourced by a photo, just mark, or state, that the information is "uncertain" and move on.
The thing is I was brought up old school Record Office, Church Records, trawling Graveyards attending local history centres , meeting etc - Lovely Photographs of my Ancestors obtained (Thankyou) but on an internet site that is difficult to SOURCE - An example My Grandad according to FreeBMD is born Clitheroe NOPE he wasn't is Birth Certificate does say Chipping in the Clitheroe district, If you know Lancashire Clitheroe is NOT Chipping and that all said he was actually born Thornley-with-Wheatley - at home How do I know because I asked him and it makes more sense that a village a mile away!
We have a similar story in my family.  My grandmother always said she was born in Willimantic, Connecticut, however we found no record of her birth is Willimantic; it was found in the official records of Mansfield, a nearby, but much smaller town where the family had been living for over 100 years.  My brother and I have the reverse situation; we were both born in the nearest hospital, which happened to be located 20 miles and several villages away from the one where our parents were living at the time.  I have even encountered a case where a person was born in a hospital just over the line in the state next to the one where they were thought to have been born.  I thought at first the record I found might be for a different person, until someone in the family found that same birth certificate among the family papers they had inherited. In all these cases, the records are correct, despite the fact that the information they convey might not appear to make sense at first.
Please keep in mind that many of us have ancestors who were members of the Society of Friends and they were not allowed to have gravestones.  I feel that if they are not memorialized on Findagrave it's unfair to their memory.  I agree that not all of the information on these memorials is correct or well sourced, but it's important to me (with 10 generations on both sides of my father's family who were members of this group) to have their information available on both WikiTree and Findagrave.

One of the problems that I've noticed several times is that the date on the death certificate is different from the the date on the gravestone...usually only by a few days, but I still think that at least the gravestone information is at least a ball-park idea of the date of death.
It’s possible the date on the stone is the date of burial, especially if the stone was erected a number of years after the person died and the family didn’t have a death certificate.  They might have used the date in the burial fegister.  Several contributors to FindAGrave have create memorials for everyone buried in the some very large cemeteries regardless of whther or not there is a stone on the grave, by using the records kept by the cemetery.
Hi V

I got a match for one of my Quakers on Find a grave I presumed it would be just a memorial - though it was the correct information so very surprised to see a Gravestone very plain but I counted it as a Source hard to 'source' Quakers (on line) Freesearch have some but I was told that they aren't  acceptable sources so struggling to find alternatives
I think the OP is referring not to all use of Findagrave memorials, but only to those that are used to memorialize a person whose burial site is unknown.  So, there can't be a photo of a grave marker, in that case.  There could, possibly, be other useful information, but it has to be sourced, or else it's just a clue.

If I were going to use information from such a memorial, I might reference it in the biography as something "said to be the case, but which needs further research."  That might serve as a reminder to me, or a stimulant to someone else who can get to it before I can.

But all of Findagrave isn't unreliable, just as all of it is not reliable.  You have to analyze the usefulness of each memorial on its own merits.
@Dianne... Last paragraph: excellent philosophy.

11 Answers

+15 votes
Best answer
The problem I see is differentiating between a Source  and a source. FAG, Trees, Gedcoms, those are sources. Birth and Death Certificates, Census data, Marriage license, those are Sources. (Note capital and lower case s)

Now to me a source is a hint or possibility while a Source is official data. Many times I've taken info from a source and found a Source. That being said if all the profile has is sources and no Sources, I consider it UnSourced.

Maybe eventually these sources will be in the ==See Also== section instead of in ==Sources==. But on most they are combined. And if I ever see a conflict between a Source and a source, the Source wins. If however the data is empty I will add it and mark it uncertain.
by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (285k points)
selected by Debi Matlack
I agree. The word "source" has come to be used to meet the need of the user, not the profile. I consider FAG to be a repository, not a source. If there's an image, the image is the source, not FAG.

If there's no image, FAG belongs in See Also or For Further Research.
Basically, you're capitalizing primary sources and not capitalizing secondary sources.  At any rate, they're all sources.
I agree with J. The correct terminology is "primary source" and "secondary source". These have standard definitions in academic research.
I think there is more to it than that.  I think plenty of secondary sources would be Sources - history books, for example. To me the lower case source is something that technically indicates where the information came from but that doesn't to me even qualify as a secondary source. An unsourced family tree is more like hearsay. It might be accurate,  but it may not be.
+18 votes
I agree with you. I do use FAG to corroborate a death, and if no other death cert has been found in my searches, I use it until further research is fruitful, especially if the memorial has a photo of the grave. If, however, the memorial is a burial unknown, I don't even cite it. I have emailed memorial managers asking about the source of their information, but have not received much in the way of help with that. Once when I asked, the person told me that he had access to a book, but didn't say which book or where it was accessed, so I skipped citing that memorial. Burial unknowns are quite unreliable.

But I think that when/if a data doctor contacts me to correct a link, I would take that opportunity to have a "teachable moment" and explain that I will not be updating a FAG link of a burial unknown and I'd give the reason. Perhaps that data doctor will learn something new. I'd tell the DD to mark the error as a false error as well, due to the burial unknown status of the memorial. The DD is trying to improve WT, and sometimes the error they are correcting is not-so-much an error that we can correct on our end.
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (779k points)
Informational only, I am not commenting on the value of FAG as a source here.

I often see unknown burials being used as links between family members on FAG.  In this sense, FAG is akin to creating a family tree.  So, for example, a Grandson may have a known burial and a Grandfather may have a known burial but the standard way to link them on FAG (as a family tree) is to add the Father whose burial may be unknown.

Similarly, to gather the children together, whose burials may be known, under a parent, whose burial may not be known, is to create the parent with an unknown burial.
I use Findagrave to corroborate a Burial and as a clue to a Death.
Natalie, thank you for the reminder of the "teachable moment". I did do that in this particular case, but forgot to include the recommendation that they mark it as a false error.  I appreciate your response.
+14 votes
I do agree, for the most part. I have created a memorial for at least one person on FAG that has no burial site. He was cremated and his ashes spread from a hot air balloon over a fairgrounds. There is a memorial stone at said fairgrounds but no actual grave site. I did know this man on a personal level for the time my life and his overlapped, a very long time, but using personal knowledge as a source is frowned upon on WikiTree. I also have visited his memorial stone many times. The location and dates are more accurate than most I have found on FAG but there are no sources that WikiTree would find acceptable. That being said I will not use FAG as a source when I can find a better one but sometimes will leave it there if the data matches other sources or if I can find no other source for the death date.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)

My great-grandfather died at sea and was buried at sea.  Yet people are forever adding to the billion-and-ten trees online that he is buried in the same grave-space as his second wife, father and an infant son, despite that there are no records showing him buried there.  I contacted the one place where they have a photo and this same error and they said what is written cannot be corrected.  (Say what?!) 

I signed up to the site and posted the facts, but there are still going to be people who do not scroll down to read, or who do not view the extra image I posted there.

Yet, just now, when I went to get the link, I see someone HAS added the facts I posted to the erroneous information there previously.  (Is that a win?) Dr George William Frederic Paul at Toowong Cemetery Brisbane.

*Waves hello to Jillaine*

Melanie, I signed up to FaG just to be able to communicate with those whose memorials have false information. It seems that when my suggested correction is not dealt with by the FaG memorial manager after a certain amount of time that "suggestion" becomes what you actually see on the memorial and I get an email notice to that effect.

That said, I don't use FaG as a source, only a reference and once in a blue moon I find actual sources there. I also don't bother with sending the memorial manager the suggestion unless the memorial has clearly wrong information. Once in a while I hear back from the memorial manager who have always been thankful for the new information.

Hey, T Stanton: I don't know anything about FaG.  I found the BillionGraves thing years before I found wikitree, but only made the comments there after I found their incorrect information posted HERE as well as other places ('cause I'd kinda "adopted" wikitree as my tree-home (I have an aversion to pay-to-use sites and also to sites that proliferate errors and kept all my information in folders, on writing pads and on index cards until I found wikitree)). 

Because I had actually viewed (and obtained a (handwritten) copy of) the Marine Certificate of death which includes the exact latitude and longitude, I just HAD to correct the error.  It's hardwired into my genes!  cheeky

If you could get the memorial transferred to you, you could have it designated a cenotaph. 

A cenotaph is a marker within a cemetery placed in honor of a person whose remains are buried elsewhere. It may also be the original marker for someone who has since been reinterred elsewhere. To add a cenotaph, create a memorial. Then email with a link to the memorial and request to have the memorial designated a cenotaph. Only add relationship links to the actual burial memorial when both a cenotaph and actual burial exist.

@ Aaron:  Except that the original marker was for the original occupant, my great-great-grandfather Judge (or Justice) George William Paul.  It is HIS grave.  It just happens to be a large one!

Then the Doctor (oooh, I LOVE saying that!) and his second wife had their infant son buried there.  (The Doctor and his first wife (my direct line) also buried an infant son in Toowong, but long before the Judge died, so he is buried "all alone and up the hill" from where the Judge was later buried.)

The second wife is the one who had the inscription for her husband added to the original marker (her baby son has a separate marker) after she had the Doctor buried at sea.  Then her family had her name added to the Judge's marker after she died and was buried there in that same plot.  (I don't have a problem with that, so I hope nobody reads it that way or is offended by my wording.  It's how I keep things "straight" in my head.)

I'm not sure designating the original marker differently is what should be done .. or, indeed, if other family would be likely to go along with it.  I'm not the only direct descendant.  I have two living brothers.  I have two living children and their children.  My brothers have 5 living children (4 to one, 1 to the other).  There are closer to the Judge descendants on the second-wife/daughter-in-law's line (and THEIR descendants).  so, it wouldn't be a simple matter.  :)

All that said, that someone at Billion Graves went and ADDED my correction to the original fixes part of the problem.  What cannot be fixed (I presume) is the part where it says "also buried here".  But they assure me that my words will help others not see the Doctor as actually being buried there. (Did I give you a headache yet?)

Dale, I disagree with your statement, "but using personal knowledge as a source is frowned upon on WikiTree." Not citing it properly is what is frowned on. If you say "X was born in 1900" and you know that because he told you, the correct citation is <ref>X, conversation with Y, c.19__.</ref> 

I agree with Dale. I too have created FAG profiles for graves known to not exist due to cremation. My dad is one of them, and his ashes are in my house, for now. This is information important to future genealogists who are trying to bridge a grave-less generation to learn about the rest of their ancestry. This information needs to be included in the Wikitree profile just as much as graves with bodies in them.
Dale, I could not agree more with your "grave-less generation comment.

Most of my relatives are poor - or close to it. Almost no one is being buried anymore. Cremation costs so much less, many people, even better off people, cannot justify the expense. Some of those cremated are interred at a cemetery in a columbarium, but many of them have their ashes spread or in an urn in someone's home  either due to preference,  or often, due to cost. Unfortunately, traditional burial is becoming a luxury.

Personally, I'm very glad the "cremains" of my maternal grandparents were interred at a cemetery in a columbarium. Having somewhere to visit means a lot to me. Seeing the plaque there,

My recently deceased uncle's ashes were scattered in a pond. I can go to the pond, but it doesn't feel the same. I've created FaG memorials for all of them. For my uncle, the memorial info is the only "tombstone" he has.

Re: the "grave-less generation," some interesting info from the NFDA:

"Over the next 18 years, the rate of cremation in the United States is projected to increase by nearly 30 percent according to the 2018 Cremation and Burial Report, released by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). Already having outpaced the rate of burial for three consecutive years, the national cremation rate will reach nearly 80 percent (or 2.80 million cremations per year) by 2035..."

The 2017 report is at this link.

And the U.S. is just catching up with the trend. In countries where the Hindu, Buddhist, or Shinto religions dominate, cremation rates can exceed 95%. Japan has long had a tradition of cremation, driven in part by a limited land-mass; in 2014 their cremation rate was a gnat's eyelash away from being 100%. Last year, the rate in the United Kingdom was 77.05%, and has been increasing since the early '60s.

That said, we may actually see non-traditional-burial and non-cremation options come to be a significant percentage of "burials" in future years. Cremating one body results in carbon emissions basically equivalent to making a 600-mile drive in the family car. There are options, but they're a, distasteful-sounding to describe. At least to us, culturally, in 2018.

Regardless, I have a feeling our great-great-grandchildren may come to consider a body in a grave to be unusual and...quaint? A waste of land? An extravagance? Flat-out creepy?

Edison, What is the alternative to burial and cremation? I found what you have written to be very interesting.

Hi, Rionne. I'm not only not an expert on this subject, I'm not even semi-informed.  wink  I found one brief article from November 2017 by Leanne Pott for AARP that mentions a couple of alternatives. Basically they seem to fall into two camps: "green burials," which range from circa 1800s "just bury me under a tree" to more modern, controlled-environment, er, recycling in enclosed pods. The second camp is euphemistically called "water cremation," the one I said might be distasteful-sounding to describe. More specifically alkaline hydrolysis, it reads more like something a mob boss would have paid dearly to have had available in the 1920s and 30s.

There are already new companies springing up around "alternative interment," and I think we'll see that continue--probably worldwide--in coming decades. There's an idea if some entrepreneur is looking to startup a new business...

Bottom line, it's about the population and usable land. The annual population growth rate has been steadily declining since around 1988, but it's still a growth rate. In 1968 the world's population was growing at about 2.1% per year, and now it's down to roughly 1.1%. There are about 7.67 billion people alive, so that means we're still seeing over 84 million more births each year than deaths. 

The growth is mostly urban, not rural. Meaning business centers and housing developments are using land that, in 1900, we might have had available nearby for cemeteries. In 1960, worldwide, the urban population was 1.02 billion and comprised 33.6% of the overall. At the beginning of 2018, it was 4.19 billion and represented 54.9% of the total population. By 2050, the worldwide population is forecast to be just a shade under 10 billion with 65% of us living in urban areas.

Genealogically, when it comes to burials things are a changin'. Here's a population visual I found starting at 1 AD (with the caveat that we all know estimating the population prior to the 18th century is pretty much nothing but guesswork):

Me, I think I'll hold out until burial-in-space becomes an option. Not that necessarily--other than cost--the notion would be entirely free of its own drawbacks...

"President Harriet Chandler signed into law today the so-called 'Space Reclamation' bill that will bar operations of SpaceX, Geoverse, and others that launch remains of the deceased into space as a form of perpetual interment. The hotly debated but eventually bipartisan passage of House Bill 4334 came after the destruction of two defense department satellites upon impact by orbiting, encapsulated remains, as well as the disturbing incident in 2025, termed the Charon Meteor Shower, where fourteen such remains partially survived re-entry with scores of objects impacting the area in and around Riverside, California..."


I made a find a grave monument for my uncle. He was cremated, and as a life-long avid flyfisherman, his ashes were scattered in the headwaters of the Colorado river. There's no papers to prove it, but I know absolutely that it's true, because put them there myself. Perhaps a picture of the white smudge of ashes on the streambed (surprisingly heavy, ashes sink fast) would be "proof"?
+9 votes
In several cases I’ve found th unsourced Anceotree the FAG memorial came from. Without an image or a citation for where the data came from I don’t use it for s source. Doing so is bad genealogy.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (415k points)
+11 votes
While I tend to agree with you, I also think as part of the PGM project you are probably seeing the worst of FAG. For my more recent ancestors FAG almost always has had a photo or source and even when it doesn't I've been able to contact the manager and find out they created it from a book of inscriptions or a cemetery database or burial cards, ect. On the other hand for my early new england ancestors FAG is a complete disaster. I'm not sure what the solution would be, but maybe disableing FAG errors on project protected or pre 1700 profiles?
by Janelle Weir G2G6 Mach 4 (45.4k points)
This is a great point.
I've also wondered about imposing a pre-1700 rule of some sort on the use of Find A Grave memorials.  They can still be a problem for more recent memorials, but it usually easier to disprove or refute the claims of unsubstantiated information for the newer ones.
+8 votes
The same argument could be used to exclude family bible records, or even personal memoirs.  The entry in the family bible may not have been made at the time the event took place, but entered from memory, weeks or months, even years perhaps, later.  A death might have been entered on the basis of a report from a third party received in a letter weitten sime time after the event. We have no way of knowing, but we don’t refuse to allow mention of such  information,  we just add caveats for things that seem questionable.  

Our family has been unable to locate athe burial plot of a number of relatives.  However, we know they were buried in that cemetery because: 1) elderly relaives told of visiting the grave with their parents and granparebt 100 years ago and described the monument that once was there, and2) the cemetery records reflect that the family did have a plot there. I think it is legitimate to say they are believed to be buried there.

In other cases, mention is made on a gravestone in New Brunswick, Canada, that a particular family member was drowned off the coast of New Zealand on such and such a date, and on a different stone in NY that another famiky member was missing & presumed shot down in the South Pacific during WWII (no wreckage or remains were ever found).  The NB inscription is a source that buttresses the relationship of the man whose death was recorded in NZ to the family in NB.  The NY inscription does likewise for the missing airman, whose name is inscribed on the official wall of the missing in the Philippines.  Are we supposed to not create memorial cenotaph entries for them in the cemeteries where the stones are located  just because it is so blatantly obvious neither of them is  buried where the stones are?

We should not get involved in excluding evidence, even when it contains errors.  I believe the Genealogical Proof Standard requires us to include it and explain why we think it is suspect, or even dead wrong.  Otherwise we are not doing our job properly because sooner or later someone is going to find that missing problemaric bit of information and the problem is going to resurrect itself.
by GR Gordon G2G4 (4.4k points)
edited by GR Gordon
+4 votes
Maybe if we keep posting about it, the Find a Grave errors and challenges will disappear.  Ha ha.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (201k points)
+8 votes

Oh Jillaine, we have had this discussion in years past.  I still agree with the Help:Sources definition.  A source is the identification of where you obtained information.

Sources are critically important for genealogy. Some even say that genealogy without sources is mythology.[1]

You must include your sources when you put information on WikiTree. It's in our Honor Code.

Clearly some sources are better than others, but if a WikiTreer finds a tidbit of info on a FAG profile, they should enter it as their source for the tidbit. I try not to delete any data or sources added by someone else. It can be interpreted as, "My work isn't good enough" and it always puts me on the defensive.  

If a "source" is bad, it is up to us to supply the correct information and the correct source, but if we just ignore the flaky data, it will continue to be repeated as long as the internet exists and never be resolved.  I try to correct incorrect information and sources and add the supporting documentation for the correction.  Very rarely have I seen a "source" that was completely wrong.  There is usually some correct info and possibly some incorrect info and probably lacks primary sources.

Bruce said he considers FAG to be a repository.  I have always considered each WikiTree profile to be a repository for all the information known about the individual, open for additions and corrections by all other WikiTreers.  Would that all agreed.

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (546k points)
When there is no other information or source in the biography, adding a Find A Grave source is at least a clue, whatever the quality of the memorial.  Adding a comment concerning the quality of that particular memorial (has/does not have photograph, e.g.) would also be helpful.

However, when there is a documented biography, including a labeled discussion of problems with determining the date or place of origin (or spouse, or whatever),  having someone change the information and status of that profile to fit an unsourced and questionable Find A Grave memorial is not helpful -- and contrary to the intent of trying to improve the quality of the profile.

Worse, if the Find A Grave memorial is already included in the citations and biography, and the citation itself says "unreliable because . . . ", then having someone change the date/place/status of that individual based on an undocumented Find A Grave Memorial is NOT helpful.

I've had three this week where this has happened.  Usually there are one or two a month.
It is, in the end, all about the quality of the source. Once in a (great) while I find something on FaG that really helps and sometimes it is unsourced.

That said, we should all be careful of too many arrows aimed at FaG considering the (huge) quantity of unsourced or poorly sourced profiles in our own WikiTree house. (Yes, we do take steps to systematically remedy those.) When I find things there that are simply wrong I take the 30 seconds to enter the "suggestion" because it becomes fact if the memorial creator does not respond to it. And most of the time they respond with a big thank you for the info.
What do you do if they respond and say you are wrong? The person had 1000s of entries on FAG, no relation, and I was at the funeral of my great aunt who I had known very well. I saw her at least once a month for 30 years and really liked her. They put her in another family. I very politely told them that I had been at the gravesite at her funeral and they had the wrong family. I got a very nasty response, basically I should mind my own business because I didn't know what I was talking about but different language, and it is still showing on FAG with the wrong information a couple of years later. I tried to protest to FAG but it did no good. Added to that, I would say at least a third of the FAG entries for people on my tree have information that other valid sources say is incorrect. Right now I just ignore all FAG unless I am really stuck and then only look at tombstones if they have a picture. If anyone asks about it, I just tell them I avoid it as much as possible because it has too much false information. That said, I do not remove it where it is entered. Sometimes people need to learn for themselves but I am not going to encourage them. Disclaimer. My main tree is in RootsMagic and I use Wikitree for colonial information and for these G2G discussions. I haven't really entered things into Wikitree as I should, but intend to when I get more time. Work messes up my genealogy work. This group is so nice and helpful!
Dear C, thank you for joining WikiTree and we look forward to any additions you can add.

I am so sorry you had this bad experience.  There are unpleasant people in every occupation. Have you contacted FindAGrave since it was purchased by Ancestry?  Perhaps a change of ownership created a change of heart?

People who react so violently, in my experience, usually have a personal agenda that often involves money. They hope to bully others away.

Anyway, that is why I post the correct information with sources on the appropriate WikiTree profile.  I also post the incorrect information, what part is incorrect and why it is incorrect (which supporting sources).  That is why WikiTree can serve as a repository for all the info known about a person.
+5 votes

In defense of the Find A Grave project, the project is not about making WikiTree profiles match Find A Grave.  It is about making sure that the information we find on Find A Grave is accurate according to other sources and then reflecting that on WikiTree.  Find A Grave headstones can be very helpful, and even the memorials - like family trees, can give us hints to research for better, underlying sources.  The project challenge states:

This isn't mechanical, thoughtless work. This isn't like fixing typos. A genealogist needs to look at each one of these items and consider whether the information on Find A Grave is reliable. A lot of the information there isn't better than what we have here. Often it's worse. Just like on WikiTree, the information on Find A Grave all comes from its members.

Generally speaking, if there is a photo of the grave and you can see the information written in stone it's worth using. Even then, gravestones aren't always correct. If the gravestone is the source for a date, location, etc., make that clear in a source citation. 

by Edie Kohutek G2G6 Mach 7 (78.7k points)
+2 votes
I've spent a little bit of time with the findagrave suggestions and quickly decided it was a very low value use of my time.

A lot were legitimate cemetery records but with no photo it was impossible to tell if it was death date or burial date.
by Mark Dorney G2G6 Mach 3 (35.6k points)
0 votes
Agree with you completely!

Here's another side of the coin when it comes to Find-A-Grave and No Burial Location....I've been a member there going on six years and here for three. I have added several family members memorials there not knowing where their actual burial location was but a had a gut feeling and evidence to support the idea of a location. On several of them I even contacted the cemetery they would most likely be in, often the cemetery offices said "we have no record of that individual", I processed to add the memorial anyway, then as time traveled on a cemetery volunteer group did a sweep through the cemetery gathering data and low and behold, the person I created the memorial for was indeed in the cemetery I thought they were. After several of these scenarios I am of the opinion that adding memorials without document support and knowing the exact location of an individuals actual burial location can be beneficial.
by T Lacey G2G6 Mach 3 (31.9k points)

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