Project: European Cemeteries

Categories: European Cemeteries | European Cemeteries Project


Welcome to the European Cemeteries Project!


About the Project

The European Cemeteries Project was created as an outgrowth of Paul Bech's Australian Cemeteries Project, and along with our Canadian and U.S. counterparts, now serves as a key component of the larger Global Cemeteries Project (GCP).


The mission of the European Cemeteries Project is the same as that of the GCP: to make WikiTree the preferred site for genealogists and family researchers to find and share information regarding the final resting places of our ancestors. Our goal is to document the cemeteries of Europe by taking pictures of all the tombstones, transcribing them, and creating WikiTree profiles for the people buried there. There are other sites that facilitate the photographing and transcribing of cemeteries, but WikiTree is unique in the ability to link cemetery information into the global family tree, by using a combination of person profiles, categories, and free-space pages.

Becoming a Cemeterist

If you have signed the WikiTree Honor Code, have an interest in researching cemeteries and have been a WikiTree member for at least one month, please contact Paul. He will award you the "Cemeterist" badge and send you an invitation to join the project’s Google+ Community. Please see the Badge Report for a full listing of all those who have been awarded the "Cemeterist" badge. Next, follow the link(s) below in the "Country Subprojects and Managers" section to the country that you will be working on. On the country's page, under the "Participants" section(s), add your name, a brief introduction to let other members know about you, and a summary of activities you plan to work on. Finally, add cemeteries to your list of followed tags so that you'll see all of the group's discussions in your G2G Feed.

The most interesting, rewarding and important aspects of the project are conducted by county or regional-level task forces that operate as part of their particular country's subproject. Task forces consist of individuals or groups of members that work together to add new cemetery category pages to their corresponding county or regional pages, and to link WikiTree profiles to their respective cemeteries. A working knowledge of creating categories is preferred; however, a tutorial is available here to help you get started.

Each country subproject will have a manager that oversees the activity of the various task forces that operate within their country. If you have been a Cemeteries project member for at least one month, have demonstrated proficiency in creating new cemetery categories and enjoy working with others having the same interests, you are welcome to inquire about becoming a manager for one or more subprojects.

As the project continues to develop, regional managers may be appointed to oversee activity in the subprojects of their particular area, and to function as liaisons between the project’s leaders and members. Serving as a regional manager is a great way to further enhance your level of participation on WikiTree and may lead to an eventual nomination to the leaders group. The following lists our current country subprojects and their managers:

Country Subprojects and Managers

Please list country subprojects and their managers here as they are created:

This project currently needs leaders for country level and county level as well as participants. If you can contribute to this project in any way, whether photographing tombstones and making the images available on WikiTree, transcribing images, creating profiles, or any combination of those tasks, we'd love to have your help! If you would like to join please contact the leader of your preferred country. If your country isn't listed, please contact Paul Bech and he will be happy to help you get started.

What Do Cemeterists Do?

Among their more important functions, our project cemeterists will add previously uncategorized cemeteries to county pages and continue the process of linking the WikiTree profiles of our ancestors to the appropriate cemeteries in which they are interred. Those with an urge for adventure will photograph and record vital statistics and location data from gravesites. The collected information can then be analyzed and compared with existing profiles to fill in data gaps, and long-sought information will finally be revealed that will allow members to locate and share this important genealogical information with family members and other researchers. Other areas that may be explored at a later date might involve the documentation of cremations, burials at sea and other funerary services outside the realm of traditional cemeteries.

What Cemeterists Do Not Do

As outlined in WikiTree’s Honor Code, we DO NOT knowingly copy source materials that are owned or authored by someone else without their permission. As it pertains to this project, the posting of grave site and/or cemetery photos originating from outside sources such as the Find-A -Grave and Billion Graves websites is expressly forbidden. Any use of such resources may result in removal from the group.

Cemetery Category Page Examples

Wikitreers from around the world have already begun the process of creating category pages listing the cemeteries located within certain counties and regions. Please see the following page: Jefferson County, Ohio, Cemeteries for an example of the setup and contents of a category page for cemeteries within a county. Please see the following page: Mount Calvary Cemetery, Steubenville, Ohio for an example of the setup and contents of a category page for a specific cemetery.

Cemetery Free-Space Page Examples

In a similar manner, Wikitreers have already begun creating free space pages for cemeteries across the globe. See the following pages for examples:

Gapway Cemetery, Lakeland, Florida
Magnolia Cemetery, Andalusia, Alabama
Vandalia Cemetery, Vandalia, Iowa


If you are interested in joining our project here are some guidelines on how to go about it.

Basic Instructions:

  • Make your self known to the other Project Members. If it is your first cemetery ask to have a Mentor and someone in the community will guide you through all the steps. Once you have completed a cemetery you should have a good understanding of how to do the next one,
  • Photograph a cemetery (if you are new to this try and pick a small one first)
  • Transcribe the details to a spreadsheet
  • Convert the spreadsheet to a wiki table
  • Create a Free Space page for the cemetery. Please be consistent with the naming conventions used for your country or area (or ask the group for suggestions).
  • You can copy the layout of an existing cemetery page and customise it to your cemetery where needed. Just go to the edit tab of another cemetery and copy and paste everything but the Wiki table. Change the parts that need to be changed, then add paste the wiki table to the bottom.
  • Once the cemetery page is complete it needs to be linked to a sub-project (usually the region or country it is in). Again, it would be best to ask this Google community for advice.
  • Create WikiTree profiles for all the graves

Additional notes:

  • It is probably best to upload a smaller picture than your camera can take, I resize my images to 1024x768 pixels and save them as a .jpg at 75% quality. I find these are more than adequate for viewing fine detail and the file size is much smaller (which means faster uploading). The are free programs which can bulk change your photos.
  • GPS information is very useful as well. Many cameras already have GPS and the photos automatically have the info added. There is also an app for smartphones that can record your position at set intervals as you walk around a cemetery and this information can be added to photos later.
  • You don't have to do it all. Help for any part of the process outlined above is welcome. Maybe you just want to take the photos? Maybe you like the research which goes with adding the profiles to WikiTree. I know I do. Tell us what you like to do or are able to do to help the project.

Useful Pages

  • Category:England Cemeteries - All cemeteries in England should have categories, which should be appropriately sub categorized under Category:England Cemeteries. Free-space pages for cemeteries should be in the categories for those cemeteries.
  • Category:Ireland Cemeteries - All cemeteries in Ireland should have categories, which should be appropriately sub categorized under Category:Ireland Cemeteries. Free-space pages for cemeteries should be in the categories for those cemeteries.

This page was last modified 13:38, 29 November 2017. This page has been accessed 2,336 times.