Project: Global Cemeteries

Categories: Global Cemeteries Project

Are you interested in the Global Cemeteries Project?
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The goal of the Global Cemeteries Project is to document the final resting place of our deceased ancestors, and others we come across, with known burial information, and to connect these people and this information to the global family tree.


  • Photograph tombstones and add them to existing profiles
  • Create and maintain free space pages for all known cemeteries within each team's area
  • Establish and maintain a simple, easy-to-use, and useful category structure for all cemeteries
  • Increase the number of documented burials on WikiTree and improve existing profiles


The project is divided into continental teams, each headed up by a Project Coordinator. These teams are then further divided into sub-teams along country lines, who divide further, depending on the size of the country:

North American Cemeteries Team

South America Team

Europe Team

Africa team

Asia Team

Oceania CemeteriesTeam
Project Coordinator: Kylie Haese

This project is led by Susie MacLeod with five global Leaders: Michele Bergin (Europe), Lianne Lavoie (Canada), and Lisa Franklin (United States). For a complete listing of current participants, see the badge report.

Project Organization

Did you know that there are over 320,000 cemeteries spread throughout just the U.S. and Canada? With a project of this size and scope, the only way to effectively manage our efforts is to divide and conquer! Our global project is managed by the following four co-leaders: Paul Bech (Europe), Lianne Lavoie (U.S.). We look forward to expanding into other areas of the world as we bring in new Cemeterists interested in working on those areas.

Current Subprojects:

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 citations and/or 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 uses of such resources may result in removal from the group.

Also, we do not damage tombstones. We do not take rubbings, which can damage the stones. It is possible to clean a tombstone without damaging it, but such attempts should only be undertaken after careful research, as improper cleaning methods or supplies can damage the stones.

Cemetery Challenges

Every few months, we have a Cemetery Challenge, which is a chance to get competitive with your fellow Cemeterists and make a lot of contributions to WikiTree's cemetery coverage. Check out Project:Global Cemeteries/Challenges to see current, upcoming, and past challenges.

Categories and Free-Space Pages

To create a free-space page, go to Add -> New Thing in the menu at the top right of the screen. To demonstrate what a cemetery free-space page should look like, here are a few examples:

If you aren't familiar with creating a new category, see the Using Categories help page. The naming standards vary slightly from country to country, but generally follow a format like "Cemetery Name, City, State", where state can be replaced with province, county, etc., as is appropriate in each country. Please check with your subproject and learn its naming standards before creating new categories.


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). To create a Free Space page go to the drop down menu at the top of any WikiTree page and mouse-over "Add" then select "New Thing". Name the page (try to be consistent with the naming conventions used on other cemetery pages) and save the page.
  • You can copy the layout of an existing cemetery page and customize 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.
  • The Vault is an open-access file storage and work area for members of the Global Cemeteries Project. Use this free space page to store photographs, templates, and general notes for other members of the project.

This page was last modified 12:51, 11 December 2018. This page has been accessed 17,600 times.