Project: United States Cemeteries
About the Project
The U.S. Cemeteries Project was created as an outgrowth of Paul Bech's Australian Cemeteries Project, and along with our Canadian and European counterparts, now serves as a key component of the larger Global Cemeteries Project (GCP).
The mission of the U.S. 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.
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 our U.S. Cemeteries leader, Lisa Franklin, and request that you be added to the project. She will be happy to 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 "U.S. States and Coordinators" section to the state subproject(s) that you will be working on. On each page, under the "Participants" section(s), add your name, a brief introduction to let other members know about you and, if you are working in multiple states, the others that you will be working in. 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-level task forces that operate as part of their particular state subproject. Task forces consist of individuals or groups of members that work together to add new cemetery category pages to their corresponding county 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 state subproject will have a coordinator that oversees the activity of the various task forces that operate within their state. 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 coordinator for one or more of our state 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 coordinators. 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 WikiTree leaders group. The following lists our current state subprojects and their coordinators:
U.S. State Coordinators
Alabama - Lisa R. Franklin
Alaska - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Arkansas - Sadie Whanger
Arizona - Russ Gunther
California - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Colorado - Eric Weddington
Connecticut - Elizabeth Winter
Delaware - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Florida - Karen Hodges
Georgia - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Hawaii - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Idaho - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Illinois - Julie Ricketts
Indiana - Terri Rick
Iowa - Abby Glann
Kansas - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Kentucky - Julie Miller
Louisiana - Josh Varnado
Maine - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Maryland - Star Kline
Massachusetts - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Michigan - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Minnesota - Lianne Lavoie
Mississippi - Myrtis Bishop
Missouri - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Montana - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Nebraska - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Nevada - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
New Hampshire - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
New Jersey - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
New Mexico - Eowyn Langholf
New York - Jody Benedict
North Carolina - Julie Miller
North Dakota - Lianne Lavoie
Ohio - Terri Rick
Oklahoma - Linda Simpson
Oregon - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Pennsylvania - Matt Pryber
Rhode Island - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
South Carolina - Liz Parker
South Dakota - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Tennessee - Summer Orman
Texas - David Selman
Utah - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Vermont - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Virginia - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Washington - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
Wisconsin - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
West Virginia - Terri Rick
Wyoming - Lisa R. Franklin (temp)
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
Lisa R. Franklin and other project members have already begun the process of creating category pages listing the cemeteries located within certain counties of several states. Please see the following page: Jefferson County, Ohio, Cemeteries for an example of the setup and content 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 content of a category page for a specific cemetery.
Cemetery Free Space Page Examples
Global Cemeteries Project members have already begun creating free space pages for cemeteries around the U.S. See the following pages for examples:
- Gapway Cemetery, Lakeland, Florida
- Magnolia Cemetery, Andalusia, Alabama
- Alex Sullivan Cemetery, Smith County, Mississippi
If you are interested in joining our project, here are some guidelines on how to go about it.
- Introduce yourself to other project members. If you are working on your first cemetery, ask your state coordinator or a leader for assistance, and someone will guide you through all the steps. Once you have completed your first cemetery, you should have a good understanding of how to do the next one.
- Photograph a cemetery (if you are new to this, try 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 another member for assistance).
- 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 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, if you need help with this, ask for assistance.
- Create new WikiTree profiles for any cemetery occupants that don't have one.
- Most newer cameras and smartphones take photos that are much larger than necessary for our purposes. Resizing your photos to 1024x768 pixels and saving them as a .jpg file at 75% quality typically results in a file size of about 250kb. At this size, photos are generally more than adequate for viewing fine detail, but load faster and take up less storage space. There are a number of free photo editing programs that can do bulk resizing of multiple photos.
- GPS information is very useful as well. Many cameras and smartphones have built-in GPS capabilities, and the coordinates are automatically added to the photo files. 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.
- Most importantly, you don't have to do it all, and you don't have to do it alone! Would you rather just take photos? Or maybe you can't get out to the cemeteries and prefer doing the research that goes with adding new profiles to WikiTree. Tell us what you like to do or are able to do to help the project, and we'll help you find your niche. Like many WikiTreers, most of our project members are more than happy to help new recruits learn the ins and outs or becoming an experienced cemeterist. Just ask, you'll see!
This page was last modified 10:52, 7 January 2018. This page has been accessed 8,796 times.