Saturday, February 20, 2021

Where the Bodies Are Buried, Part 3

I don't want future generations to forget where our ancestors are buried. In Part 1 of this series, I found out how extremely fast and easy it is to create a virtual cemetery on Find a Grave. I've now created 3 virtual cemeteries and still keep clicking to add ancestors to each one. This is also an incentive for me to be sure more of my ancestors are represented on Find a Grave.

In Part 2, I highlighted a printed workbook for documenting death and burial details for ancestors. Also, I experimented with an illustrated pedigree-style listing of final resting places--not a big success, but a learning experience. 

Now I've created one of my favorite tools for recording genealogical details: A Word document with details typed into a table, sortable by column.

Sort by surname, sort by cemetery

Shown above is an excerpt from my document "Wood Family Burial Places." I entered information in three columns, thinking ahead to how I might want to view the details for various reasons.

Each ancestor is entered: SURNAME, GIVEN & MIDDLE NAMES. That allows me to digitally sort the table according to surname--handy for when I'm only interested in the Wood line, not the Slatter line (in-laws) and so on.

I also listed cemeteries with complete address info. Some day, I or another descendant might want to visit. This makes it quick and easy to sort by name of cemetery. VARIATION: I could have listed a separate column for city/state. In this case, I didn't--but I will for my next iteration. Then I can sort by city/state, and within city/state, by cemetery, if I'm planning a visit.

My preference: Find a Grave

After reviewing all my options, and testing a number of different methods, I am happiest with my virtual cemeteries on Find a Grave. In fact, while creating my Word document, I consulted Find a Grave for details. Ideally, Find a Grave would someday allow me to download my virtual cemetery in a spreadsheet or pdf format. Wouldn't that be even easier?

So I'm going to add to my virtual cemeteries on Find a Grave AND then transfer each family's cemetery (one name at a time) to a Word document that can be sorted and printed for distribution to relatives. I'll also put a copy into my files for future descendants to see.

NOTE: RootsMagic7 is the genealogy software I use, but I'm not as proficient as I'd like. It would have allowed me to print a custom report if I had entered burial places for the people in my family tree. I didn't do that from the start, which means any report I create now would be incomplete. That's why I'm investigating these other methods of recording and distributing burial information so my family will not forget where the bodies are buried.

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