Have you been a selfish FindAGrave user too?

I was looking at freeing some space on my computer yesterday and “rediscovered” the directory where I store digital pictures of cemetery markers for people that are not in my family tree!  This directory had just over 3,000 pictures, in 59 different cemeteries, and occupied a little more than 8 GB of disk space!  When I am walking around a cemetery looking for a specific grave, I usually have a mental list of the “last names” in the area that appear in my tree.  If I see a marker with that surname, I snap a picture.

My options include:

  • Delete the files (seems like a shame)
  • Ignore them (I want the disk space)
  • Add them to FindAGrave, then free disk space

Upload pictures it is.  In the first cemetery I worked with, Oakland Cemetery in Indiana, Pa., I started with 228 pictures.  Of those, only 7 were for people who were not already in the FindAGrave database.  Some of the people already had pictures of their makers attached to their memorial, so quick delete.

Along the way, I started to get a different sort of message pop up that told me I had filled a request someone had outstanding for a picture.  That made me stop and ponder a few things.  Some of these pictures have been sitting, ignored, on my computer for a few years, and people were waiting and hoping someone would go to the cemetery and take a picture of a loved ones grave.  Selfish, yes I have been selfish.  After all, I use FindAGrave as part of my usual genealogy research sites.

As part of my renewed effort, I am determined to upload the outstanding markers, and make sure that all of the people in my tree who have located markers also have memorials and pictures on FindAGrave.

To that end, here are my statistics on September 1st, 2016 1pm.  When I began on Wednesday (Aug 31st) I had uploaded approximately 450 photos.  I’ve since started on the second cemetery, Greenwood Cemetery in Indiana, Pa, and decided maybe I should chronicle my efforts.  It is somewhat gratifying to use this FindAGrave feature to chart my progress.  Especially the number of Volunteer Photos Taken.  Sadly, these are requests that I did not set out to deliberately fill, but were filled as a side effect of uploading older pictures, but filled requests they are.

FindAGrave Statistics

FindAGrave Statistics

When I finish uploading these pictures I will update this post to reflect my progress and effort to become a less selfish member of the broader genealogy community.

Do you have pictures taking up disk space on your computer that can be shared with the world?

I’ve finished, all cemetery photos of headstones for people not in my family tree have been uploaded.


Uploads end of the day Monday, 05 Sep 2016!


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4 Responses to Have you been a selfish FindAGrave user too?

  1. Thanks for doing this! It makes a big difference to people searching for their ancestors.

  2. chmjr2 says:

    Good for you and a great job. I have filled a few (very very few) request and it does give me a nice feeling. I should take more time in this regard. We all can use the help in our family genealogy and this could make a big difference to someone.

  3. Sandy,

    Thank you so much for choosing to upload your photos!

    PLEASE don’t think the photo requests you filled “coincidentally” are any less important than the ones photo volunteers add. EVERY contribution to Find A Grave is a blessing to researchers who visit the site.

    I take photos every time I visit a cemetery (I’m sort of addicted) and add them to Find A Grave. Maybe someone is looking for the photo today, maybe they won’t look for it for years. Either way, it’s there when they arrive, thanks to contributors like you.

    Your progress is already fantastic – way to go! Keep up the good work!


  4. KTC says:

    I agree with you 100 percent. Anytime I visit a cemetery, I transcribe and photograph every stone I can. Why? First, no one should be lost or forgotten. And second, because I want to make sure that all relatives can “visit” their families’ final resting places, even if they are halfway across the world.

    Thanks for all that you do.

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