We work hard to provide greater access to family history information and so were thrilled to be awarded the Presidential Citation at the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) conference this past weekend, along with BillionGraves, for our partnership in promoting the preservation of international burial locations.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies was established in 1976 and represents more than 500 member genealogy and history societies, including over a half-million individual members. You can learn more about FGS in our genealogy society spotlight blog post.
Gravestones are a great resource for family history investigation and a useful tool to learn more about your ancestors. They provide detailed information such as names, dates of birth and death and often describe personality. However, natural wear and tear means that these important family history sources need to be preserved before it’s too late. Together, MyHeritage and BillionGraves launched a global initiative to digitize cemeteries and gravestones to preserve these gravestones by making them accessible for free online to millions to aid in their family history research.
Watch the video below to hear MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet explain the tremendous importance of this project and the value of gravestones for genealogy.
Our generation has the necessary tools, and it’s our responsibility to get the world’s gravestones online before their inscriptions erode. You can see how easy it is for anyone to get involved and help to preserve these important pieces of family history for future generations.
Anyone can join the global initiative to upload new photos using the free BillionGraves mobile app including adding exact GPS coordinates to make it easier for people to locate and visit the gravestone they have found.
The photographs are then transcribed by volunteers on the BillionGraves website, resulting in searchable digital data. All records uploaded to the app are then added to SuperSearch and to BillionGraves, to search for free.
As we continue in this worthy goal, with your help, millions of people can discover the final resting place of their ancestors and the information it includes. Learn more about the initiative and join others digitizing the cemeteries and bringing more access to family history online. You can read more about how MyHeritage employees kick-started the initiative by digitizing one of the oldest cemeteries in Israel.
Have you discovered any new family history information through gravestones? Let us know in the comments below.