BillionGraves is proud to announce the addition of the Veteran Finder tool on BillionGraves! This unique feature utilizes the power of GPS to locate Veterans in cemeteries all over the world!
With the BillionGraves Veteran Finder tool, you can now find any Veteran of any US Conflict, Branch, or Rank, anywhere in the world. (International military information coming soon) You can search by specific names, locations, cities, or search the entire county to identify and honor the brave men and women who fought in the name of freedom.
To use the BillionGraves’ Veteran Finder tool follow the steps below:
- Log into your BillionGraves account: (https://billiongraves.com/login)
- Make sure you have an active subscription to BillionGraves Plus. Upgrade to BG+ today if you haven’t already. (https://billiongraves.com/bgplus-buy-now)
- Search and navigate to your cemetery of choice using the blue “Search BillionGraves” button found on the top right corner of any page, as seen below. (https://billiongraves.com/search) In this example we have chosen the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
- On the cemetery page, scroll down to the map section and click on the BG+ icon in the top right corner.
- This will now populate a full-screen map of the cemetery. In this case, it is the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Click on the Veteran Search Tab and then on the “Show Veterans” toggle. (As shown below)
- Using the options below, choose which Conflict, Branch, or Rank to search by. In this case, we have Selected World War 2 as the conflict and the Air Force as the Branch. For now, we will leave the Rank empty. Remember, start your search large and use the filters to help you narrow in your results. If you don’t see any results, try removing one of the filters or refining your search. When ready, click on “Show Veterans”!
- This will now search the cemetery you have chosen for all veterans with the criteria you selected. In this case, this map is of all the Air Force Veterans who served in World War 2
- You will also see a list on the left side of the screen that shows you all the details for each of the results. You can scroll through this list, selecting on any individual to expand their profile. You will also see that when you click on a result it will highlight their location on the map with a BLUE pin.
- You can also use the additional filters above to search by exact name, dates and by location. You can look at all the veterans in not just a cemetery, but the entire city, or county.
- NOTE: Load times will vary depending on the cemetery and how big of an area you are searching. For example, if you are looking in a national cemetery that has hundreds of thousands of veterans it may take a few moments to properly search. Especially if you are searching an entire city or county, it can take a little bit to search through all of that data! Be patient, the results are worth the wait!
- Here is all of the Air Force Colonel’s who served in World War 2 inside of Salt Lake County.
- NOTE: Use the “RANK” filter with caution. As not all headstones use the same abbreviations for any particular rank. For example, “Col” can return results for Colonel but also be Lieutenant Colonel because of how some stones are transcribed. If you do find an error in a transcription, please be courteous to others who search after you and update the record properly.
The combinations and discoveries are endless! Play around with the different filters, locations, to explore and honor millions of Veterans from around the world from the comfort of your home! You never know what stories you will find on the headstones of these courageous men and women.
We will continue to expand this feature to handle other country’s military information in the future. Our goal is to honor and preserve ALL nations veterans. If you have information about specific country military veterans, symbols, abbreviations, ranks, conflicts etc… please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love your assistance and expertise in identifying and displaying these incredible individuals.
In today’s world, technology is growing at a rapid pace. It is now routinely found in areas that heretofore had not even been imagined by our parents, let alone our grandparents. One such area where you may not have considered how technology could be used is in our cemeteries. Yes, that’s right, I said cemeteries. And, of course, it is the youth who lead the way.
“A couple of months ago I was looking for an Eagle Scout project with some of my friends, and my mom showed me a website called billiongraves.com that basically is trying to record images of gravestones and log their GPS locations. Since I am into using technology, that appealed to me right away,” said Cade Fuhriman, a 16-year-old high school student from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cade’s mother is Rachel (Frieden) Fuhriman, daughter of Martin and Deb Frieden, who grew up in rural Elgin and graduated from Valley High School in 1996. When Cade discovered that all the cemeteries in Utah had already been documented, his mother had an idea.
“I knew of a place just down that road from where my parents live, the Apostolic Church Cemetery, that would be perfect for a project like this. We checked it out and no one had done anything with it yet, so here we are,” explained Rachel, who now lives with her husband Shawn in Salt Lake City.
The Apostolic Church Cemetery, located southeast of Elgin on Abbey Road, was mowed and cared for by the Frieden family for a number of years. Cade estimates that there are more than 400 graves to be photographed and transcribed in the cemetery, several of which belong to his relatives. As we walked among the grave markers, he stopped to do a little cleaning and take a photo of his great-great-grandfather’s grave, Jacob Friederich Sr.
“There are many people buried here that are our relatives, including some with the last name of Friederich, Schneider, Butikofer, and Frieden. It’s just amazing that you can do something like this, which could be very helpful to someone searching for a relative who doesn’t live close by,” said Deb Frieden, Cade’s grandmother who lives just down the road from the cemetery.
The goal of billiongraves.com is to preserve at least one billion graves by using modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so that users worldwide can access those records from anywhere. The site can be searched by location of a known cemetery or by an individual’s name. It is relatively easy to use and anyone can create an account for free.
As Cade began the project, he expected that preparation and organization would be the most difficult part of the task.
“Doing some cleaning of the stones so that they will be readable when they are photographed will take some time, and I will have some family members helping me with that. I also have a group of 8 to 10 fellow Scouts who will help me transcribe all the information from the stones into billiongraves.com. I have to make sure that we aren’t redoing graves that may have already been done and that we aren’t overlooking any, as well,” said the aspiring Eagle Scout.
Fuhriman is a member of Troop 7630, which is in the Great Salt Lake Council in Utah. He is hoping that after he returns home, he can complete the project within a couple of weeks. As of this writing, 502 images had been entered into billiongraves.com for the Apostolic Cemetery, which is actually located just across the county line in Clayton County.
“When I was researching the Apostolic Cemetery, I noticed that of the 127 cemeteries listed in Clayton County, only four of them had documented photos. There seems to be plenty of opportunity for anyone else who is interested in doing something like this to help document their family or community history,” observed Cade.
Billiongraves.com has partnered with familysearch.org and myheritage.com to assist those who have a desire to discover more about their family history through the use of technology. Anyone who creates an account on billiongraves.com can become involved in the transcription of gravestone photos already uploaded by others like Cade. If you are interested in taking photos of gravestones, the first step is to determine if a cemetery has been documented and to what extent. After downloading the billiongraves.com app on a smart phone, you can visit the cemetery to take photographs and add to the site any information that has not already been recorded.
It might interest some to know that a search of Fayette County on billiongraves.com currently lists 59 cemeteries, of which only 11 have documented photos. On your next trip to any cemetery in Fayette County, you might want to consider taking your smart phone along and playing a role in the preservation of your community’s history.
Fuhriman’s interest in technology and his experience as a family historian consultant for his congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City made this project a perfect fit for him. Combining those two things, as well as the connection his own family has to the Apostolic Church Cemetery has been rewarding for him.
“I hope that when this project is completed, it will benefit people here as well as people who may not live in this area but do have an interest because their family has a history here. Hopefully having the information available online will help people make connections that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” closed Fuhriman.
While technology may frustrate us from time to time, there is no doubting that it can often be used to turn a daunting task into a more manageable one. By helping to create access to information in cemeteries across the country and throughout the world, you just might be able to help someone find that lost relative for whom they have been searching. Or, like Cade Fuhriman, you might learn a little about your own family as well.
In the heart of the genealogy world, Salt Lake City, Utah, we observe a State Holiday on the 24th of July called “Pioneer Day”. Not only is this an excuse to enjoy a parade, fire up the BBQ, and light off more fireworks; in Utah we celebrate the first settlers reaching the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
Pioneers – The Genealogists Headache?
Utah’s pioneers are just one out of countless examples of excursions made by millions of people across uncharted lands in the pursuit of life, opportunity, and freedom. History books in every Nation are filled with countless stories of courageous families trenching into the unknown to build a better future.
So what does this have to do with genealogy? Well, EVERYTHING.
Every genealogist, at some point in their research, must come to understanding that people/families may have moved at some point in their life. Advances in technology or resources at any moment in history have had an enormous effect on the movement and expansion of families. This “mobile era” is a source of frustration for MANY genealogists.
The Secret to Finding Your Pioneering Ancestors
BillionGraves’ Global Family feature shows you all the people with the same last name everywhere in the world on one map. “How does this help me?” Well, here’s one example. Are you looking for family in the 19th century that lived in the mid-west? Perhaps they were part of one of many excursions west. Were they a part of the Oregon Trail? The California Gold Rush? Manifest Destiny? BillionGraves’ Global Family feature allows you to look at cemeteries along these routes that contain families to any given last name.
For example, here are all the burials of the “Washington” family throughout the United States. Looking at the dates on the headstones you can see that the Washington Family DID travel west. Homesteading in California, Oregon, Arizona, and even some in Utah.
Global Family Is KEY to finding your Pioneers!
Thanks to BillionGraves’ invaluable GPS data, genealogists are connecting families across time AND geography.
So the next time you suspect a pioneering family, use the Global Family feature on BillionGraves to quickly and easily find those elusive family members! Once you find those family members, don’t forget to read the inscription of those stones for any clues to their relationship or any other family members.
You never know what treasures you will find on headstones. Who knows; you could be one search away from finding those elusive family members or breaking through your genealogy “brick walls”!
Don’t take our word for it. Read what EllenRT, a long time genealogist, and BillionGraves volunteer has to say about BillionGraves…
“Thanks to [Global Family] I found the grave of my GGGrandfather in a cemetery that I would have never searched. I have been looking for his gravesite for more than 30 years!”
BillionGraves’ GPS technology shows you the family members you NEED by looking at who is around the world. Thanks to our better GPS data, you just found more family!
Thousands of genealogists around the world use BillionGraves’ Plus services to use better data to find family for them. Upgrade your account today and use BillionGraves’ POWERFUL tools and BETTER data to add family to your family tree!
Why is having GPS on every headstone in BillionGraves SO important?! This is another question we get a lot. It’s time to set the record straight and show you the SECRET to finding more family with GPS!
Why GPS Matters.
Every headstone on BillionGraves has the exact GPS location attached. “Why is this important?” you may ask… GPS tagged records are tangible proof thatVALIDATES every record on BillionGraves.
Thomas Jefferson is buried in a small cemetery in Virginia. Coincidentally passing away on the 4th of July 1826. The very day we celebrate his actions for signing the Declaration of Independence. (View his BG record here)
Let’s use the first search tool used by genealogists on BG to find more family and just do a basic search for other people with the last name “Jefferson” in the same cemetery. This returns 8 results. Not bad for the first search! But… BillionGraves can do SO much better!
BillionGraves Helps you Find MORE!
If we were like any other site, that’s about as far as you could go on a basic search. But BillionGraves is NOT like any other site. We have the GPS location of not just the grave for Thomas, but for the entire cemetery! This means we can look at exactly where Thomas is buried AND look at the graves nearby to find even more information!
We know that more than 70% of people are buried in family plots. Using the BillionGraves Plus Nearby Graves tool, we can see who is buried nearby Thomas regardless of their last name. Notice how this search shows several people buried within a few feet of Thomas. In total, we actually find a total of 18 people buried within 25 feet with the last names of Randolph, Carr, Eppes and more. A quick look at these headstones shows inscriptions of their relationship to Thomas Jefferson!
Thanks to the GPS coordinates and the Nearby Graves tool on BillionGraves Plus, we were able to find 10 more people that are related to Thomas Jefferson in just a matter of minutes, that we wouldn’t have found otherwise!
Use Nearby Graves in Your Research
What does this mean for you? That’s simple! When you find someone on BillionGraves, don’t just stop there. Look at the headstones surrounding their gravesite using the Nearby Grave tool in BillionGraves Plus. Read the inscription of those stones for any clues to their relationship or any family members. You never know what treasures you will find on headstones. Who knows; you could be one search away from finding those elusive family members or breaking through your genealogy “brick walls”!
Don’t take our word for it. Read what Richard Sayre CG, CGL, FUGA, instructor and professional genealogist has to say about BillionGraves…
“The BG+ tools represent a significant and unique analytical capability for genealogists. With the ability to display family plots and nearby graves, potential relationships are readily identifiable.“
BillionGraves’ GPS technology shows you the family members you NEED by looking at who is buried nearby. Thanks to our better GPS data, you just found more family!Read More
Million More in May Madness 2016
Happy May 1st, BillionGravers!
That’s right. It’s already May and you know what that means! We’ve made it to our most exciting month of the year. It’s warm outside, the trees are green, the flowers have bloomed, and it’s time for our favorite event of the year – The 5th Annual Million More in May Competition! We have an AMAZING prize this year! Keep reading to find out what we are giving away to all BG users who participate!
What is it?
The Million More in May Competition is a friendly event geared towards adding 1 Million (yes, that’s a 1 with six zeros behind it!) unique images, and 1 Million additional records transcribed and added to the BillionGraves database. Last year we got 668,233 photos and 579,793 transcriptions! With all the new users and wonderful weather we could easily reach our 1 million record goal, and make a lot of people, looking for those records, eternally grateful for the hard work.
If you have one, pull out your calculator watches and lets look at how EASY reaching 1 million records really is!
- We have 600,00 BillionGraves Users
- Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 records
If only 1% of our users (6000 users) go out and takes only 167 photos or transcribes 167 records, we will easily hit the 1 million photos and transcriptions mark!
If every one of our 600,000 users go out and takes only 2 images or transcribes 2 records, we will hit the 1 million photos and transcriptions mark!
It is VERY easy to hit our 1 million photo and record goal, but we NEED YOUR HELP TO DO IT!!
Now, for those of you that really want to help and earn something while you are at it, we are stepping it up this month and bringing back a GREAT prize!
(Let’s face it, everyone likes FREE stuff!)
As always, the greatest reward for your efforts comes from knowing that you are preserving invaluable genealogical records as well as making them readily available for family members to locate. It’s not worth getting 1 million records if they aren’t done correctly!!
PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE follow all the guidelines for taking the “PERFECT” picture! Need a refresher? Read this great article about the 7 ways to become the photographer that every genealogists loves! Remember with our new photo rating system that our transcribers will be making sure that QUALITY photos are the only kind of photos acceptable! Any blurry or poor photos will removed from your total. We love doing competitions like this, but we all need to remember that quality is ALWAYS better than quantity!
|Note: All photos and transcriptions will be audited throughout the competition. Any photos that do not adhere to the strict guidelines found in the article HERE will be disqualified from the competition.|
However, we’ve got a little something that might help get you outside and into the cemeteries with your smartphones (Download the iOS App HERE, Download the Android App HERE, Download the Windows App HERE) –
If you upload 50,000 unique images, or transcribe 25,000 records, we will give you a brand new, 16GB (4G-LTE capable) Apple iPad Mini!*
Additionally for any user that uploads 25,000 photos or transcribes 15,000 transcriptions will receive a Fitbit activity tracker!*
That’s right, this isn’t a drawing for one iPad mini! EVERY user that uploads over 50,000 unique photos or transcribes 25,000 records will get their very own iPad mini, straight from Apple and unlocked to be compatible with any cell carrier.* Additionally for EVERY user that uploads 25,000 photos or transcribes 15,000 transcriptions will receive a Fitbit activity tracker! For all users that upload more than 2,500 photos or complete 500 transcriptions they will receive 1 free month credit to the BillionGraves Plus services!
*For users in countries where Apple products are not offered or compatible with carriers you will receive a gift card of equivalent or equal value.* *Limit 1 prize per username. For clarity: If user uploads more than 50,000 photos or 25,000 transcriptions they will only receive the iPad mini and not both prizes.* *All users who earn the 1 free month credit will receive the credit IN ADDITION to their other prizes earned during the competition.*
A SPECIAL NOTE FROM BILLIONGRAVES:
Taking 50,000 photos and transcribing 25,000 records is no small feat! Only a small handful of people have ever achieved it, and they did it for free! This time, we want to show our users, who really go the extra mile, our gratitude! We know not everyone will be able to reach 50,000. It would not be such an accomplishment if it were easy!
We want to give an iPad away to everyone!! Unfortunately, BillionGraves is a FREE site and we want to keep it that way! Remember, our goal is to document the world’s cemeteries and make it available to anyone and everyone for FREE!
We like to spice things up every now and then with prizes and give-aways! So for anyone who wants to step up and be apart of a very small elite group of volunteers, this month’s prize is just for you!
Some Helpful Tips
• Register! It’s 100% free and 100% necessary if you’re going to participate in this competition. Make sure once you register that you verify your email! To claim your prize we will communicate with you through the email you provide and verify.
• Make it a habit. Go to the cemetery regularly—incorporate a local cemetery into your daily walk or bike ride, and snap some pictures along the way.
• Follow your progress on our leaderboard! We have fancy graphics that will track your progress every step of the way! The leaderboard is not in real time. Please allow 24 hours for numbers to reflect accurately! Remember that photos that are flagged by transcribers will be removed from your totals, so the totals may vary daily. Don’t forget you can always correct any images that are flagged. Learn more about fixing flagged images here.
• A word of advice: don’t wait for Memorial Day. The decorations at the cemetery for that holiday actually make it MORE difficult to collect images—people have to transcribe the content, and flower arrangements and other decorations can easily obscure that important content.
• Contest begins May 1, 2016 and ends May 31, 2016 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST)
| A great way to reach your goal is to grab your friends and head out to the cemetery as a group!
If everyone in the group logs their different devices into one account, your efforts will be combined, making it easier to hit your goal! Once you hit the 50,000 photo goal or 25,000 transcription goal, switch it up and combine efforts under another person in the group and earn multiple devices!
So make it a group effort! Get a few friends/family members out at a time, log in to the same account, and take as many pictures as you can in one outing. For example, a husband/wife team could get an iPad Mini together by taking 25,000 images each, which is less than many users do in a month by themselves.
Note: Only one prize will be given per username, and will be shipped to the username the efforts are performed under.
“What?! BillionGraves isn’t really going to give out an iPad… are they?!”
YES we really are giving out an iPad mini! Still don’t believe us? Ask Nancy Alford, Melyssawebb, jodie1, Paulwuzhere, William, FionaNZ or liallee and see if we were kidding? Here is Fiona enjoying the iPad mini she won during a competition!
The Fine Print. (Cause we have to have fine print, right?)
- All photos and transcriptions must be submitted before the closing date of May 31, 2016 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST). Any submissions after that point will be excluded from the final results.
- This promotion is intended for photographers and transcribers. Let’s go outside!
- Supporting records will NOT be counted towards the monthly totals. Only images that originate from the genuine BillionGraves apps will be accepted.
- If you or another user marks a headstone picture as “bad” we deduct it from the uploader’s total images.
- For transcribers, we will be looking extra hard at the quality of transcriptions as well. We will erase the record and have it re-transcribed if it’s not done correctly. Any record not transcribed correctly will be deducted from your total.
- In the off chance that we don’t have enough images to transcribe, GO TAKE PICTURES! We will allow both photos taken and transcriptions completed to count ONLY if there are no photos left in the transcription queue.
- Make sure you have permission and are welcome to take pictures in your local cemetery before doing so. Remember, private cemeteries require permission of the owner before taking any pictures. No one likes a trespasser! Not cool!
- This promotion is open to all to participate ages 13 and above for free. Registration is required. (Register HERE. Come on.You know you want to. It’s free!)
- More than one individual may contribute to a single account, however, the limit is one prize redemption per BillionGraves account. The prize will be claimed by only the username the combined work was completed under. BillionGraves will not arbitrate any disputes. ALL RECORDS MUST BE UNDER ONE ACCOUNT. BILLIONGRAVES WILL NOT COMBINE ACCOUNTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
- Items will ship in 6-8 weeks after contest closes for winners in the U.S. International winners please allow 8-12 weeks for items to be delivered.
- Due to current world-unrest, some areas may increase the amount of time it takes for prizes to be delivered. If for some reason your country isn’t compatible with iPad Mini or FitBit, we will work with you to provide you with a prize that is equal in value.
- Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
- Winner will be required to provide completed tax forms for redemption of the prize
- REQUIRED: ALL PRIZES MUST BE CLAIMED WITH PROPER MAILING/DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS BY THE 15TH OF JUNE OR YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE PRIZE! WE WILL SEND OUT CONFIRMATION EMAILS BY THE 3RD OF JUNE. IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL ASKING FOR YOUR ADDRESS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING IT TO US BY THE 15TH AT HTTP://BILLIONGRAVES.COM/SUPPORT.
We’re super excited for this amazing competition! Now, get outside and earn yourself a free iPad Mini! Good luck!
-The BillionGraves TeamRead More