Doing Cemetery Research

Course Id: 2126-34
Continuous: Register any time and receive immediate access for 14 days.
Instructor: Lisa Alzo
Available Seats: 14      
Tuition: $39.99
Our 2-Week courses are designed to help beginning genealogists develop a solid foundation of research skills. While expert instructors are on hand to answer any questions, they play a far less active role than in our 4-week offerings.

You know you've been bitten by the genealogy bug when cemeteries cease to be creepy and turn into a place you can spend hours. Doing Cemetery Research will get you excited about exploring the final resting places of your ancestors and give you the knowledge you need to read tombstones, decipher plot maps and keep your research organized.
    •    What a tombstone can tell you about your ancestor
    •    How to best prepare for a cemetery trip
    •    The best websites for cemetery research
    •    What to do when you can't locate the grave you're searching for
    •    How to keep track of your cemetery research

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction to Burial Grounds
A.    Introduction
   I.    Definitions of cemetery terms
B.    About the Cemeteries
   I.    Differences among cemeteries in US and internationally (is this what you meant?)
   II.    Cemetery superintendents, caretakers and cemetery ledgers
   III.    Plot maps and Google maps
   IV.    Information and misinformation from oral family history
C.    About the Tombstones
   I.    Types of burials — differences by religion
   II.    What gravestones are made out of and what years they represent
   III.    Memorial stones, mausoleums and monuments
   IV.    Stone sizes and shapes, headstones and footstones
   V.    Flag holders and fraternal/historical markers
   VI.    Military markers and gravestones
   VII.    Symbols, weathering and hard to decipher words

Lesson 2: Tips for Trips

A.    Getting Organized
   I.    Doing online research to get prepared
   II.    Good websites for cemetery research
   III.    Keeping organized at home and in the cemetery
B.    Tools for Finding Cemeteries
   I.    Maps, streets, GPS and information in books
   II.    Parking the car, walking around and cemetery hazards
C.    Miss Manners’ Cemetery Rules
   I.    Rules and regulations of the cemetery
   II.    Seeking permission and cemetery behavior
   III.    Respecting the dead and cemetery vandalism
D.    Getting Help
I.    Don't go alone but who not to take

Lesson 3: Visiting the Cemetery, Sharing and Showing Off
A.    Learning from Local Cemeteries
   II.    Learning without pressure by using someone else's ancestors
   III.    Or if your ancestors lie near by, take a trip
B.    Cemetery Equipment
   I.    Packing a bag for the adventure
   II.    Emergency items
C.    Finding the Graves
   I.    The excitement of success and the agony of defeat
   II.    Emotional connections and finding balance
D.    Photographing the Cemetery
   I.    Digital camera tips and tricks
   II.    Manipulating the images
   III.    Mirrors, umbrellas and time of day
   IV.    Weather
E.    Looking for Neighbors
   I.    People in your family area
   II.    Family plots
   III.    Cemetery symbolism and family surnames
F.    File Management
   I.    Archiving, storage and software
   II.    Naming your images well
G.    Online Cemeteries
   I.    Social networks and Photo Hosting
   II.    Why you should begin with Find-a-Grave
   III.    To blog or not to blog
   IV.    Photos in your family tree online?
H.    Gravestone Addiction
   I.    Finding out more is the only cure
   II.    Sharing ideas with others
   III.    Learning to bore family with your finds
   IV.    Teaching others to help you