Even though Memorial Day began as a holiday to honor those who died in military service, it has evolved into much more. Today, this federal holiday has become a general day of memory for those we’ve loved and lost. Therefore, many Americans will be visiting grave sites of relatives this Memorial Day weekend whether they served in the military or not.
Today, I will honor some of my maternal family members and ancestors virtually with the launch of the – Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery - at FindAGrave.com!
FindAGrave.com is one of my top five favorite online resources to use with my family research. The idea to create memorial pages for deceased family members at the site came about when I read genealogist Taneya’s post, “Tombstone Tuesday: Filling in our Find-A-Grave-Entries,” last year. Taneya was inspired to create memorial pages from Susan Petersen at LongLostRelatives.net who wrote,
Every time I locate an obituary that includes the name of the cemetery where the deceased was buried, I check FindAGrave. Is there a memorial established for the person? If not, I create one based on the information in the obituary. I summarize any family history information from the obituary into the biography section. Read more . . .”
So lately, that is exactly what I’ve been doing – creating family memorial pages – and the process hasn’t been difficult at all! As suggested, I use information from published obituaries, funeral programs, and family information to round out the brief bio I post on everyone’s page. I add personal photos and tombstones if I have them. If I don’t have a published obituary, family information, or a photo to go on (which is the case for some family members who died at birth or as babies), then I use details from their death certificates to complete their memorial pages. A feature I particularly like is the, “Add relationship links,” that appears on each page you create. This feature allows you to add the link of each parent’s memorial page to the child’s page, which in turn links the child’s page to each of the parents’ page.
So far, many of the memorial pages that I’ve completed were already started by a FindAGrave volunteer contributor who visited the cemetery where my family members are interred and either uploaded a photo of the tombstone, or added basic details about them from cemetery logs. Once I connected with the contributor, they quickly transferred the management of the memorial page over to me to complete. As a result of my linking, my Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery was established and other virtual family cemeteries will soon follow.
To my family, have a wonderful Memorial Day! And as FindAGrave.com suggest, “[t]ake the time to go out to your local cemetery this weekend. Visit a friend or family member or just enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Can’t make it to a real cemetery?” Then take a virtual stroll through the Chapple Family Virtual Cemetery by clicking below and leave some virtual flowers if you like!