Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In only three years . . .

     I have a friend, a genealogist for hire, who has authored many articles about our area’s defunct graveyards and done a lot of gravestone transcribing.  Not too long ago, he photographed and transcribed the stones in a local cemetery.
    When I asked him if he planned to post the photos on one of the several online cemetery or grave sites, he said he had destroyed the images after he was through using them to verify his transcriptions.   His explanation was threefold:  the photos weren’t very good, he didn’t have time to contribute them to an online site, and he took a dim view of sites that accept undocumented genealogical information along with photos. 
    A transcription is certainly better than nothing, but “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Any photograph, even if badly composed and/or badly exposed, can be a treasured link to the past. 
    Old stones are deteriorating and disappearing at a rapid rate and even new ones are subject to vandalism, mowing damage, weather conditions, and more.  What a shame to lose forever a photograph that might have been someone's visual link to an ancestor.
    See what can happen to a gravestone in only three years!
    Share your cemetery photographs.  Contribute them to an online grave site.


Rachel Hall's marker in Washington Street Cemetery, Middletown (Middlesex) CT from Buffalogen's photo collection