Sunday, January 11, 2009

Organizing All Of Your Cemetery Pictures

Hopefully, many of you have some cemetery pictures that relate to your ancestors.  It can get a bit difficult to organize these photos.  But I've come up with a plan.

My plan for organizing the cemetery pictures that I've accumulated is to use a format similiar to a book or notebook.  It follows the idea of one picture per page, along with a short description.  It can then be organized by surname, couples, location, or cemetery.  Each page can be easily created using a word processor, such as Word.  All of the pages can be easily bound at a Kinkos or copy store, or placed into a binder.

Let me give you an example:

Let's say I am going to make the page for my great grandfather, Monroe Dugger and his wife, Matilda Clawson Dugger.  Here is what I would do:
1.) Because Monroe and Matilda have only one stone for the two of them, I am going to list them on only one page.  (Although, you could just copy the picture and have it in two places).
2.) In my word processor, I would open up a new document, and for a header, I would type "Monroe Dugger 1885-1950 and Matilda Clawson Dugger 1886 - 1931".  From there, I would start to write some basic information for each person (birth date/place, marriage date/place, death date/place) in a list format.
3.) I would then begin writing, in paragraph form, a few details about Monroe and Matilda and their life together.  You might want to include the names of their parents, any children they had, where they lived, their occupations, etc.  The length of this can vary based on how much detail you have about the person/couple, but as a general rule of thumb, I always leave about a quarter of the page for the picture and details about the cemetery.
4.) Then I insert the picture(s) of the headstones on the bottom part of the page, along with some details of when each person was buried, the name and location of the cemetery (if it is in a particularly rural place, I'll include quick street names), and some small details about the cemetery (Is it abandoned?, When was it created?, Is it a family cemetery?, Is there a church that takes care of it?, etc.)
5.) Finally, I number the page and print it out (Remember, you don't have to number them in the "1, 2, 3" format.  You could use the first letter of the surname followed by a number or really anything you like).  Now I can place it into my binder and it is almost ready to go.
6.) Tip: Print an index for your book - so that you can easily find the person you are looking for at a glance.  This way, you don't waste time searching through your book to find someone/something.  Might I also suggest that you also make an index of the cemeteries, so that if you ever get curious as to how many ancestors you have buried in a certain cemetery, you can easily find out.

This post was just meant to give you some inspiration on how to organize all of those cemetery photos that you have.  You can certainly adapt this method to your own needs.


Janet Iles said...

Elyse, you have given us some great ideas on how to organize our cemetery photos. Including the information with the photos will make the stones more meaningful for yourself and for others.

Diane Wright said...

A great idea!! Now let me find those pictures!

Robin said...

What a wonderful plan Elyse. Thank you so very much for this wonderful tool. I would really like to see a photo of one of the pages you've done if possible just for visual purposes. I'm a visual person. LOL!