I have been neglecting my genealogy blog, don't you hate it when life gets in the way of genealogy research? But I have not been totally idle with my research. One of the things I have done recently is join the Find A Grave site. I previously posted about this site with some tips for searching for your ancestors, you can read here.
I have been using the site for awhile now and have found information about ancestors that would have been difficult and time consuming to locate otherwise. I joined for basically two reasons. I wanted to contribute to "give back" in hopes that I can help others doing research as I have been helped. Also I think it is a great way to honor my loved ones and ancestors who have passed. Hopefully the site will go on for a long time and there will be a record of my ancestors long after I am gone.
It is free to join and add memorials. The process is easy to follow. What I like about the site is you can create your own "virtual cemeteries". These are groups of memorials that you create and organize however you wish. You can group your virtual cemeteries by ancestor name, location, anything you wish. For example if you create one by surname you will have a list of burial locations of every "Smith" in your family on the site. The best part for me is you can download your virtual cemetery into an Excel file. That is why I have grouped mine by cemetery. So the next time I plan a cemetery visit I can download the virtual information and have a list of all my ancestors and plot locations which can easily be sorted in Excel. I know my genealogy software can do this but I have struggled with the report feature (Master Genealogist) in the past. I have not always been consistent with how the cemetery data is entered in MG since I started using this probably 20 years ago. You can check out my profile and virtual cemeteries on Find a Grave at Ravenwick, which is my user name there.
One last note about something else I love about Find A Grave. The owner is on Twitter and each day tweets links to interesting memorials. Many of these are celebrities (if that interests you), but many are interesting people in history. I LOVE anything history related. I have learned some facinating things by reading these memorials. You can follow Find a Grave at http://twitter.com/FindAGrave.