Friday, April 11, 2008

Find a Grave and the Super Sleuths

A friend of mine recently pointed me to the website. I registered and volunteered to find graves in cemeteries near my home. Once I find a grave, I take pictures of the headstone and upload it to the site. The site seems to facilitate this volunteer headstone service fairly well. Last weekend I 'claimed' my first three assignments. I decided to see if my 3 older children would be interested in this activity. After all, what could be more fun for an 11yr old boy, and 9 and 7yr old girls?

Ok, so I needed a strategy to get the kids interested in the project. My idea, ask them to help me solve a mystery. The girls are totally captivated with Nancy Drew and my oldest son doesn't leave his bedroom in the morning without a magnifying glass. As soon as the word mystery crested my lips they ran to get their detective notepads, magnifying glasses, and various other mystery-solving paraphernalia. I gave them the clues: name, birth date, death date, plot number. As we approached the cemetery they put their sleuthing brains together and determined that based on the death date the grave was probably in the upper, older, part of the cemetery. They noticed numbers painted on the roads that they figured out were way points for plot numbers and within five minutes had found the first headstone.

My super sleuths found 2 of the 3 grave stones last weekend. The third seems to be buried or missing. They're heading out on their bikes later today to find 3 more and get pictures. They are excited about helping other people do family history through their small acts of services.