Friday, April 11, 2008

Find a Grave and the Super Sleuths

A friend of mine recently pointed me to the findagrave.com 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.

6 comments:

jeri said...

What a GREAT way to kid your kids involved in this! I can't wait until mine are old enough.

Tammy said...

It's great when their young but not when their teens. It just won't work. by the way, Great blog

Sue said...

Thank you for spreading the word about this Web site. Some of my relatives have been registered there for years! I have some catching up to do.

Motivating your children through their detective interests is great parenting.

Shelina said...

I love the way you involved the kids! If the cemetery office is open when I go, I try to see if they have a card with additional information as well.

Meri said...

This is a great site... I love the mystery angle in getting your kids involved. What a great way to instill a sense of excitement about genealogy! I took my kids when they were younger and they often call to tell me about something interesting they found in some old cemetery.

Mom said...

I have been taking pictures for the past year and I can't get ahead of the requests! Having a contact at the cemetery is crucial unless you have all day to look. Tammy is right about teenagers not being too interested but my husband has surprised me by his enthusiam. We have had some great times looking for other people's family members. I wish there had been something like this when my kids were little.