Kirkwood professor Gail Brown, coordinator faculty of the Geographic Information System program at Kirkwood Community College, has been working on pioneer cemeteries in Linn County, often with her Kirkwood students, for more than two years. Pioneer cemeteries are defined by the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries as cemeteries with 12 or fewer burials in the past 50 years.
Brown typically records information about each tombstone, including its precise longitude and latitude, then shares the information freely with genealogy and historic preservationists. She is interested in finding a way to make the information more easily and freely accessible.
According to Brown, there are hundreds of pioneer cemeteries in Iowa, and the old headstones are literally disintegrating or sinking into the ground. Without intervention, Brown said this part of history may soon be lost to preservationists, archivists and genealogists alike.
You can read more about Gail Brown's project in the (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette at http://goo.gl/4TnzG.
My thanks to newsletter reader Greg Brown for telling me about this story.
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