Travelling the World by Digitizing Cemeteries

This sounds like a great project that will benefit many other genealogists. Michael Kerr and his wife, Sabrina Rowe, decided to leave the comfort of their home, and bicycle across Europe, stopping to photograph entire cemeteries on the way. All the photos are being shared with the community for free on MyHeritage and on

Michael and Sabrina have always wanted to travel, but they craved a deeper experience than just a short vacation that they were normally able to take once a year. In May 2011, they packed up and stored the contents of their Montreal apartment, and embarked on their journey. They planned to travel by bike to improve their fitness, and to enable them to see beautiful surroundings more easily.

You can read the interesting story in the MyHeritage blog at:


My family and volunteers from our Historical Commission and the Daughters of the American Revolution have been working on digitizing all grave markers in our County, Alachua County, FL for awhile now. We have all of the photos and I simply need to finish editing and up load the remaining cemeteries.
Jim Powell Jr
Wizard of AR


Here’s my experience with digitizing cemetery records. The end of 2000 my father died and I used the excuse of doing one headstone for doing another one for ancestors whose graves didn’t have one. I went to city offices where the old sexton’s record was kept and got information right off the old book itself. I had the headstone made, but recently I’ve seen different information on the individuals in Family Search and other places on line. I called the city offices and finally (after the insufferable automated menus), got someone who could help. He told me that all the records had been digitized, so he didn’t have access to the original sexton’s record. Sure enough, the information was garbled. The name was Johanson (they were from Sweden, and that’s how the name was spelled in the original record), but the digitized record showed Johnson. I guess that’s an understandable mistake — sometimes they even used Johnson instead of Johanson when they were alive (besides, Scandinavians are notorious for never spelling their names consistently). But the real reason I called was to get the date of death of the husband. It was recorded as “19014,” but fortunately it showed the burial date as “1901.”

Now, don’t get me going on census records!


Did you mean indexed, not digitized? Indexing is a person’s interpretation of a record, but digitized is ability to look at the image of the original record. Correct?


    In the article, I deliberatly wrote “digitized.” With, the user MUST TAKE A PICTURE of each tombstone and then uploads the image to the BillionGraves web site. He or she also optionally can transcribe the information shown on each tombstone or someone else may transcribe it later. However, in all cases, on EVERY tombstone has an image.

    That is not true of BillionGraves’ biggest competitor, Find-A-Grave. Many entries on Find-A-Grave are only transcribed with no pictures available.


    Thank you. I understand now.


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