Not long after beginning my foray into genealogy four or five years ago, I discovered the wonder that is Findagrave.com. I LOVE that site. I was so excited finding headstones (and other important info) and I eagerly (and apparently thoughtlessly) attached them to my family tree. Traveling to cemeteries around the country is impossible for most of us and so I have been (and continue to be) most appreciative of those who graciously take these pictures and post them for us to see.
While I have always given credit to the photographer when I attached a headstone photo to my tree (including links to the original site), I never thought I needed to do much more than that since these pictures are on a free website. I should have known better. Although most of the people who post headstone pictures on that site are more than generous and happy to let us use the photos in our research, sadly there are others who get angry — really angry — at the thought of anyone using the photos in our trees. This is so unfortunate. Its like you can go and look but you can’t touch. I’d love for there to be a site like Findagrave where people post headstone pictures that can be freely shared without all these copyright issues. It seems like the real value in such a site is letting people use the photos in their research — on their trees. Having a picture of a headstone is often the only visual image we’ll have to associate with names that are too far back in history to ever put a face with.
Unfortunately I do not have the technological knowledge necessary to start a site that would allow this free exchange of pictures — one in which people who post their pictures would do so with the knowledge (and intent) that the pictures were there for anyone to use for their personal use in their research. I can, however, post a few here every week and share them with anyone who might find them useful. They are not always headstones from my family – though they may be similar surnames. Sometimes I took headstone pictures in case I someday connected the names to my family – sometimes just because a headstone looked interesting.
So, that’s my little soapbox. I can only do this on a small scale – but please, if any of the headstone pictures I post on this site can be of help in your research, feel free to use them. And now, without further ado, here are this weeks’ selections.
All headstones are located in City View Cemetery in Salem, Oregon. These photos were taken in 2007.