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As I delve into my family history, I celebrate every ancestor I find, and every record or scrap of information I can locate. But over and over, I run into roadblocks. Anyone who really digs for their family roots knows what that feels like. All these records and snippets of history I’m trying to find are out there, somewhere. But all too often I don’t know where to find it, or I can’t find it because I can’t travel to wherever my ancestors were born, lived, or died. But I realized something: every record is near somebody, even if that somebody isn’t me. As far as headstones and graves go, someone out there lives next to the cemetery I need. And who knows, maybe the cemetery they need to search through is the one in my home town.

So my friends and I started work on In building the site and its iPhone and now Android apps, we’ve created a framework that allows people all over the world to map out photos of all the headstones in their local cemeteries and upload them to the database. Once the photos are there, fellow family historians can transcribe the information from the headstones and make it easy to search, which puts unique headstone records only mouse-clicks away from anyone looking for their ancestors. By using the smartphone's location services, we can ensure that even when descendants are half a world away, they can not only see their ancestors’ information, but they can also see the headstones and precisely where those headstones are. Previously undocumented records end up collected in an easy-to-access, free-to-use location, and family historians anywhere can use this framework to build on their existing research.

The trouble is that even though we’ve built this framework, it won’t amount to much unless we have help from all over the world. And by all over the world, I mean if we don’t have help from YOU. We have the audacious goal to accurately acquire, transcribe and share at least one billion grave records, but that can’t happen without others who share that same vision...

Recently changed in this version

● Crashing during upload

Comments and ratings for BillionGraves
  • (43 stars)

    by Leesa Warren on 16/08/2014

    Was working ok at beginning. But froze when trying to download photos onto site. Kept downloading but nothing happened.

  • (43 stars)

    by Ismail Ally on 04/08/2014


  • (43 stars)

    by Brittney Boswell on 02/08/2014

    I can find a lot of my family on here.

  • (43 stars)

    by tanya popple on 22/07/2014

    My cameera on my samsung tablet and phone stopped working as soon as this app was installed,started working again as soon as I uninstalled it. Vety disappointing.

  • (43 stars)

    by Ian Northey on 15/07/2014

    App won't allow me to login with my account credentials, which work on the full site via PC browser...uninstalled.

  • (43 stars)

    by Stephen Adams on 29/06/2014

    Even after the update/upgrade to the new version that allows uploading from internal storage...I don't see the actual feature in the app...I could be missing something though. I browsed through the settings, and also tried multiple ways. Like going to the Gallery on my android phone and maybe there was a share feature? nope...then I tried the in app way, going to the cemetery section to upload a

  • (43 stars)

    by Keith Bowden on 26/06/2014

    I use Moto G Android with version 2.3 41 Most features work well but when taking a photograph the app hangs and takes anything up to one minute to capture it and save it When I first installed the app in February this didn't happen and the photograph was saved instantly. With the updated versions it now saves the image and a thumbnail of the image It was with this change that the saving process sl

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