04 November 2015

Resource Spotlight: Find A Grave

Find A Grave is a great resource. Sometimes, you can find the name, birth date, death date, parents, spouse and children from an entry. Some entries include an obituary.

This morning I added a few entries to the Hephzibah Baptist Cemetery. The church/cemetery is located on Strasburg Road in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County. The link here below will allow you to search just that cemetery or - if you click the scroll down arrow - all of the millions of entries in their database.

Search for cemetery records in Hephzibah Baptist Church Cemetery, PA at by entering a surname and clicking search:

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Now, I do feel obligated to remind readers that Find A Grave is a volunteer contributed database. This means you should use the database as a guide or a secondary source but not "the Gospel truth." Sometimes it is not necessarily through any fault of the contributor.  An example is William H. Still, a cousin.

I added William H Still this morning and noticed the discrepancy while posting. Through other sources - censuses, death notice, and death certificate - I knew that William was born 25 January 1846 and died 4 June 1916. He married Isabel McCorkle in 1876. His tombstone however flipped the digits in his birth year. It reads 1864 as his birth year.

A death notice - in the Ledger on 5 June 1916 - reads:
STILL - In Modena, Pa., on June 4, 1916, William H. Still, in the 71st year of his age. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral without further notice from his late residence, in Modena, on Wednesday, June 7th, 1916. Meet at the house at 2 o'clock p.m. Internment private at Hephzibah Cemetery. Please omit flowers.

Not only do other records show he was born in 1846 but the year makes more sense. If he had been born in 1864, then he would have only been 12 when he married. William and Isabel had four children. Carrie was born in 1879; Kate in 1879; Dorinda in 1881; and William in 1883.

Find A Grave is a great resource, like I said, if used as a secondary source. Often you may even find a photo of your relative. There is a photo on the page for William's daughter Kate. It is of her and her husband, Robert Lockard Russell. I have had contact with the contributor, who is related on the Russell line.

One final suggestion: take note of your relative's Memorial #.

I use Family Tree Maker (FTM). In FTM, pull up your person as you normally would. Select "Person" over on the left to get the above screen. Click on the "+" (mine is blue if that helps) to get a Drop Down Box to "Add Fact." Scroll down to Find A Grave # and hit ok. A field will enter on the right under your relative's photo. Simply enter the number. This will allow you to track the information later. While you're on that page, you can also add a burial date and location too.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.