Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead.

Since today is the traditional day to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, I thought I would write a post about one of my new obsessions

From their website "Find a Grave's mission is to find, record and present final disposition information from around the world as a virtual cemetery experience."[1]  The good news about Findagrave is they have members that are prolific "gravers."  Gravers will go through cemeteries and record as many interments as they can find.  Therefore, you may come across the grave of a relative that is under the management of someone not related to you.

Apparently I joined Findagrave about 11 months ago.   I know this because when I sign in, it tells me how long I have been a member.  I really didn’t get into it until about 2-3 months ago.  

I started becoming more involved once I asked to transfer management of my grandmother’s Raquel Gonzalez’s memorial to my account.[2]  They do not recommend gathering your families’ memorials to your care unless you are going to remain involved and create “meaningful and accurate” memorials.  So with transfer of comes responsibility.  The general rule to ask for transfer of management is “Transfer requests should be for direct relatives within four generations. This would be your siblings, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”[3]

I later found my grandfather, g-grandfather and aunt's graves under someone else’s management, so I asked for those transfers too.  They were all buried in a family plot together. I was on my way to being hooked.  You can link graves for spouses and parents to children.  I decided I was going to do my best to reunite as much of my family as I could. 

I have done a pretty good job of finding my great and great grand aunts and uncles.  Since you cannot link siblings directly, you really want to have parents to bring a family together.   If, after a diligent search, I cannot find someone I am looking for, I will add them myself if I know the information.   My information tends to come from death certificates, but remember they may not be accurate.

I have found is that the cemeteries in Mexico are greatly lacking in participation.  Whereas you may be able to find the cemetery’s name already in the database, there are rarely the number of graves entered as you will find in US cemeteries.  (FYI, the site has poor participation for Mexico records as well.)

I have added a couple of ancestors to cemeteries in Mexico.  I will do this only if the death record states where the body was buried.  If it doesn’t state it, I do not assume it!

I have been having a lot of fun, and have found it keeps me concentrated on more recent family rather than “seeing how far back I can go.”

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