Martin Brown's obituary - a follow-up from Friday's "Researching with Geoff - Live!" webinar
The 5 C's for Success in Genealogy Today - free webinar now online by Barbara Renick

Another follow-up to Martin Brown - Photo Requests at Find A Grave!

This is a followup to the "Researching with Geoff - Live!" webinar and my recent follow-up post here.

Remember Martin Brown's obituary from The Seattle Daily Times? It told me that Martin Brown was buried at "Washelli" - eureka! The first thing I do when I learn where my ancestor was buried is head right to Find a Grave to see if they are listed in the database. If they don't show up, I then create their memorial. Instead of clicking the "Search 85 million grave records" link, I clicked on "Search for a Cemetery" where I typed in the name, Washelli. It found two in the entire world - both were in Seattle, Washington.

Officially known as the Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park and Funeral Home, it listed nearly 37,000 interments in the Find A Grave database. I was sure to locate Martin Brown's memorial, and possibly a picture there. He was not there. No problem. I created his memorial. Next, I clicked on the Request A Photo button. It then explained:

"Great News! We have 478 volunteers within ten miles of your Request A Photo location and an additional 2,074 volunteers within fifty miles."

I clicked on the Submit Photo Request button and was done.

Brown, Martin F - tombstoneTwo days later I received an email that my photo request had been fulfilled. Two days! Thank you to volunteer Karen Sipe! Now attached to the memorial were two pictures. The first was a zoomed in picture of Martin's marker (posted here with permission). The second was a photograph of it with other markers nearby. Guess what? His wife, Lillian B. Brown was immediately to Martin's right. Now I know when she died (1970) and I can pursue her death certificate and obituary.

Here's to another great genealogy day!


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Find A Grave is an amazing site and is always being updated!! I was also very lucky in my request for a picture of my fathers headstone. I also received it within 2 days! I was amazed! So many wonderful volunteers. Genealogist are among the most helpful people I have ever come across!


I very rarely use the "Search for a Cemetery" feature on Find a Grave. I feel this feature narrows my results too muchh. Instead I use the "Search 85 million grave records" and narrow my search by state and county. Usually, I will simply put in the last name. This allows me to find more members of the family. They may not all be buried in the same cemetery. There's always a possibly that the person you are searching for was removed from the cemetery where they were originally buried and moved to a different cemetery. This happened with my great, great grandfather William James Powell.

Here's another tip that you may already know. If you e-mail the Washington based, and give them the name, date of death and town, they will e-mail the obituary to you. It can take up to 6 weeks.

Sometimes it is as much fun doing small research projects on non family members, as it is doing your own. After many years of my own research, those "A-HA" moments come further and further apart. Recently did some research from scratch for a co-worker, and was amazed how many pages of notes I filled in just 2 evenings at the computer. Gave it all to her and her husband, and now they are working on their own. Thank you for the webinars and the ability to watch them later.

Thanks for the tip, Cheri. Here's hoping the librarians can find an obit for my long-lost cousin.

Just received an email from the AskALibrarian. They no longer accept email requests, but you can go online and submit inquiries.

Mary - their AskALibrarian service is wonderful. I've gone there many times.

Is the AskALibrarian service only for Washington State obituaries??

Yes, Sheila - this is a Washington-specific service.

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