You're Invited! Transcribe 1 headstone today to help with Evan's Eagle project
Register for Webinar Wednesday - Pinning Your Family History by Thomas MacEntee

Cemetery Preserved, and Just In Time

You're not going to believe what happened at this cemetery yesterday, just one day after this Eagle Scout project photographed it....Here's the background.

Genealogists from around the world came together today to transcribe the headstones of one of our local cemeteries here in Idaho. In case you missed it, here was our call for your help. My son, Evan, is so thankful for everyone's support. His Eagle Scout project was a big success, and was completed just in time (keep reading to learn what happened yesterday).

The purpose of his project was to help preserve the Greenleaf Cemetery in Greenleaf, Idaho. He read stories and saw pictures of cemeteries being destroyed by vandalism and natural disasters. Even our town cemetery here in Middleton was vandalized a couple of years back.

This morning we visited with the head of the Greenleaf Cemetery District to give her Evan's report of the project. Evan explained that all the headstones had been photographed two nights before, published to the BillionGraves website, and that within the next week the cemetery's database would be created and be searchable. She said she's wanted to have something like this for years since people are always asking her for help in finding their loved ones there.

What she showed us next caused the hairs on my arms to stand.

She said that just yesterday, one of the gravesites collapsed. Not one of the headstones, but the entire gravesite. I had to see this and find out what caused it. Sure enough, there was a big hole in the ground. She explained that prior to the 1970s, caskets were made of pine. Pine disintegrates over time and when it does, it causes the ground above it to cave in. Nothing under the ground at this site was exposed and they'll have it fixed quickly. We asked if it was anything that our group of photographers had done to cause this, and she thankfully replied that no, the lawnmower goes over it all the time, and it was just time for this to happen to the 80-year-old site. When this happens, the headstone often breaks off as well and needs replaced.

So...thank goodness for Evan's Eagle Scout project. Every site in the cemetery was photographed the night before, including this site. And thus, due to the efforts of 20 of us here taking pictures, and hundreds of you from around the world transcribing those pictures here, the cemetery is preserved and even searchable.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Congratulations to Evan on his very timely Eagle Scout project! (It's fortunate that he wasn't there during the collapse.)

Job well done!

thank you good job

Great job! And Thank you!

Thank you for a job well done.

sometimes something happens and I either close my eyes or look to Heaven and I ask "God, is that you?" ... I think you just experienced a "God thing" and I hope each one of you has joy in your heart - cause you put joy in my heart.

I use to help my Grandmother care for the old family graves and she was very firm that we only walk around the outside edges of the grave, never on or across the grave. When I was young I thought it was respect for the deceased ancestors. Now I realize she was fearful that the grave would collapse.

This is what Genealogy is all about. Preserving the past for the present. Also leaving something for the future to see and connect with.

I love this article because I think photographing cemeteries is the best ever Eagle Scout project. I wanted my grandson to do it in Tennessee, but he couldn't get permission. Out of ten grandsons, three have completed their eagle projects, so maybe I can influence another one to do it!! Just added three family graves to Billion Graves last Friday. Makes me feel so good!!

The comments to this entry are closed.