Thursday, June 17, 2010

Robles Virtual Cemetery at Find A Grave

Let me acknowledge here and now that I have used the masthead logo above from the actual Find A Grave website. Hope they don't shoot me as I am a contributor to this wonderful and free site and utilize their logo with the humblest respect.

Most genealogists will be aware of Find A Grave and their contribution to the research of our ancestors so don't let me preach to the choir, as it were. However, for the Sonoran Jackrabbits family, La Familia Robles (The Robles Family) of Arizona, California, Sonora, Mexico (mainly) let me tell you a little about the site so that you also may become interested in contributing to Find A Grave.

Basically, it's a virtual graveyard. No, the concept is not as cold I may make it sound. Here in one place a person wishing to locate the final resting spot of their loved, and maybe unloved ones, may be found. The contribution of information regarding the deceased comes from people like you and me. We upload to the site biographical information, historical information, photos of the individual and perhaps (hopefully) their headstone marker to the cemetery where they are buried. There are thousands of cemeteries with millions of memorials listed for all 50 states and all around the world. If the cemetery doesn't exist on the Find A Grave site you may add it.

We don't just add our family information to this site, but others. Imagine how marvelous it is at midnight to find the resting spot of someone you have been looking for, for over 40 years and just never seemed to have been able to locate when you traipsed all over the cemetery in the heat and the cold where they were suppose to be buried. I know because it happened to me.

Around midnight sitting in Little Rock, AR, tired and thinking I'll check just one more name on a whim, I entered my brother's name, David Joe Vasquez under the Globe Cemetery, Globe, AZ search and to my amazement his name appeared. I clicked on his name and found myself looking at his headstone. I have been looking since I was 18 years old (that was awhile ago) to find his grave....even our mother who is 91 years old now could not recall where he was buried....him having died as an infant when she was 18 and too poor to afford a headstone for him at the time. The city records for the graveyard could not tell me which plot was his. But someone knew and has honored his memory with a beautiful marker.

Located, at last, because of a stranger's kindess to take a photo and upload it to the Find A Grave site. And there are probably thousands of stories like mine.

Now, here is what I think is the really cool aspect of Find A Grave. They allow us to create a virtual cemetery for our loved ones. No matter which cemetery they rest at we can 'bury' them at our virtual cemetery. That's almost inconceivable until you do it. I created a virtual Robles Cemetery where our loved ones from 20 different cemeteries are gathered together, so to speak. The link for it is below.

Find A Grave from a genealogy point of view really is invaluable. Gave great happiness to a 91 year old woman who now knows her child has a headstone to mark his existence. It was found from 1000 actual/cyberspace miles away. You can't put a price on that. But from a practical standpoint, while it's ALWAYS preferable to be able to visit the actual cemetery you are researching, it is not always financially or timewise practical to do so.

Robles family I challenge you to stop at that cemetery you are so used to just driving by, armed with your camera so that you, too, may become a contributor to Find A Grave.


  1. We lived in Tucson 1983-1994...

    Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. Thank you Dr. Bill! Your words are encouraging. I have lots of family in Tucson. Will be out there next month for a family reunion actually. I love Tucson.