Many cemeteries operate on limited funds, and they often rely on volunteers to help in areas that do not fall within their budgets. There are many opportunities for volunteers to participate in efforts to preserve priceless cemetery records.
At NAMES IN STONE, we offer a variety of ways to get involved and give you guidelines to follow as you pursue your projects.
Listed below are several different ways you can get involved in preserving cemetery records. For a group project, many of these options could be accomplished at once. For instance, one project could include transcribing and photographing headstones, and creating a cemetery map on NAMES IN STONE.
- Organize Cemetery Projects
Many cemeteries need volunteers to help with various cemetery projects, including: organizing records, matching paper maps with actual headstones, headstone restoration, and other projects. Contact your local cemetery sexton or city manager to find out what is needed in your community.
- Map Small Cemeteries
Family cemeteries and other smaller cemeteries often have no managing organization to preserve their records. On NAMES IN STONE, volunteers can create interactive maps of these aging cemeteries with unique on-line mapping tools. Link headstone records and digital images to every grave on your map. Learn more.
- TranscrIbe Headstone Records
Headstone transcription projects are a great way to preserve valuable cemetery records. Coordinate your project with a cemetery mapping project to digitally preserve headstone information and location. Standards for Transcribing Monumental Descriptions.
- Photograph Headstones
Many large cemeteries on the NAMES IN STONE database do not yet have digital photos of headstones linked to the graves. You can take photos of individual headstones and link them to graves on any map in NAMES IN STONE.
- Encourage Cemeteries to Join NAMES IN STONE
Most larger cemeteries are managed by a public agency such as a city, county, cemetery district, or a private entity such as a funeral home or church. If you know of a larger cemetery you would like added to this website, contact the management of the cemetery and inform them of this site. Encourage them to complete the Attached Questionnaire and fax it to 801-226-0394. A NAMES IN STONE representative will contact them with pricing and funding suggestions.
- Collect Cemetery Histories and Photographs
NAMES IN STONE is collecting histories and photographs of participating cemeteries to include on each cemetery's profile page. If you have photos or histories you would like to contribute, please contact us: Email Names In Stone Information.
Many cemetery projects are ideally suited for group efforts. Tasks can be divided and projects accomplished quickly. A few guidelines to be aware of before starting a group project:
- Train individuals in their various tasks and assignments.
- Make sure each person understands his role in the larger scheme of the project.
- Be prepared. Think through the project and take appropriate gear for the job.
- Teach cemetery etiquette to all members of the group.
Listed below are some group project ideas:
- Youth Groups
Cemetery projects are great for groups of volunteer-minded youths. Mapping small cemeteries is an excellent way to involve many teenagers at once.
- Eagle Scout Service Projects
Mapping small cemeteries provides scouts with many opportunities to gain leadership skills, organizational experience, and community service. Learn more about mapping a cemetery for an Eagle Scout Service Project.
- Community Service Projects
Volunteers in communities nationwide are helping preserve and protect cemetery records. From headstone restoration projects to mapping small cemeteries and headstone transcription projects, volunteers are a vital part of preservation efforts.
- Family Projects
Family members often share the same passion for preserving cemetery records. Whether it's a cemetery where your family members are buried, or a cemetery in your community, you can perform many different services to help. Mapping a small family cemetery is also a great way to preserve your family heritage.
Remember--cemetery projects are open to your creativity! Choose a cemetery you'd like to help, and find out what they need. Then follow these links to learn more about planning and carrying out your cemetery project.
A few things to remember for any project:
- Be courteous. It is always good etiquette to request permission before beginning a cemetery project. Always ask permission before entering private property.
- Follow cemetery rules. Most cemeteries have a sign posted stating hours and rules about decorations.
- Be respectful. Don't litter, don't allow children to play on monuments, and leave pets at home.
- Protect what's in the cemetery. Don't sit or lean on fragile headstones, and don't move or remove anything from the cemetery.
If you'd like to discuss cemetery project possiblities, or would like more information, please contact NAMES IN STONE: Email NAMES IN STONE Information.
Learn more about carrying out cemetery projects.