Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Find Your Relative's Grave

Recently, I stumbled upon some wonderful photos taken by Natalie Maynor of churches and cemeteries in Mississippi, some of which I have used on my blogs. Although Ms. Maynor has taken photographs of churches and cemeteries located throughout the United States and in some foreign countries, it seems to me that she had taken a majority of her photos in Mississippi. Somewhere along the way, I found a website that contained some of her pictures that I had already viewed elsewhere on the web.

That website was

According to a writeup on the site, Jim Tipton, its founder, created the website in 1995 to foster his hobby of "visiting the graves of famous people." What he discovered was that many thousands of people living around the world shared his somewhat odd hobby. So what started out as a hobby turned into a livelihood and a passion for Mr. Tipton. Presently, thousands of contributors from around the world have assisted in compiling approximately 27 million records, and through the efforts of volunteers like Ms. Maynor, "thousands of contributors from around the world enter new records, thousands use the site as an education reference tool, and long-lost loved ones are located......"

Mr. Tipton's venture is now located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ms. Maynor is a volunteer for this project and is a self-named "graver." Being a "graver" means that she receives a request to find a grave and travels to the area where the cemetery is believed to be located. Once she finds the actual cemetery and the gravesite, Ms. Maynor photographs both the cemetery and the gravestone.

She says that she loves what she does.

Many of you who are reading this may have already found and used the website above. If you have not visited there, I strongly encourage you to do so. Although the cemetery listings are not always complete, the website includes an abundance of wonderful information that sometimes includes a photo of the deceased, a photo of the headstone, and maybe some genealogical or family history data that often connects family members buried in the same cemetery. Another feature of the website and the project is that photographs and genealogical information can be submitted directly by family members or loved ones.

I hope that we as genealogists and "Graveyard Rabbits" can assist in some way to help complete the information available on this helpful website.


  1. I really love Find a Grave. It would be great if one day it could be a "one stop shopping" sort of place for anyone who was trying to find a relative!

  2. Good morning. Natalie is a great person and very dedicated graver. I met her when I joined Find-A-Grave and I love it too.

    I'm looking forward to reading your blog in the future and I think what you do is so important.