Websites launch partnership to preserve cemetery data

We The People: MyHeritage.com, an online family history network, has partnered with BillionGraves to launch a global initiative to preserve the world's cemeteries.
By SHARON BURNS Published: March 3, 2014

MyHeritage.com, an online family history network, has partnered with BillionGraves to launch a global initiative to preserve the world's cemeteries. The MyHeritage app also will be available in 25 languages and support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates.

BillionGraves is a free iOS mobile Android application where users can photograph and document gravestones for people interested in researching their family histories.

The application records the GPS locations of gravestones making them easy to find so volunteers can determine which areas of a cemetery remain undocumented. This maximizes efficiency and avoids duplication. The gravestone photographs are then transcribed by volunteers on the BillionGraves website, resulting in searchable digital data.

All records are available on the BillionGraves and MyHeritage websites. In addition to the photographs and GPS coordinates of the gravestones, an index of corresponding information, such as dates of birth and death, close family relatives and epitaphs, is available to search for free on MyHeritage's search engine for historical records, SuperSearch.

MyHeritage users also will receive free record matches — alerts about gravestone records that have been automatically matched to their ancestors.

“Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research. Although there are thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online. We're thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage.

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