The Gravestone Photographic Resource project is an attempt to provide a much needed on-line resource for family historians.
The project aims are as follows:
Please note that in some cases where the legibility is poor, names and dates shown on the online database may not be accurate.
Monuments become illegible because of a number of different factors:
Because so many grave monuments are being lost evey year it is becoming more and more important to record those that still exist.
This is why the Gravestone Photographic Resource needs volunteers.
Please try and help!
It is hoped that the project will eventually be self-financing by income from donations or the Google ads on the site.
At present the costs of the project not covered by either donations or Google Ads are met by projects founder Charles Sale.
The project initially started in East Anglia, England where its creator Charles Sale was based.
He initially indexed both church and municipal cemetaries in Norfolk and Suffolk as well as a number of other English counties.
Other volunteers have extended the scope of the project which now covers a number of countries beyond England.
The timetable for other cemeteries will be very dependant upon where other volunteers are based and how much time they can give to the project.
When the project first started all the monuments in a burial ground of people born before 1901 were photographed.
These images are then used to extract all names and details from each monument.
Once all the images have been processed, the information is added to the internet database.
The A to Z index is updated at the same time.
In some cases we have been able to use earlier text based surveys of churchyards.
These have allowed us to record information about grave monuments that have either become illegable or can no longer be found.
In these particular cases no images are available.
A comments/feedback/help request feature now provides a notice board on which visitors can place details of the families they are researching.
It is hoped that in the future schools will get involved with the project as it can cover many aspects of the curriculum.
The main reason why the Gravestone Photographic Resource does not charge for images is that it needs volunteers to help with the huge task of photographing grave monuments.
Please try and help.
The gravestone photographic resource project was set up in 1998 by Charles Sale to photographically record grave monuments and make the information they contain publically available via the internet.
Because of the huge scale of the project Charles decided at the outset to restrict the photographs to just those monuments that contain details of people who were born before 1901.
There were a number of reasons Charles decided to start the project:
From the very beginning Charles decided that the resource should be free.
A major reason for this decision was that Charles felt that because of the size of the project he needed to encourage others to also volunteer their time to take grave monument photos in their own neighbourhood.
This has be partly successful in that during the first eight years the project was running there was about one volunteer a year who has taken photos for the the project.
For the last four years there have been a small number of dedicated volunteers who have regularly added images to the resource.
However, during the last year there has been a great increase in the number of volunteers from all over the world.
Initially the vast majority of the photographing and indexing grave monuments was carried out by Charles alone.
However now about 50% of the images and indexing has been done by volunteers.
If you would like to know more about becoming a volunteer then please have a look at our volunteer page.
On the initial website started in 1998 visitors could download copies of the images directly.
As the size and number of images increased the cost of this could not be justified.
Now visitors to the site use a web form to order images which are emailed back to them usually within one or two days.
The project website and its associated database has been designed and write by Charles.
An important aim of this development was to ensure that the website was easy to use and accessable to all.
To this end it has been written in such a way that search engines such as Google are able to index every page.
This means that visitors searching for a specific ancestor are easily able to find them within the Gravestone Photographic Resource.
Indeed Charles now normally has to deal with over firty emails each day.
Most of these emails are requests for images and come from all around the world.
Because the project has been running for so long, there are now often times when an image is requested that has also been requested in the past.
On these occasions, if the visitor requesting the image has said "yes, I want my details sent to anyone else who has requested this image" Charles will forward their details onto the other person.
In many cases this has meant that distant relations have been put in contact with each other.
Although in the early days of the project only about one in ten people bothered to write and thank Charles for the free service he provides, in recent years over 50% now write and thank him.
Apart for the time given to the project by Charles and volunteers, the project has now almost become self-financing by income from donations or the Google ads on the site.
A number of visitors to the site have suggested ways to improve or increase the profile of the resource.
One of these was the use of "Google ads" which now helps to cover the cost of the web hosting.
Other suggestions have been to charge for images but as mentioned above, this goes against the ethos of the project.
There have also been a number of suggestions that both the project and Charles should be nominated for awards for what is being achieved.
Most of these suggestions have mentioned the UK Honours website.
If you think that the project is worthwhile then you can also help by: