Saturday, November 17, 2007

GenDB Cemetery Database Creator

The following article is from the Ohana Insight Nov 2007 Newsletter - now if someone would just index the Harrisena and Seelye Cemeteries in Queensbury, New York for me!

Spotlight on: GenDB Cemetery Database Creator

In 1946, someone indexed the headstones in a cemetery where my 2nd great grandparents and one of their son's were buried. A few years ago, I entered the name Martha Corey into the search box on a county website and watched as a page slowly appeared on my monitor. "Martha M Knight wife of Arnold Corey" caught my eye and I held my breath. I did not know Martha's maiden name but I knew she was married to Arnold Corey! His name appeared next as the husband of Martha Knight. Finally, their son's name appeared and I knew it was my family. Because someone in 1946 took the time to record headstone information and about 50 years later someone else scanned the pages and put them on the Internet, I found the maiden name of Martha Corey. I will be forever grateful.

We can be the anonymous stranger that helps someone achieve a genealogical breakthrough by becoming involved in cemetery indexing projects. Such projects are ideal for youth groups, service organizations and churches, and Eagle Scout projects. Why not incorporate an indexing project into a vacation or genealogy trip. Armed with a laptop and GenDB Cemetery Database Creator by Joseph Irvine, you can easily create a helpful index for yourself and others.

GenDB Cemetery Database Creator provides a place for entering the transcriber's contact information, the cemetery address, and information found on the headstone. Additional remarks and explanatory notes go into the comments field. The user simply goes from marker to marker entering the information into the program. The program saves the data as both a sorted and unsorted .txt file. This feature allows several people to work independently on their own computers. When done, copy the information from one file and paste it into another to create one complete record.

With GedDB you can share your index and become someone's hero. With the click of a button can alphabetize your file and create an HTML file for posting it online. If you do not have your own website, consider these options:
  • - Click the Projects link at the top of their page and select "The USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project" link.
  • - To contribute information you must register with the website. Registration is free.
County genealogy website where the cemetery is located - See note above for

I have three suggestions for getting started. First, look at indexing projects on both USGenWeb and FindAGrave to see if there are plans for indexing a cemetery in your area, then volunteer. Second, check with the cemetery for permission to index, see if an online index already exists, and get their rules and regulations regarding treatment of the headstones, etc. Third, if you did not volunteer for a project, decide on a website for your index and find out all their requirements. Some websites require a .txt format, others want it in .html or excel. GenDB Cemetery Database Creator creates the .txt and .html formats and you can easily convert the .txt file to excel if needed.

You may find the program on the Free Stuff tab of the Ohana Software website. Now, let's get out there and help one another find our families!

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