Saturday, July 9, 2011

Billion Graves

Billion Graves is a relatively new web site which attempts to photograph tombstones and locate them on a cemetery map using GPS codes. This is a great idea. They also plan to transcribe the stones, either by the photographer transcribing or by a volunteer coming along later and transcribing stones from photos online.

Billion Graves support told me the GPS is so "other people can know the distance they are from the cemetery." I tend to think it is more useful to locate the stone once you find the cemetery except in the case of a stone photographed in a hidden cemetery. What are the chances of that happening often?

To submit a photo you download an app to your iPhone or to your Android, snap the photo and upload it. It's that simple. You could do a whole cemetery in an afternoon in many cases. The app is $1.99 and, obviously, uses your device's camera. You can set it upload after each snap or later. You can chose to save the picture after upload or delete it. Why would would you delete it?

Don't have an iPhone or Android? You will not be snapping pictures. End of story. But you can still transcribe those others have snapped and not transcribed. Note that according to the software, an iPad or a new generation iPod will not work because only an iPhone has GPS accurate enough for this program. Thus only a select group may participate. 

You can use an iPad connected to the internet to tell you of cemeteries nearby where you are at this moment. And maybe that is what they are getting at in paragraph two above. "It sure is a nice day here in this county we are driving through. Let's see if there are any cemeteries nearby to photograph." I'm guessing that feature won't get a lot of use. 

It totally eliminates all stone photos taken before the program. This eliminates the ability of certain folks to collect photos from various places and post them as their own. But it also eliminates a lot of available photos. And it eliminates the photos I and others took years ago of stones which may no longer be readable or which may now be broken, seriously damaged or gone.

I think this is a good idea but it is not ready for prime time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

10,000 Dead People

Coming very soon - a database of south Logan County cemeteries. Rather than reinvent the wheel, go here for more information:

Logan County Genealogy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Elkhart Cemeteries

Saturday, September 25, the Elkhart Historical Society will hold the final public tours of Historic Elkhart Hill for 2010.  The tour includes historical and political sites, Elkhart and Latham cemeteries, and will stop at the Governor Oglesby mausoleum and the Captain Bogardus grave site.

For more information see their website at

Thomas Franklin Lucas

Thomas Franklin Lucas was born in what is now Logan County on April 14, 1831. He married Mary Jane Buckles, a daughter of Robert and Mary "Polly" Birks Buckles [and my 4g grandparents], about 1852/53 [records lost in courthouse fire]. Thomas was the son of John T. and Sarah Bowman Lucas [both siblings of my 4g grandparents James and Hannah Bowman Lucas].

Thomas Franklin Lucas died on February 19, 1855, and was buried at Steenbergen. His widow married as his second wife Abner Copeland, a son of William and Sarah Lucas Copeland, and moved to Iowa and then Missouri.

When I asked for probate papers on Thomas Lucas, son of James and Hannah Bowman Lucas, I guess it is not a stretch that I was sent the probate file - or rather a portion of it - for this Thomas Lucas.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sit for a Spell

This bench is the stone for Robert and Grace Rothwell Hamm in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery. It's unique, much like Grace. Doc Hamm was the dentist for years. Grace had been a teacher.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

John Downing, RW Veteran

The stone and military markers for John Downing at Bowers Templeman Cemetery. The DAR marker is cemented in because the first one was removed, apparently as a souvenir. Unfortunately, it has the wrong service on it. He was actually in Capt. James Scott's Company.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Old and New Stone

William Nelson Downing married Delilah Downing [no evidence of them being related has ever been found] and soon departed for service with the 106th Illinois. She was pregnant. He never returned, never saw his son.

He's buried at Downing Cemetery with his father and other relatives. She's buried at Bowers Templeman with her parents, grandparents and other Downing relatives. She and her second husband have an imposing stone. More than 20 years ago some of his descendants decided to give him a better one. His father got a new one also.