About This Project

Getting Started

How To Join


VA Marker Program

About This Project

We who research our family's history are good at remembering. We remember often and we remember well. But, our memories last for only as long as we are here. The purpose of this project is to organize volunteers who will work together to create a lasting tribute to our ancestors. We will transcribe tombstone inscriptions and have that work archived for the future and made easily accessible to all.

The tombstones of our ancestors were always meant to be lasting memorials to the lives of those gone before. Lately, I have been visiting old cemeteries and have been distressed to see how these memorials are suffering the ravages of time and weather. Many of these stones are becoming difficult to read and some have already gotten so faint that deciphering them is next to impossible. Fortunately, many are still legible TODAY. But, of those we can read today, how many will still be legible ten or twenty years from today?

WE need to record these tombstone inscriptions now---before they are lost forever to the winds and the rains. Though many cemeteries have already been recorded by various Genealogical Societies, just as many have not. And, of those recorded, how accessible is that data to the world? If we join together and do this recording, we will guarantee that our ancestors are not forgotten----that their memorials will live on so that future generations may remember then as well as we do.

What Can YOU do?

You CAN participate in this project, even if you live thousands of miles from the graves of your ancestors. If you live in California and your ancestors sleep in Virginia, you can record tombstone data in a cemetery near where you live. If you are in Texas and your ancestors sleep in Maine, record a Texas cemetery.

After the recording is done, the data should be donated to The USGenWeb Project Archives for the appropriate state. If you have already compiled tombstone information, you can donate that to the project. Having this data archived in a repository like The USGenWeb Project Archives will make this information accessible to the world. Many can benefit and the memories can be multiplied many times over. If you don't know how to donate this information, email me and I will help.

How To Join This Project

Won't you please join in this endeavor? Won't you please organize interested individuals in your area into a group to record this important data? Local churches might be willing to have a few members record the data in the cemeteries on the church grounds. Genealogy clubs and societies are a natural to participate in a project of this nature. Or, individuals can go out and record the data themselves. For example, my 14-year-old daughter and I plan to do this together.

We are compiling the data and forwarding the files for deposit in The USGenWeb Archives Project for the appropriate state. You can certainly donate this data yourself directly to the Archives file manager for the state. Either way is fine, since our goal is to get the transcriptions archived. Visit The USGenWeb Archives page for more information about submitting files to each state Archives File Manager.

Now, all that you need to do is to pick a cemetery to record and list that cemetery with us.

Visit The Tombstone Transcription Project's Getting Started Page for tips on surveying cemeteries, transcribing the inscriptions, and formatting the data.

Let's work together in this endeavor!

This Project is about remembering our dead and preserving our history!!!

If you would like to transcribe data for this Project, or if you already have cemetery surveys and would like to share that work with the world, please let us hear from you. Send a message to the State Tombstone Project Volunteer containing the following information: name of the cemetery, the county and state where the cemetery is located and the names of the people who will be doing the transcribing. Go to the main state page and send the registration or the cemetery information to the State Project volunteer for the appropriate state.

State Projects

Please use "Tombstone Transcription Project" as the subject line of your message.

Veteran's Administration Headstone Program

Headstones and markers are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), free of charge, to mark the unmarked graves of eligible veterans buried in any cemetery (national, state or private).

Headstones and markers that are deteriorated, illegible, stolen, vandalized, incorrectly inscribed, or are of poor material and workmanship are replaced at government expense.

Find out about this program.

There are special forms you need to complete to request markers for eligible veterans. Links to these forms are found on the above VA page. You will also find forms here to apply for assistance in meeting the funeral and burial costs of a deceased veteran, for eligibilty for burial in a national cemetery, to request information on requirements to permit a burial in a nationl cemetery, to request a burial flag and more.

Tombstone Page

State Projects

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