One of my earliest posts on this blog was about Find A Grave and how it could be used to help you with your genealogy research.
It’s long bothered me that they had no mobile app that could be used on my cell phone. Certain since BillionGraves launched back in 2011, the lack of a mobile app has been glaring.
Last year Ancestry.com purchased FindAGrave, and people have been wondering what was going to happen to the service. The first big change luckily is a good one, the launch of a mobile app!
The app is focused on searching for cemeteries and graves. It doesn’t yet have any way to manage the memorials you’ve created on FindAGrave.com, or Virtual Cemeteries. One very important feature it has integrated, however, is finding nearby graves that people have requested photos of, allowing you to submit photos through the app.
One thing you might notice in the screenshot above is that it allows you to ‘Add GPS’ to a grave. While Find A Grave has never death with GPS before, it seems they are now moving in BillionGraves’ direction by supporting, at least in a small way, GPS coding of graves.
Do you use Find A Grave? Do you use BillionGraves? Are you planning on downloading this app? Have you already? Share your thoughts on grave-focused sites and apps in the comments below.
An interesting project people with Jewish relatives that lived in Poland should be aware of is the Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland. Started as a database of the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, it has expanded to include cemeteries in the following cities and towns:
- Góra Kalwaria
- Grodzisk Mazowiecki
- Mińsk Mazowiecki
- Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki
- Wysokie Mazowieckie
New cemeteries are added on a semi-regular basis. Most recently in September the databases for Sopot, Palmiry and Korczyna were added.
The database includes photographs of graves, although the photos are small and generally hard to read. In Warsaw alone, there are over 80,000 records.
If you have family that lived in any of the above cities and towns, I recommend doing a search and seeing what you find.
Of course, when looking for Jewish cemetery records for your research, always check out the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) as well. JOWBR has records from many countries, including 69 cemeteries in Poland. In Warsaw, JOWBR lists 5 cemeteries with only 591 burials, however, so clearly if you want to do research for all Polish cemeteries you’ll need to search both databases. JOWBR has 97,953 burials in Piotrkow that this site doesn’t have. Hopefully they will share data in the future.
For more information on JOWBR and how to use it, see my blog post from the JewishGen Blog: JewishGen Basics: JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).
My cousin who lives in South Korea sent me a link about someone who came across an abandoned Jewish cemetery deep in the jungle in Belize. Truly there are few physical boundaries today.
The pictures are not very clear, but the woman who wrote the post, Megan Wood, was traveling in Belize and came across an abandoned cemetery which had broken gravestones on the ground. I can’t see it myself, but she says in real life it was clear the image engraved on the gravestone was that of a Star of David.
Belize never had a major Jewish community, although some refugees from Sint Eustatius were believed to have settled there after their community was destroyed by the British military which took over that island in 1781. Jamaican Jewish traders were also know to trade at the Belize port.
The IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project (IJCP) lists two mentions of burial locations of Jews in Belize, adding up to only 5 graves, but certainly not this cemetery in the middle of nowhere.
The Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Register (JOWBR) lists 4 out of the 5 graves mentioned in the IJCP, but doesn’t list the names on the graves.
Who were these Jews and what were they doing far into the jungle of Belize?