Tombstone Tuesday 20 Oct 2009
Adventures with Find A Grave
Some nine years back, when I first started to think about gravestones as a source of family history, I joined Find A Grave and posted a scanned photo of my second great grandfather. Someone had already posted a photo of his gravestone. I can't say I have done much else with Find A Grave until last year.
I was looking around to see if gravestones of my local town were posted, found some, and read a message there denying a visitor the right to use a photo of a gravestone in his work.
I immediately went out with my camera took the gravestone photo myself and emailed it to it to that man with permission to use it in his book. [This started my investigation of a local surname PERKINS.] He is a serious genealogist with one book in print and another in progress. The surname Perkins runs in my direct line from David, buried here in Bridgewater, and then to his son Abraham who moved to RI and married Tabitha NILES.
Since then, I have been remembering to look to see if anyone had taken a gravestone photo I need or just to see how to get to a particular location. This part of Find a Grave has vastly improved over time. However, I have found some my own photographs posted without credit or permission. I consider this rude. I would have given permission.
Last week, I began my yearly research on which cemeteries I will be visiting next summer. Finding and photographing gravestones requires a lot of "doing your homework" before you leave home. I was blessed with finding the Niles Family burying ground in Groton, New London, CT with a good list of who is buried there, clear shots of the graves, a GPS location and a map.
However, I took it one step further, I emailed the person who took the photos to ask permission to use them in my blog and in the tree I am building at Ancestry. I was rewarded with a positive response almost immediately and was given permission as long as I credit her with the photos. She also gave me great directions on visiting this cemetery. This is exactly what us "gravestone hoppers" need!
This is the simple statement I am using: "Photo by Jan Franco. Used with permission."
I have pulled out my Niles surname notebook and reviewed what I already knew. There are problems with the names in a genealogy of this family. An article posted at Genealogy.com, titled, Genealogies of RI Families, Vol II John Niles of Braintree, Mass and some of his Descendants, by Joel Nelson Eno, AM of Brooklyn, NY says that this man, buried here is named Nathaniel. A look at the Vital Records of RI by Arnold, clearly says that this man's name is Nathan. [This is confirming evidence that the vital record and the gravestone agree and are correct]
In Memory of / Mr. Nathan NILES / who Departed this / Life July 5th/ AD 1778 / in the 78th year / of his Age.
Born 12 Sept 1700 in South Kingstown, Washington, RI [1700 NILES Nathan, of Nathaniel and Mary, Sept. 12, 1700. / Birth / North Kingstown]