Following the success of the War Memorials Project, leading family history website TheGenealogist has embarked upon a project to help preserve the invaluable family history information that can be found on gravestones.
The Headstone Image Database is the only collection of records and images available as part of a UK genealogy subscription.
To boost the project TheGenealogist recently acquired Last Resting Place (LastRP.com), which has a large collection of photographs covering many graveyards.
This searchable transcript database allows you to view photographs of the headstone and see photographs of the church and surrounds. Maps are also available for the latest additions to the records.
Headstones nationwide are suffering from erosion, and burial grounds from closures for new developments. Often the stones are removed to create green spaces and then reused as paving or destroyed.
UKindexer.co.uk hosts the new volunteer side of the project
Volunteers everywhere are now offered the chance to join the project. With every headstone photographed or transcribed, volunteers will earn credits towards subscriptions at TheGenealogist or products at Genealogy Supplies.
The coverage is growing all the time with England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Isles and Cyprus already started.
Using the sophisticated search technology on TheGenealogist, family historians will be able to, with just the basic details, locate full information on where an ancestor is buried both quickly and easily. The search result provides full name, date of death, the graveyard name and the county the graveyard is located in and click through to view images of the churchyard and gravestone itself.
"We need to act now to preserve these crumbling monuments to our ancestors, which is why we are building the most comprehensive photographic database of gravestones. The information found on many headstones is vital to family history research and as time goes by we are in danger of losing this information forever. We are looking for further volunteers to join our headstone project, so if you’re a keen family historian or photographer, please get in touch!"
To sign up to the project please visit www.ukindexer.co.uk/headstone
With more records and images to be added throughout 2014, the project will prove a useful tool to family historians looking to discover more information about relatives in their family tree.
No other website provides the comprehensive service of researching the complete life history of an ancestor and then being able to discover their burial plot too in just a couple of mouse clicks.