Are you part of the movement to transcribe digitized records? Have you found your passion for this new art? Transcribing is an amazing development in the genealogy world, and there are volunteer opportunities all over the web. Transcribing is transforming the whole genealogy community.
Most transcription projects rely on a volunteer base. Because of projects like these, the number of people actively involved in family history work is growing. When the number of people interested grows, the wealth of information and connections made can only grow. This means the likelihood of getting “stuck” somewhere in your research should be diminishing.
Dig up the past
Usually people suggest you don’t dig up the past, but as family history buffs, we know that the past is full of great stuff. When you write your Mother’s Day card this year, show that you care about her life by finding facts, pictures, and memorabilia to share with her. If you have the chance to get together with your mother this year, talk with her about her life and her past to create connections with her and increase your own knowledge about where your mother came from and how she got to where she is today.
Give her new resources
Even if your mother isn’t a genealogist like you, she’ll love seeing her family in a piece of history. Find her parents (or grandparents) on the 1940 census. And if she’s on there too, even better!
You can also provide new family history resources by helping out with BillionGraves’ Million More in May promotion. By contributing to the headstone database, you are helping mothers all over the world connect with their ancestors.
Compile a book
Use your Fhnotebook account to create a small book about your mother. Use pictures you’ve collected, interesting stories you remember sharing with her, and important facts and dates to create a great, personal family history resource that she’ll love. You can easily create photo books on many photo printing sites, and they even have easy-to-use templates to get you started.
Get her set up with FHnotebook
Finally, you can help her get her family history research organized and digitized. Create an account for her. Set up notebooks with her married name and maiden name, and add a few pictures and documents to get her started. She’ll love being able to clip pages from the web and store documents somewhere where they won’t be forgotten or misplaced.
April showers bring May flowers, setting a perfect stage for the BillionGraves’ Million More in May promotion! During the month of May, all BillionGraves users are encouraged to go out and take thousands of photos in their local cemeteries. You can join in by registering and downloading the free app to help BillionGraves reach one million new records in one month!
BillionGraves has had an amazing first year. The number of records is growing exponentially. During the month of May, with volunteers around the world contributing, BillionGraves hopes to add one million new records to the database.
The BillionGraves team breaks down the goal into feasible numbers: if two thousand users take 500 pictures each, they’ll reach 1,000,000 new images this month. This still seems like a lot, but a beginning picture taker will be able to document 500 images in 2 hours or less. Imagine how many records would be recorded in just two hours each weekend in May. The new records need to be transcribed as well, and once they are, BillionGraves will have their 1 Million records in May added to the database, searchable all over the world.
At the end of the month, the top 25 photographers and the top 25 transcribers will be rewarded with a free BillionGraves t-shirt! If you’re among the top 25 in either category, you’ll be publicly recognized on the BillionGraves Leaderboard on the website. You’ll help motivate others to continue adding new images and transcribing records.
The BillionGraves database is a valuable resource. The information being gathering is not available anywhere else. Volunteers are documenting entire cemeteries, providing exact locations for cemeteries and even specific headstones within that cemetery. Then, when you search for your ancestor, you have the ability to see all the headstones in the vicinity—many connections can be discovered by locating relatives buried nearby the one you searched for. This information is priceless, and that’s why BillionGraves exists. So, when we all contribute new records, we all benefit from the information collected.
You can get involved by registering on the BillionGraves site if you don’t have an account already. Then, download the app for your iOS or Android device. Finally, visit your local cemeteries to take pictures during the entire month of May!
RootsTech 2012 is this weekend! We’ll be there, and you are invited to attend our session: Rob Moncur and Curtis Tirrell will present on using smartphones and GPS to crowdsource cemetery data collection. The session will be held in room 255B at the Salt Palace Convention Center on February 4 at 1:45 PM.
We will also have a booth open throughout the conference. Be sure to stop by and learn more about BillionGraves. We’ll even be holding a contest in honor of RootsTech. The contest encourages you to recruit your family and friends to the BillionGraves project, and then you’ll earn points for THEIR hard work! For every family member or friend that joins your BillionGraves team, you receive one point. And for every photo that your teammates upload, you get one point. So the more people you refer to BillionGraves, the faster your point total will grow. The contest ends on February 29, 2012 at 5 PM PST. If your team earns 10,000 points, you, as team leader, will win a $10 Subway gift card. Then we will hold a drawing to select our Grand Prize winner. The more points you earn, the more entries you get in the drawing. We will make a grand announcement about our Grand Prize during RootsTech this weekend!
Visit our RootsTech Contest page to learn more about the contest. From this page, it is easy to tell your friends about BillionGraves by sending an email or posting to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Start growing your BillionGraves Team and help us build to a billion.
We can’t wait to see you at RootsTech!