December 19, 2014

Find A Grave Is Making Grave Mistakes

Confused
I’m completely baffled by the FindAGrave site. Last night a lady wouldn’t transfer my father-in-law’s memorial (he is not deceased) to me; and today I asked for a transfer of John Whitmore, my husband’s GG-Grf and Medal of Honor Recipient, and was denied that too. Is there some  (monetary?) “award” for people who have the most memorials under their belt?  The dates on my FIL’s memorial are wrong and I was going to correct them, as well as add more photos. This woman categorically would not give me the memorial.
I got a nasty email from Find A Grave “Robert” today telling me that I had nabbed the memorial gravestone picture from the site, when it was my husband that took the photo. When I asked the submitter Kent Kooi to transfer John Whitmore to me, he said John had been designated as ‘famous’ and the FAG people wouldn’t let him! Hey, FAG people, you don’t OWN our ancestors!
I was threatened by Robert with being kicked off the site (no, I was NOT rude to them) and made to feel like a criminal.  Here’s the kicker. Unknowingly, I added John Whitmore’s info in a memorial last night with correct information on his death date. (The site has it as it appears on the gravestone, which is WRONG and was a mistake done by the Medal of Honor Historical Society when they submitted the info to the VA).  Today, they have used my info on the memorial, but told me to (essentially) take a hike.
A couple years ago I added my cousin William Livingston Holmes to the site and said he was “famous” and told them where he was buried. Wm. Holmes was the first sheriff of Clackamas County, Oregon. Wouldn’t you think he was a bit famous? No, they didn’t think so.  Someone has their priorities a bit skewed in my humble opinion.
This is a great site, but after these two incidents, I’m having second thoughts about adding more memorials.  Has anyone else had any problems like this with Find A Grave? I’ve been a member for 7+ years and this is a new one on me.

Followup On Recorded Ancestor Post

After I posted Your Ancestor Might Have Been Recorded On Tape I got a reply from my local library via email saying the particular manuscript and audio recording wasn’t something the Oregon Historical Society loaned out. I was kind of expecting that, considering the fragility of the records.

What I was told I could do is to contact the Society directly and ask for a copy of the audio tape and a transcript of it as well; and as for the William Livingston Holmes documents, I will have to think about what I might want out of them, if anything.

In order to get any of the records it will cost me some money, which I will have to budget for over time.  At least I know where the records are, and that I will be able to get them if necessary. I’ll have to make sure I put it in my “to do” list. It’s already a pretty long list. :)

The Flickr and Library of Congress Experiment

Genealogical research has taken some tough blows in the last few years, with the National Archives raising their fees to obtain records that rightfully belong to all of us, to county courthouses completely refusing to allow access to their records at all.

So, it was a nice surprise to read today on Flickr that they are teaming up with the Library of Congress with a new service to give you (the public) a small taste of the very large holdings the LOC holds. You may not be aware of it, but the Library of Congress has over 1 million images that they make available on their site, and have done so for the last ten years.

This new collaboration with Flickr is titled The Commons, and it gives the public an opportunity to tag or label the photographs seen in each collection. Not only are you able to see photos you might not otherwise see, but you get to contribute your reactions to them, which in turn makes it easier for all of us to find them. Keep in mind too, that it is entirely possible that you might find a photo of someone in your ancestry and that by adding a tag and/or a comment you help preserve our United States history a little more accurately.

Truckload of Ponderosa pine logs

Truck load of ponderosa pine, Edward Hines Lumber Co. operations in Malheur National Forest, Grant County, Oregon (LOC)

Personally, I think this is a wonderful collaboration, and I hope that all of you will agree. In doing my own research for my William Livingston Holmes biography project, I found a previously undiscovered set of drawings of Mr. Holmes house that he built in early Oregon City, Oregon. They were in the American Memory collection on the LOC site and added one more clue to his personality when I read in the notes that he built the home as a replica of the one he lived in as a boy in Tennessee.

Thanks very much too to Read Write Web for their post about this collaboration.

 

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