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Being a not very old family history hunter and genealogy searcher, I love learning. Webinars, seminars, and online help interest me very much. There isn’t a webinar or seminar where I haven’t picked up a point or two, even if I’m familiar with what they’re discussing.

F-A-G_logo‘Cousin Russ’ covered the topic of Find-A-Grave on Legacy Family Tree’s webinar this week. I’ve been using Find-A-Grave for quite a while. Thought I knew just about everything about it. I mean, really, how complicated is it?

You take photos, you upload and add info. At members’ profiles, you can leave messages. There’s a photo request service — used that many times for relatives’ graves are too far away to visit. Searches can be conducted on tombstones or cemeteries. What else is there?! 😉

One of the things I wasn’t aware of was what else was available in my Contributor Profile at Find-A-Grave. Call it myopia, or looking at things with a magnifying glass instead seeing the whole picture, but I’ve missed an important tab in my profile. Even though I’ve used all the other tabs, I totally missed this one:

F-A-G_profiletabAfter hearing this was available, before the webinar was even over, I checked my profile. Oops! Two requests for edits were in there. Luckily they were only added the day before, and I took care of them after the webinar. In grabbing screen shots for this post, I discovered another edit request today.

‘Cousin Russ’ had other tips and points about using Find-A-Grave. Some were not useful to me, like using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of his photos. He had more columns than I could ever keep up with! But hey, it works for him, so that’s OK. I don’t take nearly as many photos as he does.

One of his tips was about visiting a relatives’ tombstone for the first time that you’ve found in Find-A-Grave. Before you go, study the photo(s) and look for clues, he advised. Are there trees, bushes near it? A building perhaps? Perhaps a larger monument in the background?

I’ve done this unconsciously twice with ancestors’ graves I was trying to locate in the cemetery after seeing their markers on Find-A-Grave. I recognized a red brick building that I’d seen in the background of my 3-g-grandfathers memorial on Find-A-Grave. It was a pretty large cemetery without a sexton’s office, so I would have been looking quite a while without my brain kicking that out for me. But it was good to be reminded of this helpful trick.

If you use Find-A-Grave, or are a tombstone lover (like me), view his webinar, “Find-A-Grave: A Research Tool.” [Free until August 27, 2014, then you need to be a member to view] Most of the time during it, he’s showing you real-time how he uses Find-A-Grave for various things and gives out very useful tips about each step. It was worth the hour for me because I learned new tips and techniques.

P.S. If you have Jewish or Italian ancestors, check out Legacy Family Tree’s next two webinars!

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