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Top tips for new Genealogists
Grave Visits

Grave Visits often allow you to find out interesting facts about your ancestors. I take a digital camera and photograph the headstone. As I am concentrating on Jewish Genealogy I expect to find at least the ancestors fathers Hebrew name but sometimes if there is an office (and the official is friendly enough) you can find out the address where the person was collected from before they where buried!

But remember details are provided by the living relatives and can often contain incorrect information. You need to check spellings, age details and especially names of parents, which can often be recorded as familiar names and not their actual birth names.

If you can't get to visit in person , you can check "Random Acts Of Genealogical Kindness", at This is a group of volunteers who do look-ups, etc, in their local neighbourhoods. The only fee is reciprocity when someone has a request in your neighbourhood.

If the cemetery has an office, you might also mail the office one of those "one-use" "disposable" cameras. Include specifics on what photos you want, and include a return address label and return postage. If you can send the camera in a reusable box, all the better. If the camera has a lens cap, be sure to tell them to remove it . . .) The photos you'll get will be better than Polaroid's, and you'll have negatives to make copies if you want.

Often if you look around you may find other relatives buried nearby or even names spelt in a similar way here are some headstones I photographed whilst researching Arnowitz one turned out to be a relative saving me the trouble of an extra visit and allowing us to discover the father of the deceased giving us another generation to explore. Here are the ones that where not need but may be of use to you in your research.

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Last updated 07/01/2005