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Drapers link families through grave memorials

Meticulous work here

“The love of genealogy, family and community history led my husband and myself, to an interesting project to do during the months of Covid lockdown. It was something that we could do together,” says Lenore’s Holly Draper.


Using a website called “Find a Grave” to find a lost relative that died in London, England in 1894, they decided to add memorials for local cemeteries to Find a Grave, where the largest collection of gravesites in the world can be found.


Launching off the Lenore history book project that Holly was part of finishing up in 2011, the couple went to Lenore Cemetery, logged the names and took photos of every stone, all sides of each one, to include all family members recorded there.


“Once we had entered the memorials, we then linked the family members together, no matter where they were buried. We used history books, Provincial Vital Stats, the website Ancestry, and family members to make sure the information was as accurate as possible.”
They uploaded the photos of each headstone to match each person. 


“A nice feature of this website is that family members can add or correct any information on the memorial by contacting the memorial manager. To date, we manage 2544 memorials, and have done 3700 photographs.
“As we both are very interested in family and community history, we have completed 14 cemeteries to date.”


The Drapers travelled all the way to Inglis Cemetery near Russell. Some of the local cemeteries included are Johnson Cemetery near Oak Lake, Scotia Cemetery, Tarbolton, and Shilo (near Kenton). They took on Hamiota Cemetery, a huge task, with over 2400 memorials there. Along their way, many old headstones had algae and lichen that they had to clean off.


“The project has turned out to be very challenging but rewarding as by linking family members we have learned a great amount of family and community history. We have had messages from all over North America from people who have been researching their family histories and found the memorials that we entered on the website.”   


To find out about your cemetery, just Google: (Your Cemetery’s Name) find a grave (ie: Griswold Cemetery find a grave). If you have information that needs to be added, you can send an edit there, or contact the Drapers who would be glad to help you: ghdraper@mymts.net.  

 
Holly says, “We hope by doing this, it may help people with their genealogy research. Entering and linking families after they are gone is like completing the cycle of life.”
 

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