One of my favorite things about Find A Grave is the ability to create Virtual Cemeteries and I have created plenty! It's a great way to organize the memorials the way I want.
I have Virtual Cemeteries by surname, by cemetery, and even by Civil War Regiment. Whatever serves your purpose.....you are in control!
You may be wondering.....why have a virtual cemetery at all? Remember last week when we talked about how to ask for a memorial transfer? What happens when that transfer is denied? This is important to remember about virtual cemeteries....you can put ANY memorial in a virtual cemetery. You don't have to manage the memorial.
Take my BOTKIN surname for example. I created a Virtual Cemetery for Botkin Family members and as I come across their memorials on Find A Grave I place them in the virtual cemetery. As of today this VC holds 440 Botkin family members. The overwhelming majority of those I do not manage. (The ones you manage will be in bold type). I can keep them all together in this way. My Virtual Cemetery contains memorials from many different real cemeteries!
Let's take a look at another of my VC's this one for Center Grove Cemetery. I have 70 ancestors buried in Center Grove from more than one of my family surnames. By creating a virtual cemetery and placing my family members in here I can manipulate the information in a couple of ways.
Say I am planning a research trip to Wabash County and will be making a stop by Center Grove Cemetery. By going to my Contributor Tools page I can download my data from my Center Grove VC into a tab-delimited Excel sheet. In this way I can manipulate the data any way I would like. For example, I can choose to sort by memorials with no photo.
So how do you go about creating a Virtual Cemetery? That part is easy! Go to your Contributor Tools page then click on the Edit button across from "my virtual cemeteries". From here you can add any VC you would like or edit one that you have already created. Now go to a memorial that you want to add to the VC. As you scroll down the memorial you will see a link to "edit virtual cemetery info". Click on that link and a list of your VC's will come up. Click the box in front of the VC you want to add the memorial to. Now click save changes. That's it!
The last way I use my VC is as a cross check with my FTM program. If you click on the Places tab in FTM you will get a list of all the locations you have entered in the program. I enter all cemeteries as: Cemetery - Center Grove. When I click on this it will tell me who from my database is buried here. If it lists 73 people and I only have 70 in my VC then I know I am missing 3 people in my VC. I can use the list in FTM to determine who is missing.
See how handy those VC's can be? See why my love affair with Find A Grave continues?!
So far I've covered How to Suggest a Correction, How to Ask For a Memorial Transfer and How to Set Up a Virtual Cemetery. But what else can you do with Find A Grave? Next week I'll cover some of the other neat features Find A Grave offers!