Keep the memory of an ancestor alive by documenting death

By Kenneth H. Thomas Jr.—For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Many of us began our genealogy journeys visiting cemeteries and searching for tombstones.

If a relative is buried in a city cemetery, there’s usually (but not always) an office record and a map showing where. But many ancestors are buried in rural cemeteries, either in family graveyards or church-affiliated cemeteries. And not everyone got a permanent tombstone or marker. For those with no markers, sites like Find a Grave ( or BillionGraves ( allow you to document an ancestor’s death. Or, if you have a good guess as to where his or her final resting place might be, you can digitally mark the location.

But can our ancestors really “rest in peace” without a real marker? Years ago, I set a goal to place a marker on the grave of any direct ancestor who didn’t have one but had died in the 20th century….

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