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Volunteer FAQ

Question that isn't answered below or in the FAQ? Ask the volunteer coordinator who covers the area where you're volunteering:

I no longer wish to volunteer, who do I contact?
Contact the volunteer coordinator you've been corresponding with. If you can't recall who that was, fill out the volunteer removal form.

I'm finished, now what?
Send it in! Instructions can be found on the photographer page

Note: If sending a .txt file, sometimes they will embed themselves into an e-mail instead of remaining an attachment. To get around this rename the extention to something other than .txt (use .text for instance)

I've already signed up as a volunteer and would like to add another cemetery to my to-do list, do I have to use the sign-up form again?
No, you can e-mail the coordinator directly to reserve the new cemetery (reply to previous correspondence). But first, please check that the cemetery hasn't been completed (locate the cemetery page). Also take note of the cemetery ID code and include that information when corresponding with the coordinator.

See also: Volunteer FAQ for Indexers

Can I use other resources to verify information on the headstone?
Of course! It's sometimes helpful to locate a death registration if a headstone is unclear. But, keep in mind that official records and headstones do not always match. Year of death may be off a year or two, age may be off by several years, spellings can be different, etc. Our focus is the stone itself and what it has to say. It's up to researchers to worry about the differences. So even if you find a discrepancy do your best to stay true to the information on the stone and if needed note discrepancies in the COMMENTS column.

I'm familiar with the person(s) named on a headstone, can I add extra information?
Yes but please keep it short and put it only in the COMMENTS column, unless it fills in missing information in the other columns.


How do I know what cemeteries have already been photographed?
See our list of online cemeteries to see what cemeteries have photographs. Note that this list includes cemeteries that may not have been fully photographed. If the cemetery you wish to photograph is on this list, click on the link and look at the notation directly above the name index. This notation makes clear if the cemetery has been fully or partially photographed.

How do I know what cemeteries have been 'reserved' by another volunteer?
The volunteer coordinator keeps track of who is doing what, and will let you know when you sign up if the cemetery you wish to do has or has not been reserved. This is why we request that you sign up before starting to take photos.

What happens if someone sends in photos for a cemetery I've reserved?
The submitter will be informed that the cemetery has been reserved and their photos will be held until you've completed photographing the cemetery. Your photos take priority but we will compare theirs to yours to see if there are any stones you may have missed or if some are easier to read. If so these photos will be included *in addition* to yours (not in place of).

Do I have to index my own photos?
No, but it does help get them online faster as photos need to be indexed before they are added to the website. If you'd prefer not to index (which is okay!) send in your photos once you've finished photographing the cemetery and an indexer will index them.

See also: Volunteer FAQ for Transcribers

Do I get to pick which cemetery to index?
Yes, but your choices are limited to whatever cemeteries currently need indexing and may not always include your preferred area of interest.

Where do I find the cemeteries that need indexing?
That information is provided once you've signed on as an indexer.

Why is everyone* on a stone indexed (also: Why are relatives indexed)?
In short, for genealogical purposes. Some headstones provide family relationships and this information can link previously unknown relations. For example, a headstone may state "Sarah Russell daughter of John Russell". If there were no other record of Sarah, her headstone would be the only one to link her as a daughter of John. By indexing John and linking him to this headstone, it lets those seeking him also find Sarah.

This type of indexing may sometimes mean one person will end up in our index multiple times. That's okay as long as each time they are in the index they are linked to a different headstone. One photo may show their headstone, one may show them as a spouse, five may show them as a parent. But they all help researchers find every stone a particular person is named on.

*The exception is living persons.

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