Genealogy: Tips for searching cemeteries and photographing headstones

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  • Mimifran Gymea, NSW
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    I photographed and transcribed many cemeteries and found early morning, especially after the rain, was the best time. Wear solid leather non slip boots, beware of snakes and spiders and wear sensible clothes. A hat is handy as is an umbrella if you need to shade your photo from strong sunlight. If the front on shot doesn't show everything don't worry, take it but take many others from various angles. Have a chalk board and chalk to write plot numbers and sections then take a photo of it before doing the actual grave so you know where it is. You may need to make your own plan.

    Take lots of water, not just for drinking but to wet the stone as it will loosen lichen so you can peel it off. You should also take sturdy gloves for thorny branches. Be careful not to get reflections in the shiny headstones or plagues. You might need to take the shot upside down. Take one photo with everything in that plot, then the headstone, then details, with digital it is better to have too many than not enough. The ground can be tricky so watch your footing.