Tyne Cot Cemetery. Photo by Sgt Jez Doak, RAF/MOD, via Wikimedia Commons at https://lisalouisecooke.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/War_Graves_at_Tyne_Cot_Cemetary%2C_Belgium_MOD_45156481.jpg

Tyne Cot Cemetery. Photo by Sgt Jez Doak, RAF/MOD, via Wikimedia Commons. Click on image to visit that page.

You’ve probably searched for gravestone images at sites like BillionGraves and Find A Grave. What if you come up dry? Ask their volunteers to snap a photo for you. Here’s how to do it:

Make a BillionGraves Photo Request

“The Photo RequesBillionGraves Photo Request screenshott tool is a great new feature on BillionGraves,” says a recent BillionGraves blog post. “It has been optimized and revamped to help the hundreds of thousands of users and requests we have at BillionGraves! The user is looking for a particular headstone [at a specific cemetery] and is requesting that another BillionGraves volunteer that lives nearby, go find the headstone and take a photo of it for them.”

You have to log in to the site to use the Photo Request tool (creating your free login is easy). Under the Tools tab, click on My Requests. The screen will look like what’s shown here. Then click on “Add Request” and follow the prompts. BillionGraves users near you will be notified and invited to help you out.

Make a Find A Grave Photo Request

According to the Find A Grave FAQ area, it looks like you can only request headstone photos for their existing memorial pages, many of which don’t currently have photos. (Idea: create a memorial page yourself if you don’t see one.) “If you would like to request a headstone photo of a memorial, just go to the memorial on Find A Grave. Click on the ‘Request A Photo’ button. This will bring up a new screen allowing you to add any notes that may help the photo volunteer locate the grave location within the cemetery….Then click the ‘Submit Photo Request’ button. Your request will be emailed to the 10 photo volunteers who live closest to the cemetery.” Read more details about this process here.

Did you know you can use Google Earth to locate cemeteries? Click here to learn how. Use this feature to search for burial grounds near where your ancestors died–and maybe you’ll find them buried there!

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