Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Illinois Ancestors Tombstone Project

New on Cyndi's List is the Illinois Ancestors Tombstone Project, a beautiful and well-organized collection (as of the last update 14 April) 16,100 tombstone photos in well over 400 cemeteries in 51 of Illinois' 102 counties. According to the site, "As a way of preserving this history, we're taking photos of as many tombstones in Illinois as we can." It's logically structured: the top layer is counties in alphabetical order; within each county, cemeteries are in alphabetical order by name (not location!); and within each cemetery, photos are in alphabetical order by surname, preceded by any introductory pictures or maps. Each item in each layer is represented by a photograph that doubles as a link.

Genealogically minded photographers, or photographically minded genealogists, can contact the webmaster and arrange to automatically upload their pictures. The photos also constitute a database: listings can be searched by surname.The project's central Illinois roots are clear -- Fulton, Peoria, and Tazewell are the most viewed counties, whereas Chicago and the collar counties are missing altogether. There's plenty of room to grow.

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