When Ancestry.com announced its acquisition of Find A Grave, the popular crowd-sourced cemetery memorial website, there was much sturm und drang in the genealogy community. You would have thought the world was going to end, or at least access to Find A Grave and its over 102 million memorials.
But those in the know not only said “This too shall pass,” but we were excited if only for this reason: with a big muscle genealogy player in the picture, an app for Find A Grave could finally be developed. Download it here.
And it has. And it is here. And it is good.
Overview: The Find A Grave App
The Find A Grave App is easy to download and to use; currently it is only available at the iTunes App Store for all iOs devices. I tested the beta version of the app on my iPad 2 and iPhone 4, both running the latest version of iOs 7. According to Ancestry.com and Find A Grave, an Android version of the app will be released in the near future.
Overall, I found the Find A Grave App to be very intuitive in terms of menus and icons. Stuff made sense – you really can’t ask for more than that. I prefer using the app on my iPad since it is larger and easier to read. The colors used and the layout are easy to read.
Getting Started with the Find A Grave App
If you have a Find A Grave account, you’ll want to log in so you have access to all your memorials. If you don’t have an account, click Create Account.
Next, you’ll see your Find A Grave profile pic and name and the My Claims section is activated.
Memorial Search – Find A Grave App
Click Memorial Search and then enter the search criteria, such as Arthur Spanks.
Search results appear; tap the memorial you want to view in detail.
The detailed view appears.
Scroll down to see all the information.
Cemetery Search – Find A Grave App
If you have Location settings enabled, the Find A Grave App will display the cemeteries in its database that are closest to your location.
Click the icon in the upper right corner to toggle between List and Map views.
To locate a specific cemetery or cemeteries in a city, town or county, click Cemetery Search and enter your search criteria. You must enter a location otherwise the app will default to Current Location.
Click Search and the results appear.
Tap the name of the cemetery to see the detailed view and a list of memorials, photo requests and more.
Sharing, Adding Images, Using GPS and Requests
When viewing a cemetery or memorial, click Share and then select an option including Mail, Twitter and Facebook. Also use Share to perform other functions such as printing.
Click the Camera icon in the upper right corner to snap a photo of a gravestone or cemetery to upload to Find A Grave.
Click Add GPS to add the GPS coordinates for a memorial.
Click Request to make a photo request for a specific cemetery.
A First Look Verdict
Of course, like any new app there are some “bugs” to correct – such as the Facebook icon not appearing on the iPad version of the Share function. But having an app for Find A Grave will mean more users uploading valuable data – especially GPS coordinates – and more advances in crowd sourcing genealogy data.
©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee
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