Sometimes Lady Luck is with us in our ancestral quest.
Recently, while researching the records of some of my extended cousins in Lebanon, Ohio, I noted that they were buried in the Lebanon Cemetery in that city. Because so many of the family are buried there, I opted to include a reference to the cemetery on my genealogy website.
Google Maps has long been my friend in finding the location of cemeteries around the world because they are usually listed by name on the map and thus turn up in a search on the site.
This time not only did the cemetery appear onscreen, but when I moved to a street level view, I noted that the Google photo vehicle had driven through the cemetery as part of its route.
Did it continue to take photos as it drove by the markers?
Indeed it did and Google posted them. Wow. Thank you Google!
Several family headstones are included in the street level shots. The resolution isn’t good enough to read all of the text but surname and enough of the first names are visible to allow identification of the stones.
Because the city has included the streets through the cemetery as part of the regular street designations in the city, the routing maps included them as part of the photo shoot.
The common problem of scratches and smudges on the protective plastic dome over the cameras is evident in these photos. The resultant sun flares they produce obscure the bottom portion of the image at times which effectively eliminates any chance of reading the names on the markers in that shot, but the distance scenes are great.
I’ve spent countless hours in cemeteries taking photos of tombstones for Find-a-grave and as a part of my own genealogy quest over the years, so the Google photos are akin to traveling to another of those peaceful settings that I’ve grown to love.
Have you checked to see if the cemeteries in your research interest have been similarly photographed by Google? Hopefully, you too will enjoy research success thanks to the Google photo mapping effort.