Genealogical Kindness

by Dave Weller

My great great grandparents, Nelson and Louisa, died in Florida around 1900 and are buried in a Waldo, Alachua County cemetery. A couple of the things I’m trying to accomplish with my family history research is to find out where my many grandparents are buried and to obtain a picture of their headstones. But, the odds of me going to Florida anytime soon, and seeing their graves, is not very high.

I came across a group called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. They are volunteers from all over the country who do everything from looking up courthouse records to taking pictures of headstones. The volunteers are listed by state and county. Each has a description as to what they are volunteering to do.

So, I sent an email to one of the volunteers who was willing to photograph headstones in Alachua County cemeteries. I gave as much information as I could to help him locate the graves. A couple of weeks later, a disposable camera arrived in the mail with pictures of Nelson’s and Louisa’s headstones on it!

Volunteers may charge reimbursement only for postage, film, video tapes, cost of making copies, and possibly parking fees. There is no charge for their time. All they ask is that you, in turn, volunteer to help someone else.

I have since signed up as a volunteer and am waiting to help someone!