Posted by Ancestry Team on September 30, 2013 in News

We are pleased to announce that LLC has acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database. 

With over 100 million memorials and 75 million photos, Find A Grave has amassed an unparalleled collection of burial information. Over the past 18 years, it has grown to become an invaluable resource for genealogists, history buffs and cemetery preservationists. Find A Grave will become a wholly owned subsidiary of, and will continue to be managed by its founder, Jim Tipton. plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave to launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.


  • Tim Sullivan, CEO of Find A Grave is an amazing phenomenon supported by a passionate and engaged community of volunteers around the world. We at are so excited…honored really…to take on the responsibility of supporting this community.  We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation, and look forward to working with Jim Tipton and the entire Find A Grave team to accelerate the development of tools designed to make it even easier for the Find A Grave community to fulfill its original mission to capture every tombstone on Earth.” 
  •  Jim Tipton, founder of Find A Grave: has been a long-time supporter of Find A Grave. They have been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history and I look forward to working with to help continue our growth and accelerate the pace of improvements.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.



  1. John H

    As long as it remains free to search — I would love to see some direct mobile competition with BillionGraves — who currently charges for various ‘extra’ services (for data that is also user created like Find a Grave).

  2. Cyndie Bronowski

    Does this mean that the public will have to pay to use this site now since it belongs to Ancestry? That would really be a bummer to lose one of the last free resources.

  3. Gail Kelly

    As a contributor to Find a Grave, I truly hope that it remains free for anyone to either search or contribute. This site has been a great help to me, and the people who tend the memorials provide an incredible service to those far from the burials of their families. I do not add memorials so that someone else can make money on it. This said, I look forward to seeing what Ancestry can bring to the web site. Sometimes a new view can make things better, even if we didn’t know we needed the change. Here is to a happy and productive change of hands.

  4. Terri Kallio

    I certainly hope that this does not end up being a paid site – this would completely destroy the volunteer base. I would be very tempted to delete everything I have added if that were the case as I’ve spent a great deal of time to make my own family available to others.

  5. Annemarie Taylor

    As someone who has contributed to Find A Grave I also hope that this site is kept free. I input information as a volunteer without expecting anyone to make a fortune off of the site. I am a bit disappointed that Jim Thorpe sold out, but I’m sure he had his reasons. I won’t be deleting the graves I’ve added, but will be waiting to see what happens before I add anymore information.

  6. JCall

    I have used Find a Grave for many years. I hope that it will remain pretty much the same. If it does I will continue to use it for many different purposes just as always have, and lead others to using it also.

  7. Angela May

    Sounds like a great partnership and I can’t wait to see the site upgrades. But PLEASE keep FREE!

  8. Carol Hardin

    I concur with the other comments. This site needs to remain non-subscription. I’m not a big fan of corporate and it has me a little concerned that is gobbling up free and paid genealogy sites over the past several years. A monopoly such as that would kill the growing interest in genealogy.

  9. Dennis Lurgio

    I am very excited about Ancestry acquiring find a grave but have many reservations. Jim Tipton and his volunteers do not have a clue about customer service. He relies solely on his volunteers who are bullies, not all, but many of them.
    This statement, “We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation, and look forward to working with Jim Tipton and the entire Find A Grave team to accelerate the development of tools designed to make it even easier for the Find A Grave community to fulfill its original mission to capture every tombstone on Earth.” This is a big disappointment! If you haven’t reviewed their policies you are in for a big surprise. As a long time member of ancestry I have always been provided excellent customer service. Without changes in their policy FindAGrave will be your downfall. I have many emails that I have saved to back this up. I have spent over a thousand hours entering direct family members and relationships on FindAGrave. I removed them all because of their policies, particularly transfers of direct descendants. I started creating a similar report on Ancestry. I want to believe you will review and make policy changes over time making the site a great place that will be complimentary to ancestry and your long time members.

  10. Julie Coleman

    For those of us who spent countless hours volunteering for Find A Grave, how about a discount on our membership similar to that done for those who volunteered for the W.A.P?

  11. Glennie Hines

    As a contributor to Find-A-Grave, I certainly hope that it continues to be a free site! I would be very upsetting, otherwise, that we do all the work placing the information and then be charged for doing so.

  12. Gracie

    I have spent countless hours posting my information on FAG only to find someone that was not even related to me, took all my information from FAG and posted it on Ancestry. I think you someone is going to do that they should give credit to the person who did the research. I don’t think it is right to copy information to Ancestry that you did not do the research on.

  13. Randy

    I have mixed feelings about this…just PLEASE do not add popups, or hints, or Flash or…wait for it…”New Search”.

  14. Mimmi

    I hope it will remain free, and as a shooter for F.a.G, I will continue to document the stones and try to help as many as I can. However – if it become a pay-site parasiting on others volunteer work, you know I will go in and delete all I have entered, and that’s a lot!
    I have heard about the “terror” on F.a.G, but I have honestly NEVER had a problem with them or their customer service. Always been met with respect and the problems has been solved peacefully without any fighting… I’m so sorry for you who had that happening to you!
    Now – let’s instead hope this is going to be a GREAT thing and that more ppl can get to find their relatives and get to see their stones thanks to this merging!
    PS – what was that about pop-up’s? I get BILLIONS of them here on Ancestry! DS.

  15. Rick

    FAG was a volunteer organization. The first time Ancestry starts charging for access, I think all the volunteers should simply STOP volunteering. Why should I work for a for-profit company and not get paid for it?

  16. judy malone

    Please let it remain free. I have added to it and also benefited from the input of others and that is how it should be. Not everyone can AFFORD memberships in and other genealogy sites and this has been a wonderful wonderful site to use.

  17. Anne

    @Gracie (18) I both agree and disagree.
    Misappropriated research is a common complaint. It is frustrating to put in years of your life to iron out a section of the family tree, eager make it public only to have a bunch of “treebies” link the information to someone it has nothing to do with. For this reason and a couple of others, my tree is private. Bad research is the herpes of and until they give researchers a means to flag bad or questionable research, my tree is private simply because I am tired of watching the farce–people giving my grandmother children that were not hers, my great great grandfather someone else’s wife (and children that he kept having after his death).

    As for Findagrave, why would you make information (most of which is probably in the public record) or photos freely available if you did not mean to share with others who might want it? Unless it involves a story you wrote or a photo you yourself personally took, it is not covered by copyright and you should not have any issue at all with what was copied. This kind of free sharing is what has made FAG such a useful site. It is not private and what you post there is not your property.

  18. Penny

    I hope that you will add the ability to link parents to their children through the parent also because I have written numerous ccontributors asking them to link to their parents and have had no response. If I have the parents and someone else has the childrent – I coud still link them even if the original contributor is inactive or refuses to update. thanks to all the volunteers and contributors on FAG because it has been a great tool.

  19. Barb LaFara

    Find a Grave has the BEST and most ACTIVE members of any website I participate on, including Ancestry! I hope Ancestry keeps all the best aspects of Find a Grave: the active boards and the member contributions. PLEASE, no ‘private’ memorials like the private trees. The ‘gravers’ at Find a Grave are amazing, I really hope Ancestry does not screw that up…

  20. Lynn WM

    I don’t know anything about FAG bullies. I’ve always been treated very well by customer service and by the volunteers. BUT my issue is the same as just about everyone else’s in the comments – free for how long?

  21. Lpowers58

    I’ve been wishing there was a way to save to my own files, all the graves of my family members that are in a particular cemetery. Hoping this idea will become reality….

  22. Jen White

    Sounds like the combination of two groups with similiar goals! It would be neat to have a way to use information from FaG to our trees on ancestry- is that the plan?

  23. Donna McCurley

    I have subscribed to ancestry in the past, but no longer. I have taken more than 3000 photos for findagrave, and the moment ancestry begins to charge I will remove every photo I have taken and never take any more.

  24. Chocy Brown

    I joined Find A Grave 4 months and 8 days ago. In that time I have taken pictures and entered over 1000 graves taken from two local cemetery. Most of these people I don’t know; but in the spirit of exchanging free information I did it hoping to help someone who could not make the trip to California. In turn, I have had about 70 graves transferred into my care, for the most part being my direct grandparents and close family. So with mixed emotions, I have the same concerns many others have already spoken. I have found that many of the sponsors have an extra ordinary amount of graves to manage with very little information, no pictures, and up front statements that they will not make management transfers. Bullies is a soft word to use for a description. Many have lost the spirit of give and take; however, I decided to do the best I could to share with others. NOW, I don’t believe I want to continue until we know “just” what is going to happen. My last trip to the cemetery 26 Sep I took over 400 photos and so far have posted about 100 of them. Guess, I’ll stop. I don’t belong to Ancestry; but unless they have come up with a deal like the Rootsweb take over, keeping it free, I don’t think I want to waste my time! It is too bad that something good has to be spoiled.

  25. Chocy Brown

    I forgot to add, that I have sponsored about 50 memorials at $5 a piece that is about $250 to make them add free and to enable me to post as many picture as I deem necessary. I know others have done the same thing over the years. I have only been a sponsor for 4 months, so it seems to me Find A Grave must be deriving some income for the those $5 memorial sponsorships.

  26. A. Mickna

    I really do hope find a grave stays free! I have added and am currently adding to memorials! If they start charging, I want my check too! I haven’t had any problems besides an inactive member which I’ll be contacting FAG to see if the memorials can be transferred to me. Everyone else I’ve had contact with the site has been awesome!

  27. Laurie

    Anne, I agree with everything you said except your comment that what you post on Find A Grave is not yours. That’s not quite true. Unlike BillionGraves, the photos remain the copyright of the photographer. However, the most facts found on memorials are public record.

    I always cite memorials as sources when I use the info, but I never use the photos without letting the person that took them know I’d like to use them and asking written permission. I attribute the photo to the photographer. I do this even if it’s posted in the profile to feel free to use them. I feel it’s common courtesy. I have noticed in the past year that more and more people requesting something from me are very rude, but I’ve never had any problems with Find A Grave’s admin. I’m hoping ancestry will help on the backend, but leave most of it the way it is. I’m hesitant about how this is going to work.

  28. Debbie Beach

    As a longtime contributor to Find A Grave, I have heard from relatives that I might have never gotten to know because of ancestors I have entered. I appreciate that Find A Grave is FREE, and hopefully it WILL REMAIN A FREE Resource for so many dedicated volunteers around the world. Thanks for letting me comment.

  29. Darlene Hastings

    As a major contributor in “starting” findagrave,I feel betrayed or as we call it in Mo, DOUBLECROSSED! i have never heard of Jim Tipton and don’t know how he aquaired my information and I certainly don’t believe he has the right to SELL any information I gave to findagrave, without my permission.

  30. Mirabelle

    While I can understand the frustration of the idea of volunteer work POSSIBLY sometime in the future being moved to a pay website, I am appalled by the comments of some of the posters on this topic that are threatening to delete the work they’ve done!

    Honestly, I thought we volunteered on projects like FindAGrave and Ancestry World Project and FamilySearch to make as much information possible so others could benefit. Many researchers that aren’t local to an area will never be able to travel to every cemetery their ancestors are buried in. So why would anyone want to make it impossible for them to find that information, or to get a photo of a grave by removing data???

    Perhaps everyone should stop, take a deep breath and think. Removing information will not hurt–only countless unknown people that are trying to find their family history.

  31. reedna

    I hope to see a Save to Ancestry button on the Find a grave page so that I can add family members to my pages without calling them up one at a time. I have been a contributor for a few years and enjoy posting my photos and hearing the stories from the family members. Please don’t destroy this wonderful tool by charging any kind of fee.

  32. Sandy Martin

    I think your acquisition of F-a-G will be a good thing, if like you say, it remains a free site. I do hope that you can improve the problem I have with not getting responses from folks who originally put up the gravesite and then do not respond when I want them to add something or transfer over to me. Thanks for sharing this good news with us.

  33. Anne

    @Laurie (34) I did not say that under no circumstances does a person retain copyright–I said that UNLESS you took the photo in question or unless it involves a story or summary that you wrote personally, there is no copyright violation. If you took a photo of a grave, that is covered by copyright. If you posted a photo of your 3rd great grandmother that was taken by a professional photographer in a studio many years ago, that is not your copyright. If you take a photo of a grave from elsewhere that was taken by someone else and re-post it to find a grave, that is also not covered by your copyright. However, partial rights are always retained by the website containing user-generated content such that if Find a Grave (or now Ancestry) had the slightest desire to use one of your photos they would be within their rights to do so per user agreement.

  34. don

    what’s next – Ancestry acquires Family Search? It’s a sad day for all the volunteers who will have their hard work co-opted by the money grubbers at Ancestry.

  35. Christopher K. Philippo

    I’m hopeful the purchase will be a positive thing. In a sort of analogous acquisition, Amazon’s purchase of the user-created IMDb overall went pretty well. Perhaps Ancestry could give findagrave contributors a discount on Ancestry membership?

  36. Paying subscriber

    I first learned of this from a Dear Myrtle newsletter earlier today. I too have posted personal pictures and brief genealogies/stories about my ancestors which only I have personal knowledge of and have written myself. And how do you place a value on them? I don’t know how one can prove ownership of these pictures or written biographies that are already online.

    Ancestry already has a system in place with their hints to point people to FAG and you can now save links to your tree. They have one for Billion Graves too, but it doesn’t work, and the support people blame the Billion Graves site for a bad link.

    I also have found that many folks are in a contest to see who can post the most memorials without pictures or personal information as if these memorials were their own personal property. (A variation of the name-gatherers) FAG’s rules to only transfer within 4 generations has stopped me from requesting transfers for other relatives for whom I have an abundance of information which could help other folks. However some folks are much more liberal.

    I can well understand why folks who have posted thousands of memorials by going to cemeteries and getting the information from their records have not added the personal information provided by real relatives. It would be a humongous job to receive all that email and do more work.

    I sympathize with folks who feel cheated by having their work taken over by a huge corporation. They spent time and money which they will never recover. I don’t blame folks for feeling like they have been swindled and want to take their memorials off the site. This was a site where folks were more giving without expecting any kind of remuneration except “thanks” than any other site. It’s one thing to sit in front of a computer and copy stuff, but quite another to drive to cemeteries, take pictures and post them, or the memorials.

    I also would NOT like to see so called “improvements” on how to use the FAG site by Ancestry programmers. Right now it is a fast and easy system.

    What about Anti-Trust laws? It looks like Ancestry is becoming a monopoly and other than Family Search, there is no real competition. I’m no expert in that field but it does seem like Ancestry is gobbling up everything else. I have been a paying subscriber for 12 years and for the most part I have gotten full value for my money. But I get nervous about a company that has little or no competition. They certainly kept this completely quiet. No rumors or hints.

  37. Valerie Hehn Brown

    I do “volunteer” work for FAG, Family Search and Genealogy Trails. I would not dream of deleting my “stuff” out of spite. What if I delete my posting of my mother-in-law (who turns 100 in November) just before one of her long lost cousins comes looking for her? Shame on me!! I do this work with no anticipation of compensation. I do it to “pay forward” all I have gleaned from these wonderful organizations. I am a member of Ancestry, and have used all of the free genealogy websites. It takes me little time to feel I have repaid the monumental amount of history I have found. I spend a minimum of one hour each evening entering, arbitrating or uploading information to these websites. It makes me feel useful and happy. Please think twice about deleting your contributions to Find A Grave … I may very well be up against a brick wall because you did.

    Thank you.
    sammi brown

  38. Mary Vedder

    I’m with Mirabelle (37) and Valerie Hehn Brown (47): I can understand the trepidation over whether or not FindaGrave will remain a free access site, regardless of what says now, but I am APALLED at the number of contributors who state that they will remove all the memorials & photos they have posted if FindaGrave becomes a paid subscription site. As Mirabelle noted, “removing information will not hurt – only countless unknown people that are trying to find their family history.” And like Valerie, I feel that the information I have entered myself is just a small repayment for the tremendous amount of help that I have received from many others over the years in researching my own family. I look at FindaGrave as a kind of wonderful library, where any genealogist can come and browse the “shelves” for information and perhaps find that long-lost relative or find an item that will help them break down a “brick wall.” Deleting memorials & photos from this library is, to me, akin to burning books!! Most of us have put in many many hours of research on our own families, and perhaps other families as well, and while I do understand the sense of “ownership” that develops, I know that part of the reason I put my findings out there on the “interwebs” is so that future researchers may benefit from them. History belongs to all of us!

  39. Jeff

    I hope that the focus will change from encouraging serial collectors, I’m talking about those people that have anywhere from a few thousand to several hundred thousands memorials, to serious genealogy. I also hope that some of Jim Tipton’s merry bunch of incompetent administrators will be replaced toot sweet!

  40. Eileen

    As a contributor to Findagrave, should Ancestry start charging for this information I WILL take down all family members that I have posted. It will break my heart for I have paid for a memorial for my Dad but the intent of this website was “free” for all.

  41. Karen S

    I have been a member of FAG for over 4 years and also a member of Ancestry. I have created and added photos of many memorials to FAG of family and people not related to me that I have found along the way while looking for my own families graves. These were and ARE intended to be found by family…for FREE. I understand the company makes money off the ads…that’s fine, but the minute members are charged to gain access to my material that was originally intended to be free, it WILL come down. KEEP IT FREE!

  42. Catherine M

    As a F.A.G. user and volunteer and also a researcher of for a couple of years now, I’ve noticed over the past several months, the “Source” facts in linking to F.A.G. While this does help in the fact-finding research, I too, have spent many miles, gas dollars, and walks to help not only my own research, but to help others as well on the F.A.G. site. I think that just wanted to “acquire” it just so they could link to F.A.G. without it’s ( having you to take you to an “outside” link as it currently does. I don’t think they will charge people for the F.A.G. site, however, it does give them more range for advertisements of all their sites just to get you to buy. F.A.G. rules are that the photos you post to their site is your copyright. I’m afraid that I will also remove my contributions as well (they do belong to me, right?) if I have to pay for another service. Just my opinion, thanks for listening to my rants…Peace~

  43. Suzanne

    I. too, will wait until I see what happens before adding anymore graves. I hope Ancestry changes “the you can’t use this picture”, what do people take photos and gather information for?
    I have the “big” subscription to Ancestry and have had for 12 years. I am unhappy about paying 300.00/year, trying to open something on Ancestry only for it to show me Fold 3 or Vital Records which I have to another another two subscriptions.

  44. YAY! I’m so excited! This will be awesome!!!!I have found so much information on findagrave and also have linked my whole family up using it! This is great!

  45. Rose Pyle Earley

    “We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation” I certainly pray this is a true statement; but Ancestry is a subscription company; which means it wants to make money so there will be a fee somewhere. I hate this I have volunteered many hours ( I am sure not as many as some) trying to preserve history for future generations. I did not want these people to be forgotten and I certainly did not want a dollar to be made over their graves.

  46. Kathleen Stafford

    My only concern is too much erroneous info getting added by members. Now most info is added by family members or by people who are adding the info found directly in the cemetery records. Ancestry is about sharing both facts and possibilities. I have always trusted the fact side of Find a Grave more than Ancestry where I have to be sure to vet the information listed in anyone’s trees with great scrutiny. I hope the Ancestry posters vet their info with citations from the Ancestry database before putting it on Find a Grave.

  47. Rose Pyle Earley

    I would like to thank all the volunteers on findagrave that have helped me with photos of monuments of family in those far away states that otherwise I would not have on some of the memorials. I have a special place in my heart for those of you that have spent countless hours in all kinds of weather traversing those cemeteries in remote places so we can have a glimpse of loved ones final resting places. I can not convey how much this means to me.

  48. Ann L

    I find it hard to understand the people who want to keep everything they have found out about their ancestors to themselves rather than sharing so that other people can also learn. Folks, if you post it on the internet, you are sharing it. If you don’t want other people using it to learn more about your common ancestors, don’t put it there in the first place. Keep it in boxes in your home so your descendants can throw it in the trash when they clean out your house after your demise.

    I love Findagrave, I love Ancestry and if any of the photos I post there are useful to you, please copy or save them. Rootsweb is still free even though Ancestry now operates it. Findagrave will probably be the same, and I hope the links from Ancestry to Findagrave will be open now that they have bought it. Findagrave links were a great addition to Ancestry.

    A friend just told me about a 92 year old woman she is helping with a DAR application who solved a linkage problem yesterday with a Findagrave find!

  49. Sharon

    This is wonderful. So glad to see that the original owners will still be managing Find-A-Grave, especially after all their hard work getting it started and maintaining it for so long, to make it what it is. Thanks Ancestry & Find-A-Grave.

  50. TC

    VERY happy to hear this news! I am tired of having no one to respond to duplicate or blantantly wrong memorials.

    I will happily continue documenting my local cemeteries.. I don’t do it for ‘me’ after all, or my ‘numbers’ – but for those that are looking for long lost family members.

  51. Lewis Browder

    Does Find A Grave sell the data or photos I add to other websites?
    No. We are categorically opposed to this type of behavior. [Top]

    Does Find A Grave share the data or photos I add with other websites?
    In an attempt to make Find A Grave data as visible and searchable as possible, we have licensed the Find A Grave content to select sites such as MyHeritage, FamilySearch, Ancestry and Mocavo. We think it is important that Find A Grave searching remains free and have required that Find A Grave search results always be available on the ‘free side’ of those sites. Find A Grave receives no compensation from these partnerships. [Top]

  52. Angela Eisert

    I must say YEAH! The moreI use this, the more helpful it will be, especially having it as part of ancestry. I appreciate this!

  53. grumpy monkey

    Hopefully ancestry will be more repectful of copyright. I have had lots of my records stolen and put on find a grave. I notified the contributers and the site but the contributer told me to get over it and the site owners never responded. I am talking about hundreds of records.

  54. skburgess

    I remember when they said rootsweb will stay ‘free’. It did, however, ancestry removed key search engine tools, such as the SSDI search, among others. Now you have to pay to use SSDI on ancestry. I wonder if they mean that the name of the memorial will be ‘free’, but you’ll have to pay to view any additional info and images on that particular memorial?

  55. Vera McHale

    Find a Grave: YEAH Congratulations. Bones are God’s storage place for DNA. When a person is creamated there is none unless someone requests a long bone for repose. Ancient writings say God can raise life from dry bones. Dry bones are the second hardest natural substance on Earth. War often leaves a family without remains. Disease did also in earlier times when fire was sued to kill germs. So graves are more important than ever now with out knowledge of DNA. A 100,000 year old set of human bones from the Sudan showed a woman with different way for her legs to attach to her hips. What a fascinating planet we live on. As far as copywriter, your story is copy writable but not your gravesite. Anyone can visit a grave, unless you have reason to hide info which Find a Grave does have a way to request such privacy. Cemeteries have a legal responsibility to protect graves from being disturbed by anyone but legal kin. The USA is a very nice country.

  56. FHC Librarian

    I hope that the Find-A-Grave site will function the same as it always has. I would like to see the ability to make personal contact with submitters continue, and be able to thank each one who helps us by providing photos of gravestones. The uniqueness of the cooperative effort of this site is unmatched.

  57. William Lapeer

    I have used almost since they started and have seen their many take overs which can be researched on the internet. It seems they and the Mormons are eventually going to be the only ones in the Ancestry research business. Just hope they keep FIND A GRAVE free as it will be a slap in the face to all who have done the research for Find a Grave and post it for no payment.

  58. Lauri

    Yes, I hope it stays free. No, FaG is not more valid information than some of those crazy public trees on Ancestry, there are just as many incorrect dates posted on FaG as anywhere else. You have to know your datum and do your research no matter what site. That being said, FaG has been wonderful, I hope it stays free and improves. More than anything I hope that all the FaG bullies out there (you know who you are) will lighten up, release their obsessive grip on ‘their’ memorials and let the descendants correct and link their ancestors. Anyone who deletes their memorials is spiteful and hurtful and not contributing with the correct intent in the first place. I hope some of you are the people who won’t edit or transfer my relatives. Then I can repost properly.

  59. arlene miles

    Maybe Ancestrywith all of its wisdom could sit down with the House, Senate, and President and discuss what is best for the people, the government would not be shut down today and folks could go on with their lives.
    I don’t mind paying for anything, just don’t take advantage when you have the power.

  60. Lori King

    Nothing in life is perfect but I’m hoping this will be a good marriage. I never encountered, “bullies” at FAG. I am disappointed that some “volunteers” expect compensation or want to take their work down. That’s like giving blood and then wanting it back because someone at the other end will benefit. I’ve put some family FAG photos up when I was thrilled to locate ancestors and I am thrilled for anyone else who copies or uses them. They are meant to be shared. I never understood why people make Ancestry family trees private. Why bother then? FAG has also allowed me to connect with family members I would never have met otherwise. We then joined forces and helped each other out sharing old family photos and data that our grandmothers had in an old shoebox in the closet! It’s been wonderful for us. Let’s pay forward and be kind to each other.

  61. James Barton

    With the possible exception of the now nearly defunct LDS Ancestry File, is the world’s largest purveyor of junk genealogy. findagrave includes some junk genealogy, and it will be blended with the junk genealogy of Not good.

    Junk genealogy consists of repeating erroneous data found who knows where, withouit citing any original source. Original sources are, for examples, actual birth, marriage, and death records, not transcriptions. Grave stones have errors: who checks them against death records in the Couort House? Who checks tham against original obituaries?

    This announcement of acquiring, means any carefully researched data entered in findagrave will be merged into’s storehouse of junk genealogy, and displayed for the unwary to pay to look at. Thereby, for example, again connecting families that are not connected, giving parents children they did not have, etc.

  62. Donna Goodwin

    Find A Grave has a few issues, hopefully Ancestry can fix. When asking for a transfer (under FAG guidelines) but the person/persons will not respond and made their profile unavailable and no messages are allowed by the user, that is a problem. Also there are members of ancestry who take photos from public trees and post them on FAG without permission is disheartening (this was done to me, with someone using my mother, brother , father, and grandparents pictures), when they showed up in a hint through ancestry I almost died. I did contact the person who did this and she – after much prodding turned them over to me. I blocked her from my tree and then made my tree private. A private tree is accessible, all that needs be done is message the owner.
    #40 Anne: I agree with you 100%.

  63. Jay Stoltz

    I made a new block on ancestry right under burial information shown as FAG # and just add the memorial number I find on FAG to link it to any relative I find. Makes it easier to go back and find them at a later date to make changes or contact the owner to make changes.
    I also am one that wishes it would allow anyone to link children and parents. Some people are no longer active and it causes some families not to be linked.
    Just hoping FAG stays as easy as it currently is to use and that any “improvements” are beta tested prior to rolling them out to all on FAG.

  64. Carol Dickinson

    My only issue with Find a Grave is that anyone who creates a page owns that page even if they have no relationship to the people buried. While this makes it a useful too in many ways, for instance someone willing to work an entire cemetery, especially the small lost ones out there, some of the volunteers are really possessive about their project and yet the page could be improved if only somebody who actually knows the grave occupant could contribute.

    I have benefited from the volunteer efforts of some of the small cemeteries. Recently I discovered the page for an Aunt who died in 1863, a grave I had been seeking for over 3 decades. I had even walked that cemetery and was unable to find the grave. I was told it was unmarked and the grave I was told she occupied is unmarked. But she’s not there. There was a photo of the grave on the page created by the volunteer, and it showed some of her relatives buried nearby. I didn’t find any of them even though I traveled 5000 miles to do so.

    On the other hand, much of the information on my family group was incorrect or incomplete and because someone else created it, I could not fix or improve it. I exchanged several messages with the person who created the page before it was no longer incorrect although it still could be greatly improved. The problem is the grave is in Michigan and the person who worked that cemetery lives in BELGIUM. She can’t just go back and look and see that she was wrong. And the only thing I can add to the page without going through her is a photo. What happens when the person dies. How does one correct or add to a page after that. This is especially problematic with volunteers who have created thousands of FAG pages, and worked entire cemeteries, especially if they are still active.

    I would hope that could improve this wonderful resource by adding a button for direct access for comments/additional information. I have had persons with large databases transfer a family member to me as an owner. Never have they let me know until I go back to FAG and see my grave count is up. I’m ok with the transfers, and I don’t want FAG to become another Wikipedia type site cluttered with errors.

    But why should someone unrelated to my ancestor own and have the control for my relatives if they are only in it for the “count” and aren’t willing to pass on information shared. And what happens to “my graves” after I pass. Right now this is of concern to me since I am old, I was just diagnosed with a major medical issue, and I have no idea because of current politics if I will be able to access treatment. I want my work to continue, to survive me, and to be accessible if someone has additional information.

  65. Carol Dickinson

    I would like to comment on Anne’s comment about other people inappropriately linking relatives to her family. I too have a couple of ancestors that suffer this fate. For instance I have an Eva Anthes that was born in Germany, lived, died in Ontario and is buried with her daughter family. But she is very popular. So many people have linked to her placing her residence in Missouri, California and even Australia, that I have had to put a note on my page for her that is, well, pretty darn nasty. Basically it says she did not live in any of those places, she had only the following children, and where she is buried. I don’t have her on FAG. I also have documents scanned in to show why the way I have it is correct. And it very clearly states to LOOK AT THE DOCUMENTS before linking the wrong Eva to mine. And yet, about every 90 days I have to go in and do a cleanup for her. Sometimes the emails exchanged get pretty heated. People don’t like to be told my Eva is not theirs even if I can submit proof. I would hate to have that sort of thing go on with the FAG pages. But I would really appreciate someone accepting additional information to improve the page.

    As an example in a Michigan grave for a cousin of mine who died of mysterious illness at the age of 23, I would like to add that now we know what it was. Because for many in our large family, her early death has been a concern when we are pregnant and our doctors ask about family history. I myself only learned of the true nature of her death 4 years ago, when I was over 60 years old. THREE GENERATIONS of mothers have worried about her death. We should be able to fix that. But she is in one of those major count contributors files. And they have not responded to my note of additional information, nor has it been added.

  66. Jo Ann Vaughn

    I truly hope Ancestry does not add Find A Grave to it’s hope chest.
    It has been put together with volunteer’s and should be allowed to stay that way.
    Thank you,
    Jo Ann

  67. Carrie

    I have used FAG a lot and my experience has mostly been good. I have however given some folks real researched information on the graves of people who are distantly related to me so they could add it, and unfortunately changes and or additions were never made. I didn’t ask for a transfer so I wasn’t taking anything from them. So some folks either just don’t have the time for maintenance or just don’t like that part of “ownership.”

    A few memorials I did ask for because they were closely related took months to get. So like in every other endeavor you get all kinds of people with different motivations.

    I know there are mistakes in the gravestones with dates and spellings of name. And then there are errors copied from the cemetery records. So nothing is perfect.

  68. Susan McAdam

    I’m very sorry to hear this! One of my concerns is that Ancestry will hijack the site and turn it into a one that people have to pay to use, no matter what it now says. I did not create hundreds if memorials to help Ancestry make more of a profit. I’m very tempted to delete the memorials! The only good thing I can see coming from the take over would be if Ancestry makes it impossible for people steal photos for use on their own family trees that are frequently incorrect -and frequently taken (stolen) from others.

  69. debra (@DebraJeanTw)

    I have a problem with this. Why weren’t contributors sent emails? My personally owned content is on this site and I had a right to the TOS before the deal was signed. Over the years, I’ve left site after site due to the pay wall. Time will tell.

  70. Phyllis J. K. "Sis" Owens’s acquisition of FindAGrave is all good, fine and dandy as long as they keep to their word and do not charge for the information we have so diligently and arduously collected for other researchers. It upsets me when I find my information that I placed on Rootsweb’s WorldConnect on for sale.

  71. Janice Colvin

    As a long time member and contributor of the Find a Grave website, I truly hope that Ancestry keeps their word and the site remains free. No one should have to pay to have a photo taken of a grave when so many volunteers have and continue to do it for free. I have always gone above and beyond when volunteering for Find a Grave. I can only hope and pray that the site remains free and I can continue with a hobby that I love so much. To my fellow contributors and friends, thank you for all the years we’ve had together on FAG. I love you all! That’s just in case you have to pay to see this later. 🙂

  72. Joe

    I have sent 627 “Suggestions” to FAG memorial creators since I first started working on memorials 4½ months ago. My experience revealed a problem that surprised me:

    Most people respond quickly, a few people take 2-4 weeks to respond, and about 10% do not respond at all.

    In accordance with FAG guidelines—after the recommended 30-day wait—I re-sent my suggestions for the non-responding memorials directly to FAG, in order for FAG to make the changes. The FAG response rate was less than 40%.

    That’a a real problem—to set yourself up as the ultimate and sole solution for specific problems—and then not deliver.

    FAG states in their FAQ’s that they do mass deletions of emails that they receive to combat spam, but they also state that they don’t want you to contact them repeatedly. Hello?

    In 4½ months (and allowing 30 days between requests to memorial creators or FAG), here’s just a sampling of still outstanding suggestions:

    After 3 requests—My maternal grandparents are not transferred to me (which prevents me from linking 3 generations of ancestors to my grandfather, since only a child can link to a parent, not vice-versa, and the memorial creator is non-responsive, as is FAG)

    After 5 requests—My 3x great-grandfather’s brother is still not linked to their mother

    After 2 requests (then I gave up)—FAG never added suggestions to 2 memorials made by a creator on whose profile FAG has attached this note: “NOTE: This contributor seems to be inactive. Please contact Find A Grave for updates to memorials added by this contributor.”

    FAG’s poor response rate sure has set a bad example for the memorial creators with thousands of memorials that never respond to any suggestion, and also won’t provide any way for you to contact them.

    I’ll be watching to see if any steps are taken to fix this problem.

  73. James Barton

    Some thoughts after reading the many comments.

    It is a poor idea to use findagrave or any other web site to preserve family data for future generations. Web sites come and go. The format of the data on a web site can change, obscuring the family connections.
    I think findagrave should be considered only as something for the next ten or fifteen years.

    I thiink the safest way to preserve family data for the future is to print it on good quality, acid free paper, preferably perhaps 22 lb paper. Organize it for use by those not familiar with the data. Keep it in appropriate acid free folders or albums wiith buffer paper as needed, and store it in a cool, dark, dry place.

    CDs and DVDs do not necessarily have a long life. Fifty years from now, the user may have difficulty or too much expense retreiving the data from the CDs and DVDs. Perhaps the safest photo preservation is to have a black and white negative. The negative will last longer than any other media, and the world will always have scanners and software to reverse the image.

  74. Sue Listermann

    I have a full ancestry membership and love it, so I’m hoping they greatly improve the Findagrave site (which I also love)….there are many duplicates as the search engines are lously….I you don’t type the name exactly as it appears on the memorial, you will not get a hit. (which is why they have so many duplicates).
    Also, I sent in an edit to a member who apparently isn’t doing this anymore, I sent findagrave a messaage over 4 months ago asking for transfer of management…I never heard from them and therefore made duplicate memorials so family members can be linked. (see comment #84).
    I have hop that ancestry fixes these “bugs” ASAP

  75. As a volunteer for Find A Grave website I am disappointed that Ancestry is taking it over and since they will most likely charge a fee, my services to FAG will be discontinued.

  76. Carol

    I also found a duplicate memorial for my step-father and it was in the wrong cemetery with a picture of the correct stone. I emailed the person but nothing happened. Mine was there 2 years before the wrong one. And I have connected family members.


  77. Carol Kelly

    I am definitely NOT PLEASED ONE BIT!!!!

    I just pulled up PH in Google maps to get yet another pict of Section 5 to work with.. you know how they put up adds – well one is there for Ancestry – I put in Salmon Rhodes, 1803 Thompson Ct and 1892 Uxbridge and in order to view, I have to sign up for a “free 14 day trial” look, w/my charge card!!! Toooooooo many people got screwed w/their 14 day trial and I won’t…

    The above is something I just sent to a friend… I will be finishing off the 2 large cemeteries I’ve been working on over the past 3 yrs (there were many many small ones to start).

    I definitely did not join so someone else could gain!! I was fine w/the sponsored pages – that is something VERY different in my book and FAG definitely wasn’t making a profit.. But for FAG & Ancestry to say this work will remain FREE!! Just a bunch of BS in my book…

    You all do the same as I have (of course it won’t work the same for the all ready Ancestry Members – But the Non Members – try it with someone YOU have added as a Freebie.. Pretty sure you will get the same info…

  78. James Barton

    Carrie at 79 wrote, “I know there are mistakes in the gravestones with dates and spellings of name. And then there are errors copied from the cemetery records. So nothing is perfect.”

    I am not talking about dates and spellings. I am talking about bizarre. A well intended group in Wisconsin set out to be sure that all Wisconsinites who were part of the Iron Brigade in the Civil War had proper gravestones. Looking for the grave of Stillman Barton, they found the grave of Sylvester Barton in the Barton Cemetery in Waupaca Co, WI. The gravestone read S. Barton 1831 – 1913, and it had a GAR flag holder. They thought they had their man. They ordered a proper veteran’s gravestone and planted it in the cemetery at the grave. The new gravestone, for Stillman Barton, had the dates from Sylvester Barton’s grave stone, 1831 – 1913, and it had Stillman’s service, Pvt Co A, 7 Wis Inf.

    By the ordering of the gravestone, Stillman Barton became entered in the National Cemetery Administration’s data base of U.S. Veterans Gravesites, thence to the website of U.S. Veterans Gravesites, as buried in the Barton Cemetery in Waupaca, WI.

    In 2009, enter the findagrave volunteer. She photographed Sylvester Barton’s original gravestone, S. Barton 1831-1913, and Stillman Barton’s military gravestone also reading 1831-1913. She recorded the date of death as 1931 rather than 1913, thereby giving Stillman a one hundred year life. Sylvester’s wife Cynthia is buried next to him with the dates 1840 – 1924. This was obviously S. Barton’s wife, so the findagrave volunteer included Cynthia 1840 – 1924 on the findagrave page as Stillman Barton’s wife.

    I had been at the cemetery a few years earlier, took photos and recorded the grave inscriptions. I also went to the Court House and collected the corresponding records. Everything matched, so fine.

    In 2011, I looked at the Barton Cemetery data on FAG. One of the photos was almost exactly the same as one I had taken, except there was a new gravestone. The FAG volunteer also took a close-up of the new gravestone revealing it as Stillman Barton, etc. OMG. I began tracking that down by telephone. Neither the cemetery records, nor the death records, nor the Veteran’s Service office, had any Stillman Barton.

    Entering Stillman Barton in Google took me to the group that had done the deed. By telephone, they admitted they had not checked the cemetery records, because they were concerned that if they did, they would be charged $100 for adding Stillman Barton’s gravestone. They had planted the gravestone at night.

    The upshot of my calling up there was that someone from the township office described the problem to Jim Gardner in Waupaca County, an amateur genealogist and a FAG volunteer. He checked the records and confirmed I was correct. He called the VA office who “were as shocked as all of us.” He removed and destroyed the Stillman Barton gravestone and so notified the VA authorities where they had ordered it. The rules were changed so that gravestones now can be delivered ONLY to cemeteries, not to individuals that ordered it, and can be ordered only by relatives The FAG volunteer removed the offending pages from FAG. I added the pages for Sylvester Barton and his wife Cynthia as a defensive measure so no one else could screw it up. Descendants of Sylvester Barton can now find him on FAG.

    All the while, the real Stillman Barton was resting in peace in the Gott Cemetery in Miller County, Missouri, next to his wife Catherine.

    As a final note. The Barton Cemetery records are in the township office which is next to the Barton Cemetery, and all of the small cemetery can be seen from the window of the township office. You’d think someone would check the records.

  79. Wands

    Since nobody wants to diclose your agreement that tells me it will cost money. If thats the case I will no longer post any information on the site. The information that is there is to help people find their family of generations to come. My information was meant to be free not for somweone to come in and take over everyones hard work. We all will wait to see what the agreement will be.

  80. I am also a contributor to FAG, I also make all my entries FREE to anyone to use on their family tree. I also understand if a contributor would remove their entries if the site is charged for. I have had very few problems with anyone on FAG, one person was upset about the use of her pictures, I removed them from my site and refused to discuss the problem further.
    I used to travel far and wide to collect info, at sometimes great expense, but I always shared it free. I have received money for my work but have never ask for it. It is always appreciated.
    As to charging for FAG in the future, I am not sure what I will do with my contributions but think I would pull them and then drop my membership to Ancestry and close my site down. If our membership fees are not paying the bills, then how are they buying out these other sites? Why do we have to put up with pop-ups on a site we pay for?
    Sorry but I am a long time member as you all are and it burns me to the core that we have to pay for pop-ups. are we going to have pop-ups on FAG, just because it is free? OK but don’t charge a membership fee. Don’ make the general public pay a fee of any kind either.

  81. Here we go again. A perfectly good, functioning user supported and maintained site most likely will find itself behind the mega pay wall of Ancestry. As a early contributor of Rootsweb I am very concerned that more and more public domain records are finding themselves behind the Ancestry pay wall. Do the math. $29.95 a month multiplied by millions. Yikes. Oh I forgot, they have to pay for those prime time network TV spots and support that blatant advertising vehicle called “Who Do You Think You Are.” Any information obtained from the public domain should always be in the public domain.

  82. Amby Rogers

    All of these concerns were voiced when Ancestry started supporting Rootsweb. Rootsweb is still free, but hundred’s if not thousands of articles that had been shared were deleted. People were afraid it would become a paid site; well it didn’t.

    My hope is that the “Bullies” on FAG leave or no longer have the control they have now. That if you are a direct descendant and want a memorial, it is given to a family member to over see. We are only Caretakers not owners of these memorials. If someone can prove a direct connection the memorial should be theirs, unless a family member already has it.

    I have been screamed at for sending info to prove connections or additions to a memorial, but I still stay a member and work everyday adding new info to memorials or new memorials.

    Ancestry can only be an improvement to the way things are done and maybe we will finally be able to have “Genealogy” excepted by FAG.

  83. Brian Cartwright

    73/James – it’s out job to cross-reference different sources. I use Ancestry for census, newspapers, military records, etc, where I can see images of the original documents. Then Family Search for images of Pennsylvania marriage licenses. Find-a-Grave for their tombstone photos. Each of these are open in different tabs in my browser as I work on a family, looking at original documents and using my own judgment and experience to find the truth. If someone has a twisted tale, I’ll explain my understanding of it in the person’s notes so that all of you can read my comments as well as the data when viewing my tree on Ancestry.

    My biggest complaint about Find-a-Grave is their horrible geography. The majority of cemeteries that I am personally familiar with are listed in the wrong locations. I know the correct information, but there’s no way I’ve found to submit corrections so that others are not misled.

  84. Miranda Smith

    I hope will come up with a way with dealing with the self proclaimed fag police who troll through peoples memorials looking for problems and mistakes just to be mean and evil. They harrass, threaten and make peoples lives hell. The fag admins just ignore peoples requests for help with this bullying instead of banning them. Hope ancestry will stand up and stop this nonsense.

  85. I have been a find a grave volunteer for over ten years. This news is a blow to the genealogy community and to those who have posted here commenting on people being “bullies” on Find A Grave, I hate to say it, but most of the Bullies are professionals like I am who hate to see undocumented work posted and duplicate memorials put up because people want to “own” their family regardless of who originally posted it.

    As for the photos and stuff I have posted personally, they will be coming down asap. I do not trust Ancestry to keep it free or to maintain it. I do not like Ancestry’s current practice with “user created trees” to begin with because they are full of misleading information and when you suggest that they get rid of the undocumented trees and close the user created section so misinformation does not get out there and lead people astray, they say they wouldn’t make money if not for that. In other words, Ancestry doesn’t care if the wrong information is being put together by hobbyists… as long as they make their money.

  86. Barbara Piwetz

    I hope this means you will improve the dependability of Find A Grave.

    I have found (through significant amounts of time) graves of ancestors that the initial search on Find A Grave said: no finds. I had the name, dates and county and state locations, but Find A Grave would respond, that no one of that description was listed.

    Then going through all the county records of cemeteries on Find A Grave, and I would often find the very person that I had been told was not on their site.

    I noticed this problem increased after Ancestry started linking to them.

  87. Marylee

    I am APPAULED! I left Ancestry before my 2 werk trial was even up for the reason that their members are not required to update their person family trees with correct information! My father is listed as having been born in 1927 when he was born in 1925! My sister was listed as being born in Loveland, Ohio where she grew up! She was never born there and I should know I lived with both of them. But nothing can be done about inaccurate information being used and passed around from personal family trees! Then they had my G-Grandmother Cora Heare Powell married to her son-in-law, my dear Grandfsther Ralph Steinberger! Hmm, Powell-Steinberger…the last names don’t match! The site is not user friendly at all like Find A Grave and Find A Grave required members to make corrections to incorrect information. Not Ancestry! I am VERY disappointed!

  88. Melanie

    As a contributor to Find A Grave I am NOT pleased with this. I’ve spent many hours contributing to that site and it was not to benefit someone who will now likely charge money for something I did for free. No more contributions from me!

  89. Carol Kelly

    Follow Up to Post #89

    I WILL NOT be pulling the pages I put up, as they may help someone in the future, I will finish up what I’m working on but doubt very much I will continue, IF I find out this info won’t be FREE… I won’t pull and that is that.. I won’t act like a two yr old, like the House of Reps are doing right now, to get their way… that would only add to the problems we already have and not solve a thing….

  90. James Barton

    93/Brian – I wrote “This announcement of acquiring, means any carefully researched data entered in findagrave will be merged into’s warehouse of junk genealogy, and displayed for the unwary to pay to look at. Thereby, for example, again connecting families that are not connected, giving parents children they did not have, etc.”

    That is my objection. Someone makes an error. In most cases it is no big deal. But when it gets into the warehouse of junk genealogy, it is spread far and wide and can never be corrected. As they say, to error is human: it takes the internet and to turn it into total chaos.

    For example. In 1940. Margaret Alberta Barton McLean compiled a book, “Roger Barton’s Kinsmen.” In that book, she confused the Roger Barton who married Hannah Norton and lived in Connecticut with Roger Barton who married Elizabeth Miller and lived at The Range in Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada, dying there in 1823. The result was that Roger Barton was listed in the LDS Ancestry File as having two wives, Hannah Norton and Elizabeth Miller. The LDS froze the Ancestry File in 2001 (or 2002), meaning they would accept no more additions or corrections. They realized that when one allows anyone to enter anything the result is junk. But it was online for years.

    Enter Terry Barton and his Barton Historical Society (BHS). They had the correct Roger Barton, but incorrectly living at The Range in Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada and dying there in 1823. I notified the BHS that the real Roger Barton died after 1795, probably in Columbia County, NY. As a result, they “corrected” the entry to say he died in 1823 at The Range in Queens County, New York. Good Grief. They simply moved The Range from Queens County, New Brunswick to Queens County, New York. As a result, the RootsWeb World Connect project for this Roger Barton has 12 files listing his place of death as the mythical Range in Queens County, NY, and 25 files giving his mythical date of death as 1823. The BHS might have corrected there file, but it was already used for a dozen or two other files.

    I have an essay showing an intentional error affecting my line made about 1860 that was repeated in several books and several articles and is still being repeated. One cannot get rid of the junk. How does this affect me? Sometime in the future, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc, will look at what I prepared as their ancestry. They may get interested and look up some of it on the internet. They will find all kinds of “information” different from what I provided, and wonder how I missed so much, particularly on websites where there are so many files showing different data for their ancestry.

    The first part of my solution is to write up all the junk genealogy in my ancestry showing it for what it is and how it got there. Then my descendants will know to ignore the junk online. But that is a lot of extra time and work. And because this stuff is endlessly showing up in new files on new web sites, and with new errors, it will never quit. copies files from and posts them as their files, offering limited freebies to anyone who adds four names to the file. They copied one of my files and corrupted it.

    The second part of my solution is NOT to put newly found ancestors on the internet. I broke down a brick wall that stymied family researchers for a documented 110 years. In tracing that ancestry back, I found it led to a bogus royal ancestry. I knew that if I put it on the internet, it wouldn’t be long before and/or a junk genealogist would connect my ancestry to the bogus royal ancestry, and it would proliferate from there, and could never be corrected. Therefore, I kept that one private.

    The third part of my solution is to begin a website of There are so many sites offering junk genealogy, why not have one with that name? I haven’t had time yet to populate it, but it promises to be fun.

    Does anyone have better solutions?

    BTW, Brian. I completed an extensive documented ancestry, none of it inherited from family members, and none of it using

  91. Deb Rudy

    I am saddened at the sale of Find A Grave. I’ve dedicated more than 2 years of my free time to adding photos to existing memorials and adding memorials that were missing in all my local cemeteries so that others seeking ancestors might find them. That the former owner of FAG and now Ancestry will profit from my work is disheartening. I have enjoyed deciphering all of the hard to read old headstones, looking forward to the challenge, even tho they were not my kin. And have relished the sweet comments from those who found their progenitors and other 1700-1900 ancestors because of my volunteer work. I am a member of Ancestry and very happy with the amount of historical data they provide, I use it daily. But, if indeed, Ancestry’s ownership of Find A Grave changes its status from free to a fee, sadly I too, will no longer volunteer my time.
    Has ANYONE at either Ancestry or Jim from Find A Grave even thought to openly thank all the volunteers who made their transaction possible?

  92. Cynthia Moore

    I have contributed 30,000 plus photos and memorials to Find a grave, all in the spirit of sharing.

    Ancestry and Find a Grave have proven to be valuable sources of information over the years.

    I have found cousins through both sites.

    I wish everyone success in this change over and hope people think hard and long about deleting anything and refrain from such a selfish action. A woman found her biological mother just last week from one of my listings. She had searched for 7 years.

  93. Dennis Lurgio

    There is one simple solution to all these problems. Like in family tree maker each person should have their own account to create their own family memorials as far back as their ancestors take them. No need to deal with bullies, transfers, corrections, duplicates (many related families have their own trees and share with one another, why not their own grave sites), ownership (we don’t need those who create thousands of memorials without any information just to have the most memorials and then feel that they own them), copyright won’t be an issue since photos and information can be blocked. I just would like to record and manage my own family memorials and create a book to share with my entire family. Findagrave is in total chaos and needs a complete overhaul. I’m relying on Ancestry to make it better. I can understand why Mr. Tipton sold out.

  94. Big Ern

    I’m sure that TPTB realize that there will be a mass exodus if Findagrave becomes a pay site. Some people have already deleted their memorials because of the sale. I for one have put in too much time and effort making memorials to delete them all. If the site were to become pay, I would no longer have any enthusiasm to add any new entries.

  95. I also post pictures of gravestone on Findagrave. In tryin to find some relatives stones I started takin pictures of all the stones after I found Findagrave. This cemetery had never been done, have just done one section and have had a few people contact me and have given information to add to site. One problem is once you have entered a pic then the person whose ancestor it is cannot add the information. Had the cemetery where a lot of my relatives are, someone had intered onto all just a pic of the cemetery entrance sign and now I cannot entered their bio’s or parents and such. I hope this can be fixed, I even signed up for a sponsor of site and still cannot put information on.
    All my information is open to all and found all kinds of relatives, even found out that our neighbors we grew up next to were distant cousins. My husbands mother was from a family that the mother died young and the father farmed out the kids and dissappeared. Well we connected with one of her brothers family, more cousins.
    I try to research all information from other people and some states are better with their records then others. I am thrilled when soneone does give me better information
    Keep Findagrave free and I will be able to finish the cemetery that I started.

  96. Walter

    I, for one, am excited about this acquisition! It paves the way for a tighter integration with other search tools in ancestry. I think we can also look forward to a more collaborative FindAGrave submission model. Most importantly, the development of a mobile application for field work is really exciting.

  97. If Ancestry’s acquisition of Rootsweb (over a decade ago) is any guide, they’ll hoover every bit of useful information from Find-a-Grave, remove any references to the researchers/contributors who did all the work, and then move the information behind their paywall.

    Ancestry has demonstrated over and over again that they cannot be trusted to act either as good stewards of valuable genealogical information or as ethical researchers/publishers.

  98. Annie

    Congratulations to for acquiring Find A Grave. Please keep Find A Grave free with the exception of the five dollar sponsorship for speciific graves so that no advertisements appear on that page. Please keep Find A Grave just the way that Jim Tipton and A.J. Merick maintained it. They did an outstanding job and Find A Grave has brought me so much serenity and pleasure thoughout the eight years that I have been a member.

  99. Amy

    I never created an ancestry tree because I didn’t want to forever pay a subscription to access my own information. Instead I posted a tree on find-a-grave, and have most of my own ancestors and extended family, going back a few generations. This way, distant relatives can access my work without subscribing to

    While find-a-grave is free to users, the owners of find-a-grave (and Ancestry) are not a charity. They and their employees work full-time to make find-a-grave happen for free. Findagrave is supported by advertising, but even then, someone has to do the sales work to find advertisers. While we can all agree the administration is not great, they actually do sometimes do administration on these 100 million memorials. Even if Jim Tipton made a VERY good living with findagrave, why not? It was a great idea. He or someone else had to have a great deal of techno savvy just to set up the website. They offered a great service where we could all access and contribute for free. There is no reason they should not be compensated for that. It always felt like a good deal to access for free, if all I had to do was put up with annoying ads.

    Similarly I have no issues if Ancestry profits. Ancestry also has overhead just to remain in business. I keep an ancestry subscription to do research, though do suspend my subscription when I do not expect to be using it. It doesn’t matter to me if an individual profits or a corporation profits. Corporations are often owned by shareholders… people like you and me who have retirement accounts, and who hope their investments will turn a profit. My daughter owned a day-care with a friend… they were a corporation. They made a PROFIT!!! OMG, they earned money providing an essential service. They earned less than $9 per hour (their profit) and were barely staying afloat.

    If the argument is wrong to make money from stuff others contributed for free, what about Salvation Army and Good Will?

    I do not care who profits from what I freely contribute to findagrave. All I care about is that this site remains free.

    I also do NOT want other members to make make changes to my memorials without my approval… I use find-a-grave to correct bad genealogy that is elsewhere on the Internet. There are people on ancestry who insist my gg-grandfather was married to two women at the same time… I do not those people to willy nilly change the memorial I did for him.

  100. CSMujahid

    Not sure if this is good or bad. So how many is that now? I keep running into companies now owned by Ancestry. I am very leery of monopolies since I have seen little good come of them. We’ll see how this Find-A-Grave purchase goes. If it stays free it’s one thing. If not, there are other sources.

  101. Vicki

    Looking forward to the FindAGrave app for phones. Just got a new smart phone and I’m already finding it useful for graving. Now if the webpages would only be small enough to fit my little screen…

    It is an awesome responsibility that Ancestry has taken on by purchasing this fantastic website. Just keep it going the way it is and you’ll do just fine!

    I love it that Ancestry started included FindAGrave memorials in the death records. It makes it much less likely that copyright theft will occur if all the user has to do is click on a link.

  102. Dennis Lurgio

    I would like to create my own private findagrave site on ancestry. I have been creating memorials for my ancestors for many years. When I discovered findagrave I was very excited and spent 1000’s of hours recording and linking their memorials, over 400, all related going back many generations. My memorials were complete. I then started getting nasty emails about duplications and 4th direct generation rule. Many of my memorials, with all my information were being merged because someone else made the memorial first. The complaints were made from those that were bulk downloading, and had memorials in the 100,000’s range, and felt that they owned the memorials. I ended up deleting all my memorials. I would like to beta test creating my own memorials on ancestry with the goal of creating a memorial book for my family. Is this possible? A long time ancestry member……

  103. Ross B. Yingst

    I hate to say it but I told you so but that is water under the bridge.
    The FaG biz model was a good one. Get volunteers fired up and let them do the leg work for the data base. Size of data base will be a factor in a sale so push for large numbers; accuracy doesn’t matter. I was hooted off a couple the forums a couple of time for suggesting such a concept. I have had a couple of posts disappear.
    I have been a paying member of Ancestry since I got the Genealogy bug but this may be my last year, just due to lack of regular need.
    I found Ancestry useful but never even considered airing my family history on their web site. The poster here who suggested a paper record for permanent records is very correct, with a magnetic media a good alternate.
    I am still generating memories at FaG, trying to document my local cemeteries, particularly the graves of Vets.
    I will quit when there is charge to use Fag material and that may be soon. Ancestry is in the biz to make money.
    As for deleting your memorials forget it. They have to ON – OFF switch.

  104. Should the “free” access / usage / functioning of the Internet website: “” become “pay per view”, as part of Ancestry (with respect to my unpaid creations – i.e. the 7,250+ memorials which I oversee): I shall have no qualms about organizing [and financing] a national Class-Action lawsuit to challenge the COMMERCIAL use of such private contributions, in a court of law.

    Dr. R.C.K. PhD.

    Robert Kuhmann (#46567652)
    FAG member for 10 years, 8 months, 21 days.

  105. People need to step-back and take a look at the bigger picture — both Find A Grave and have co-existed (and shared information) for some time now — this merger should come as no real surprise to anyone. Among the family memers I manage are some buried in a cemetery in rural Kentucky — as the original F.A.G. admin who photographed them, years ago was incapcitated for some time, I had to work to gain admin control of those burial sites for editing/contributions only a family member could make. Also, not a slap at F.A.G., as they’ve done all they could with the resources they had, but I, for one, am looking forward to a mobile app in the future. Finally, I have no problem with leaving my contributions, there, as that is why I contributed — to share my family story with the world…

  106. KIM

    Is there someone or somewhere to put in suggestions for new rules for find a grave when the acquirement becomes official? So tired of seeing obits copy & pasted into brand new memorials, BEFORE the deceased is even buried. How about some repect for the deceased, and for their grieving relatives? There needs to be a grace period put into place for newly departed memorials. I would have gladly waited the grace period to enter my grandmother’s memorial rather than learn that it was created the day after she died. After all, the name of the website is FIND A GRAVE, not report an obit.

  107. Dennis Lurgio

    I would like to see FTM design a program similar to FAG that i could create my own memorials for my own family without worrying about duplications, transfers, copyrights and all the other nonsense guidelines they have. The hoarders like GerbLady are uploading thousands of memorials from cemeteries and refusing transfers to family members because of FAG’s ridiculous guidelines. I don’t understand the mentality that because they listed the memorial first that they own it.

  108. gail frost

    I am very disappointed to hear this news. I knew it was coming when became a part of ancestry’s records search. Unfortunately, findagrave will eventually be phased out – that’s what does to their competition. I wonder if Billiions of is owned by Ancestry and if the files will be transferred over to their site. Nothing surprises me anymore – just disappointed that the creator of findagrave sold out when he originally stated it would never happen.

  109. Sally

    Does any one know if this is the reason why the web link to the memorial page is now so long and varied that it is too cumbersome to easily add it as to someone’s record on an tree? It used to be so easy. A big mistake was made by whoever authorized this recent change. It is a big step backwards.

    Of course if actually passed on as a “hint” every Find a Grave memorial that met their matching requirements this wouldn’t be an issue. I have no idea why this is not done but I have seen it time and time again. Now it takes too long to add the link so I no longer do it. Fortunately, they are still recognizing the old shorter link.

  110. Laurie

    Thank you, Kim! (Comment #118) I found it creepy that some woman I didn’t know placed Dad’s obituary & photo on Find-a-Grave. And the page says it was created “Sept. 28th” the date daddy died; my God it’s not a RACE, you weirdos!! I wrote the woman who created the memorial, telling her about the “mistakes” my evil step-mother made in Daddy’s obituary & luckily the stranger immediately transferred management rights to me. Why a perfect stranger feel it’s his responsibility to create a memorial for someone before the funeral is BEYOND me. Hello, give the *family* a chance to do it, first.

  111. glenda

    @Sally (comment #122) If you are on a memorial and the link is too convoluted and long to use – this usually happens when you have gotten to the memorial via other memorials – all you have to do to get to the short version is:

    1: highlight the memorial number and copy it
    2: click on “Begin new search”
    3: click on the Memorial # field and paste the number you copied in step #1
    4: click Search

    That should result in the short version of the link

    I too hope this site will remain free and if not I will probably stop volunteering but I am willing to wait and see and want to believe ancestry when they say it will remain free.

  112. Joey

    Having read 124 comments, I have several of my own.
    First, I am appalled by those who are threatening to remove (or have already done so) all their memorials from Find-a-Grave because of FEAR of something that may not even happen – i.e.: becoming a paid site. That’s right – take all your toys and go home. Forget about all the trips and hours you’ve already put into preserving history. Make it personal.
    Maybe the owner is tired; maybe he or someone in his family has medical issues; maybe it is just time to retire. Face it – there is no way he can do this forever; we are all mortal.
    Maybe he needs time to pursue other interests and this is too time-consuming to be able to do both.
    (Why all the “how dare he sell!!!” comments? We all move on at some point – whether willingly or by death.)
    And maybe his payment was what his share of ad revenue for the next 10 or so years would have been.
    So for all of you who feel the need to take your memorials off the site – take heart. You can add them to your state or US genweb site. They are free sites. (Check them out; the local and national volunteers would appreciate your help.)
    As for F-a-G, there will still be those of us who continue to add our photos and information to the site. We will even replace the memorials that you deleted. And we will allow others to use our photos too.
    There will always be competition, but it does take money to run these sites (even free ones).

  113. Steve late beck

    Oh, they’ll start charging but then they’ll lose 90% of the volunteers, myself included. What will the site be then?

  114. Dennis Lurgio

    I would like to see FTM design a program similar to FAG that i could create my own memorials for my own family without worrying about duplications, transfers, copyrights and all the other nonsense guidelines they have. The hoarders like GerbLady are uploading thousands of memorials from cemeteries and refusing transfers to family members because of FAG’s ridiculous guidelines. I don’t understand the mentality that because they listed the memorial first that they own it. – See more at: Please give me a version of findagrave that can be privatized and end all this nonsense that’s going on!

  115. Chris Recker

    I’m glad that this acquisition will improve enhancements, but I strongly urge FindAGrave and Ancestry to stay committed to the original intent of FindAGrave’s founders.

    “We think it is important that Find A Grave searching remains free and have required that Find A Grave search results always be available on the ‘free side’ of those sites.”

    – From Frequent Asked Questions,

  116. Jack Anthony

    I am thrilled about this. Long time coming in my humble opinion. Ancestry mgmt & staff are phenomenal and will only improve findagrave.

  117. Clarence Martin

    I think Ancestry has degraded their site by linking to info on Find-A-Grave web site. Many of the memorials can’t be accessed because of being deleted by volunteer Admins when in a pissed off mood. I had one of those people delete hundreds of memorials I had made including ones I had sponsored. Ancestry’s bots must not be able to tell that a memorial has been deleted so much of the info they think is on the web site is no longer there. Check out this web site for more comments about F.A.G.

  118. Yale St. Clair

    Americans are so funny. You folks have access to a FREE site with FREE disk space to record all of these graves, and to obtain info about your ancestors and where they are buried. You then are outraged when the guy who provided all of this FREE stuff decides to sell it to and you threaten to delete your work which is childish. You also come up with all types of gloom and doom scenarios that probably will not happen.

    This is an example of pure capitalism. They guy had a good idea. He provided all of the disk and databases and all of the IT work behind the scenes so that you people could enter in all of this info. No one was forcing you! He then had a chance to sell it and make some money and you people are up in arms about it. It has been a valuable service and will continue to be so. Please stop whining.

  119. Mary Gentry

    As someone who has contributed to Find A Grave I also hope that this site is kept free. I input information as a volunteer without expecting anyone to make a fortune off of the site. I am a bit disappointed that it could possibly become subscription only. I won’t be deleting the graves I’ve added, but will be waiting to see what happens before I add anymore information.

  120. Cindy

    I just heard about this acquisition today, and sincerely hope Find A Grave remains the FREE wonderful resource it is for those of us trying to piece our family histories together and honor those that have gone before us.

    I urge everyone who has threatened to delete their Memorials on Find A Grave because of this acquisition to PLEASE STOP AND THINK OF THE DAMAGE YOU WILL DO TO COUNTLESS FAMILY LINKS!

    And, Ancestry, PLEASE, no ‘private’ Memorials like the private trees on

    Respectfully, Cindy

  121. Genealogists all share the same DNA. All we need to do is trace back far enough and everyone on this planet is related to one another.

    Anyone who publishes their data, on paper or the web, should expect their efforts to be used. And preferably sourced and credited.

    Genealogy is not free. Research is not free. Internet connections from ISP’s are not free. All 133 posters above me feel strongly in their own convictions. Me, I share my 25 years of research ‘freely’. I update my web site every 3 to 6 months. And weekly I make some type of contact with new kin or a cousin of a cousin. We share our findings, but I use the Ronald Reagan method of research. Trust but Verify. Thus I do my darnedest to Cite a Source. The work of another who has not cited their work is insufficient. A picture of a tombstone is a GREAT source.

    What can we do to use this BLOG to assist Ancestry to improve Find A Grave?

    How about an APP for the researcher in all of us.
    Compound the ideas of sites like billion graves and incorporate tools to make Ancestry the go to place for data.
    1) Where is each cemetery located. [GPS Coordinates in a decimal degrees format.] User plottable by the submitter using a service like Google Maps to zoom to the cemetery location.

    2) The App should be linkable to existing Cemeteries with missing photographs of the tombstone.

    3) If the tombstone picture is taken with GPS enabled device. Autopopulate FAG’s Cemetery Plot coordinates. Also the App should be able to list the photographed tombstones that are missing the coordinates. Thus a follow-up researcher could scroll through a list of ‘missings’ stand in front of the stone. Click on update coordinates and either instantly update those coordinates or the device, once back in WiFi could upload each perspective tombstone.

    4) Photographing undocumented cemeteries could be accomplished infinitely faster. Walk down each row. Photograph each tombstone. Click and Go, Click and Go. At the end of the day upload all the photo’s and VOLUNTEERS could begin the (time consuming) transcription process.

    Anyone could and should have edit rights. You must be a member to edit. And/or an administrator could approve the submitted corrections. ……… sometimes a death certificate can help discern if it’s a 1 or 7, a 3 or an 8. And as we all probably have found,,,,, some date on the tombstone is what we think is wrong. E.g. I have a relative who shows up on the 1880 census as being 6/12 born Nov. Well,,, we can figure the she was born Nov 1879. Why oh why, does her tombstone read she was born in 1882 died 1963. Record what we find. Record it the way that source presents it. And move on. There is no right and wrong in data as long as you support where you find it.

    Let’s make Ancestry the go to place for all of our kin’s data. We own none of it. We are only on this ……….. a short time.

    Who can add to this collaborative thinking.

  122. June Markwalter

    i am already experiencing memorials of my family being deleted. It is such a same this free site will become a fee based site. It is also a shame contributors would delete information that could help keep the memory of their relatives alive. This merger is a loss for everyone.

    • Kristie Wells

      June, Find A Grave will remain a *free* site to use. It is an amazing tool fueled by the efforts of volunteers around the world, we want that to continue and do not have any intention of changing it.

  123. JillSlade


  124. Claudia

    WHY AM I BLOCKED ALL OF A SUDDEN FROM Findagrave???!!!! I can’t access ANY of the memorials I have created AND PAID FOR??!! I also pay for FULL ACCESS TO ANCESTRY. I have been a PAYING SUBSCRIBER for YEARS and now I’m BLOCKED??!!! And NO ONE will respond!!!!!!!

    Yes, I’m PISSED.

  125. Andrea

    Dear all.

    I have put 400 graves and photos on find a and have been a memeber for 11 months – what im concerned about is the fact that not one of these – not even the first one i put on in April 2013 has yet appeared on ancestry as a hint or in the search –
    Why is it taking so long ?

    I love the site – its a wonderful idea and the people are great –

    Also wish it could be as easy as walking down each row and click – we have a lot of damaged , unreadable, covered in thorns , unkempt graves here in England

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