22 March 2011

ICAPGen Cemetery Grant Program -- Whispers From The Dust

A central mission of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) is “to advance family history/genealogy work around the world by accrediting and promoting genealogy professionals who are competent, ethical, and reliable.”  We have made great strides in mentoring, testing, and accrediting genealogy professionals in recent years.

Many do not realize that another part of the ICAPGen mission is “to work to promote the preservation of genealogical materials.”  Accordingly, we have something exciting to announce…

“Whispers from the Dust” – A Cemetery Grant Program

Cemeteries have always been essential to genealogical research. Unfortunately, headstones, paper burial records, and maps are especially vulnerable to time and elements, and every year more and more are permanently lost. These important records – both maps and burial data – need not be lost forever; technology exists to safeguard them for future generations and make them available to researchers today.

Imagine making a “virtual” visit to a cemetery with an online map that identifies each grave individually.  Imagine clicking on that grave and viewing birth, death, spouse, marriage, and military information along with a headstone photo.  Now, imagine zooming out and identifying everyone buried in adjacent graves. Integrated mapping and data will help solve genealogical puzzles that could not be solved with mere headstone transcriptions.  Off-site backup of digital records safeguard them for future generations.

This exciting and innovative technology is all part of the “Whispers from the Dust” cemetery grant program.

ICAPGen, as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, will work with cemeteries that can benefit from a grant to modernize their mapping and data systems. Cemeteries of all sizes will be invited to apply for a grant that will cover up to 90% of the cost of the project. This will be a welcome opportunity for many cemeteries that recognize a need to update and preserve their records but lack the necessary funding. Maps and data from these projects will be uploaded to a central website, easily and freely available to all genealogy researchers.  Visit http://www.namesinstone.com/ to see how the maps and data will be shared online.

We invite you visit http://www.icapgen.org/ for more information, and to learn how you might participate in this program.

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