Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday, Findagrave, and Technology Trouble with Family Tree Maker

Every visit to a cemetery includes both pictures of my ancestors' graves as well as pictures of random graves found next to or near my ancestors graves.  My goal this week is to update findagrave.com and add the people and pictures I've taken.  I've finished adding about 75% of the names, but only 40% of the pictures. I've been a member of the findagrave community for 4 months and have added 449 memorials.  I've added 250 pictures (although there may be multiple pictures for one memorial) and completed 5 requests (I'm trying to average at least once a month).  I've started three virtual cemeteries: Melissa's ancestors, Brenden's ancestors, and Possible Ancestors (people that may be related, that I have to research).  So far, Brenden's family has 117 memorials, my family 42, and possible with 140.  Looks like I have some graves to add for my side...

I also utilize an option on findagrave which lets me download a spreadsheet with the names and information from the memorials I have entered.  I love this option, as I use it to compare to my list of pictures taken and list of graves I still need to visit/find.

I've fallen behind in entering the burial locations in my family tree.  Part of the problem is I'm having trouble with the Family Tree Maker software on my computer (Vista), it keeps crashing!  I've followed through the helpful advice I've read online about fixing the problem, but so far no luck.  I'm frustrated as I spent $75 for the deluxe version, after reading many reviews online about it being one of the best.  I love how it has the option of merging duplicates, fixing errors, and printing customized reports.  I wish it had the ability to update as I enter information on ancestry.com family tree or vice versa.  It seems to work fine until I try to upload my ancestry.com gedcom file.  Perhaps there's an error embedded in the file, but I don't know how to fix it without starting all over.  Maybe I have too many people in my tree....lol.... Have you had the same trouble with Family Tree Maker? Were you able to fix the problem? What software would you recommend?

Here's today's tombstone:

I found this tombstone to be extremely interesting (note: I am not related).  Tombstone found in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hilliside, Cook, Illinois.

Woodmen of the World Memorial
John Vacco, died June 18, 1916, age 43
Domenico Vacco, died June 18, 1916, age 14
Maggie Vacco, died June 18, 1916, age 9

I was curious, what did "Woodmen of the World Memorial" mean? Why had this family died all on the same day?  So I did a little research....According to Wikipedia, Woodmen of the World,
"is a fraternal organization based in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, that operates a large privately held insurance company for its members.  Its history includes the erection of numerous distinctive tombstones depicting tree stumps across the country prior to 1930, a program to donate flags, and broadcast interests...There are 2,000 community based Woodmen of the World (WOW) lodges throughout the nation.  Lodges conduct volunteer, patriotic, and charitable activities that benefit the community and its members."
I haven't found the obituaries or any information about the Vacco family and why they all passed on the same day.


  1. Melissa,

    I would be very happy to help you with Family Tree Maker. Please let me know the version.


  2. My great grandfather was a Woodman. I had some information on that somewhere here. I had no idea FindAGrave allowed you to download what you already input. I'll have to start inputting my graves there. Very cool to know!

  3. Russ,
    thank you for offering to help. I have family tree maker 2010. I just read your blog post about the patch available for vista users. I'll try that out and see if it works :)

    thank you so much