Cemetery Update Services

How the Magic Happens


When we are done it will feel like

THERE HAS BEEN

~ MAGIC ~


 

Know up front that you have options and that we will tailor our services completely to meet your needs and your funding situation.

We offer mapping services if that is all that is needed.

We offer stand-alone record services if that is all that is needed.

We give you the options of purchasing our entire package of services (updating and onsite proofing of both your maps and records) or purchasing only what you need. We have separated these processes into Phases to accommodate the unique needs of each cemetery.  

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We call this process Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three.

Properly updating a cemetery typically involves all three phases as in almost all cases, there are discrepancies in the records and huge differences and errors between what is in the written records and maps and what you will find on-site at the cemetery. If the records are to be as correct as possible, these errors need to be corrected by implementing all three phases.

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What happens in Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three?

 


 

Phase One: 

The cemetery copies and sends us all of their records and maps. (Note: If all three phases are purchased, it is usually not necessary to make copies of the records as we will arrive onsite and use the original records.) We enter the records into a database and re-map the maps using a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) Program. We glean as much information as is possible from the existing records. We note any discrepancies that are found and make the maps so that it can be seen at a glance where each burial is, who each burial is, which graves are empty but have been sold and which graves are empty and still for sale. We also highlight where the veterans are located.  

When this process is completed, all new maps and records are printed and compiled into a weather resistant, easy to handle book that lends itself very well to being onsite or anywhere. Every cemetery record needed is available in this book. The record keeping system we implement is simple and easy. We strive to make the records so simple that pretty much anyone can easily find information to operate the cemetery. This is key in eliminating dependency on only one or two people who understand the records or the layout of the cemetery.

If the original records are deemed to be fairly accurate or if funding for Phase Two and Phase Three are unavailable, Phase One may be the only portion of the services that is purchased. If only Phase One is purchased, your records will be much improved over the original version and will be archived.

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No matter which phase(s) you choose

Phases One, Two and Three records all include the following:

  •     8 ½” X 11” over-all cemetery map and all burial maps
  •     Alphabetical listing of all burials
  •     Numerical listing of burials by location
  •     Chronological listing of burials by death dates
  •     8 ½” X 11” computer drawn map highlighting the location of each veteran in the cemetery
  •     Alphabetical and Numerical listing of Veterans
  •     Alphabetical and Numerical listing of Lot Owners
  •     You will receive also receive a Compact Disc digital copy of your records and maps

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Phase One Note:

Phase One can be purchased separately from Phase Two and Phase Three. Phase One is  sometimes purchased alone when the cemetery staff or volunteers wish to complete Phase Two (and sometimes Phase Three as well) by themselves. Detail and accuracy oriented, computer savvy, and physically capable volunteers who will stick to the project to completion can be used for Phase Two and Phase Three.

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Phase Two:

During Phase Two, everything that can be gathered from the cemetery and the headstones is recorded and later combined and proofed with the original records.

 

Phase Two requires being on-site and measuring the location of the roads, accurately placing each grave, locating buildings and other features and doing our best to figure out and piece together an often very difficult puzzle. Data is meticulously gathered from the headstones. Names are proofed for correct spellings. Dates are proofed for accuracy. Personal information that can be discerned from the headstones is recorded. 

Phase Two is done with a clip-board, pencils, erasures, shovels, grave probe, tape measures, rolls of colored string, spikes, marking flags, metal detector and a bunch of stick-to-it. This phase is subject to rain, wind, blistering heat and sometimes temperatures that are so cold that is makes holding a pencil difficult. This phase often involves wet shoes from the early morning dew or hungry, biting and crawling bugs that are often sneaky and relentless. It takes many long hours before a project is completed.  Aching backs, necks, legs and feet can be expected as this phase is surprisingly physical and mentally demanding. Total focus and meticulous attention to detail is required.  

With all of that said, Phase Two is usually beautiful and extremely peaceful as cemeteries tend to be very soothing and picturesque. Phase Two is when we have observed entire families gathering on a family member’s grave. We have watched them spread a blanket and have a picnic and laughter while reminiscing can often be heard. 

Sometimes someone will arrive alone with flowers and will sit near a grave and talk and cry.

It is in this phase of the process that cemetery visitors often approach us to inquire about what we are doing. Often, during that encounter they tell us of personal stories and area history and of their family members who are now at the cemetery. They tell of how those people are still loved, cherished and deeply missed.

It is in this phase that we are thanked for preserving the history of their loved ones.

It is in this phase that we are reminded that what we do is important and are reminded each time of why we love our job and why we do our best to do our best.

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Phase Three:

When completing Phase Three, we do our best to purge inaccuracies. During Phase Three, information and corrections that were gathered from the cemetery is entered into the computer. In this phase, the information from the original records is merged with the data that was collected from the headstones. After all of the corrections and changes have been completed, the records and maps are re-printed and then compiled into an easy to use, weather resistant book. A digital copy of the corrected records and maps is then produced and the three-ring-binder and everything in it is then returned.

When this process is completed, the cemetery records are as correct as we could make them. 

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Phase Three Note:  When Phase Three is complete, it is advisable that at this point, the public be notified of this project. Encourage them to bring information and documentation to you so that you can further the accuracy of your records. If it is deemed that the information they produce is accurate, enter it in the records. This step can be valuable as often, information that was never entered in the records can be recovered. Inviting the public to participate in this process is an opportunity for that which has been lost, to be restored. Sometimes records are woefully inadequate and headstones are missing, were never placed or are impossible to read and someone in the public just might be able to fill in the missing information. It is worth a try.

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At completion, Phases One, Two and Three will include the following:

  •     8 ½” X 11” map of the cemetery and all burial maps
  •     Alphabetical listing of all burials
  •     Numerical listing of burials by location
  •     Chronological listing of burials by death dates
  •     8 ½” X 11” computer drawn map highlighting the location of each veteran in the cemetery
  •     Alphabetical and Numerical listing of Veterans
  •     Alphabetical and Numerical listing of Lot Owners
  •     You will also receive a Compact Disc digital copy of your records and maps

 

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A Software Package can also be made available

 


THE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR RECORDS AND MAPS WILL BE AMAZING.


 

Click here to CONTACT US

or you can get in touch with us by

telephone at (507) 453-0811. 

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We are looking forward to hearing from you!