Cemetery archive website a unique tool for genealogy buffs


By Dan Rankin
What began in 2004 as a volunteer venture by the group CanadaGenWeb has become the “Cemetery Project,” a free searchable database of every grave marker in over 18,000 cemeteries across Canada. A recent update on the Web site (Cemetery.CanadaGenWeb.org) has their Ontario listings current up to Aug. 31.
For us here in St. Marys, that means to find a photo of the monument of a dearly departed loved one in the local cemetery, all it takes is one click on the site’s “Ontario” page, and a simple search of their surname and first name. The result will show their name, birth year, death year and cemetery into which they’ve been interred. Click the desired name, and you’ll find a photo of the tombstone in question and, for the St. Marys Cemetery at least, the section in which it can be found.
If you spot a mistake in spelling or another detail, a comment submission space is provided below the photo. Many older stones have become less legible over time, so their details are not complete on the site. In this way, family members and relatives can help the creators of the site fill in their database.
“It’s really a cool site,” said Perth South councillor Sam Courriveau, presenting the web site as an item of interest for the council this week, as they’ve recently taken control of overseeing the Sebringville Cemetery. “It’s really neat to follow family trees.”