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home > Person County Cemeteries > Cemetery Survey Guidelines
This page last updated on 26 Aug 2006

Cemetery Survey Guidelines

We need your help.

If you can help with a cemetery survey, please read this information carefully. This page provides guidelines for doing a cemetery survey.

Our goal in posting the hundreds of listings for graves that will eventually end up on this web site is to make this information available to genealogists - and -  to do our best to be certain that the information is correct.

Recording Inscriptions from Stones

The best cemetery surveys are those done with great care and done precisely. The objective is to make available exactly the information that appears on a tomb stone. Additional information about the person buried there may be included if known by you, but should be carefully distinguished from the information on the stone. Here is an example that illustrates what we like to show on a web page:

Martha E / wife of / R D Tuck / Feb 28, 1862 / May 31, 1925 / Asleep in Jesus /

Slashes indicate each line on the stone, thus this stone has six lines containing the name, date of birth, and date of death. Copy the dates exactly the way they appear on the stone. Here is an example of a double stone:

DAY (double stone)
Rebecca Clayton / Mother / May 5, 1883 / Feb 22, 1950 /
David Tinnie / Father / Dec 8, 1880 / Mar 31, 1956 /

This is an example of added information:

Joe Roy ( Burton ) / son of / J. J. ( James Joseph ) & Magnolia ( Yarbrough ) / Burton /
Nov. 13, 1904 / Oct. 21, 1943 / Gone, but not forgotten. ( Inside concrete border )

Note that the information added by the surveyor is in parentheses. Added information is useful to other researchers, but it should be obvious to the reader that the information was added and did not appear on the stone. Feel free to add information that you know about the person buried beneath the stone, but always use parentheses to enclose the information that was not on the stone.


Please take the time to carefully and accurately transcribe the information on the stones. If you encounter dates that are illegible, add comments to explain what you found. Write in a manner that you can easily read your notes once you are back at home.

Other Information

Some basic information about each cemetery is also needed. This should include:

Name of the cemetery If the cemetery has an accepted name, use that name. Otherwise use the name of the oldest grave in the cemetery.
Location This can be a general location such as Allensville or Woodsdale.
Directions These directions should be sufficient to allow a person to find the cemetery. Generally assume that the person following your directions is starting in downtown Roxboro.
Access It may be appropriate to note that the cemetery is next to a highway and thus easy to visit. In other cases you might note that the cemetery is on priviate property, hidden from the road, and that permission to visit would be appropriate.
GPS Coordinates If you can provide the GPS Coordinates for the cemetery, please do; if not, that is not a problem!
Other Please add any other comments that you think would be useful to other researchers, both those who visit the cemetery and those who do not. This could include your observations about how well the cemetery is maintained, tips on finding the cemetery, or comments about unusual tombstones.

Submit Your Survey

The easiest way to submit your completed survey is to put it in the body of an email. Follow the format used for cemetery surveys already posted on this web site. You will find some examples here, here, and here. A better way to submit your survey is as a Microsoft WORD file. We can help with the details of how to format the contents of the file.

Email your survey to Ken and Becky at the following email address. This email is easy to remember; it's Flat River Grave Finders. The address is given here as a picture in order to keep "spammers" from capturing the address. That means that you will have to key it into your email software rather than just clicking on the address.

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Taking photographs is a great way to remember the details of a cemetery. Photographs that show general views of a cemetery and especially photographs of a church if the cemetery is a church cemetery are helpful. Photographs of individual tomb stones are probably most useful to the researcher who took them. Inscriptions on individual stones are often difficult to read in photographs. The first goal for this web site is to post transcriptions of stones, since that information is more valuable to more researchers. So, while you are taking photographs, please take the time to also make a proper written survey of graves in the cemetery.

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