Monday, April 19, 2010

Forest Park Cemetery, Joplin, MO

I have received a few comments from people asking if I know how they can get photos of headstones at this cemetery. I do not believe that there is an actual on-line inventory of graves with photos, I haven't even been able a complete list of all the graves online. Having an on-line photo database is nearly impossible when you see the size of the cemetery.
There are a couple of ways to get photos of your families headstones. First of course is visit there, which for most people doesn't work. Another way is to find someone who is willing to take photos for you. There is a website called "Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness" which is a bunch of volunteers that are willing to go and get info or photos for people in the area where they live.
You will need to sign up as a volunteer and offer to do some volunterring of your own but it is worth it.
For information and photos of Forest Park specifically, you will need to contact the cemetery and get the location or section your family member is buried in. This can be done by sending a letter with a self-addressed, stamped evelope enclosed. Be sure to include your family members complete name, do not ask for them to look up everyone with a specific last name. If possible also include dates. This is how I originally found my family members in the cemetery.
Once you get that information back from the cemetery then visit "Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness" at
Once you are on their home page scroll down about halfway to the place where it says "Guidelines for making a request", click that link. This will take you to a page that lists all the rules for requesting a lookup, once you read those rules and you are at the bottom of the page you will see a box with "Let's Go Find a Volunteer" click on that.
Then you can enter the city and state you are looking for and it will give you a list of volunteers and what they are willing to do, for different cities, ect. Please remember that these people are volunteers, don't be greedy, impatient or rude. Also, return the favor and volunteer yourself. I used to make 2 trips a month to my local library to do newspaper lookups and I got a warm fuzzy feeling known that I was helping someone find something they probably wouldn't have gotten elsewhere.
Happy Hunting.

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