Utilizing Findagrave’s Photo Upload and Transcribe Beta

When I spend an hour or three at a cemetery I can easily take 1,000 photographs or more. Uploading them to existing memorials is easy—especially now that findagrave.com has upped the max file size. The hard part—or at least the most time consuming—is creating memorials that don’t already exist for all those images.

As soon as I saw the “Upload and Transcribe Beta” option, I was hooked.  The activation link is also present on the homepage near the very bottom of your screen. Enable the tool and then browse to the cemetery where you want to upload images.

Underneath the new Transcriptions header, you’ll find the link to upload images to that particular cemetery. Upload as many as you want and then utilize the “photos to transcribe” link to access your images needing transcription. The screen will look like this:

Screen shot 2014-10-20 at 5.32.34 PM


You can click on a photo and then begin entering the person’s name, birth date, and death date on the right. As you type a surname, a list of possible memorial matches pops up. If the memorial exists, just select the name. Otherwise, type in the information. You can then select done or click to add an additional name. Selecting add details let’s you include maiden name, prefixes, marker transcriptions, etc.


  • Creating memorials is quick and easy with this tool. The ability to add multiple names from one stone takes a fraction of the time it takes to create memorials one by one. When you submit, multiple memorials are created with the same photo.
  • You can link more than one photo to the same group of memorials by selecting the link icon that shows up on the thumbnail of the photo you’re working with.
  • You can zoom in or out on the image up to it’s actual size
  • The photo uploader retains management of the memorial and the transcriber is given credit for the entering of the data (which, if you transcribe your own is both)


  • The interface is a little cloogy and works best on a large monitor
  • It may not be obvious to other transcribers that there are two or more images to be linked together for the same people
  • Although the surname field shows you existing memorials, there’s no way to tell whether they already have a photo. The first few I transcribed already had images and I ended up adding doubles. Best to keep the cemetery page open in a separate tab so you can double check for photos when a memorial already exists.
  • The system gives the original photo uploader 7 days to transcribe their own images before making them available to the community for transcription. While it’s a nice feature, it would be even nicer if there were a way to release your uploaded images before the 7 days is up.

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