I nearly dismissed this week’s challenge out of hand. I had heard of Find-a-Grave, and I thought it was an American site, with only American graves.
I was wrong.
I searched the FAQ for ‘international’ to see if it covered countries other than USA, as I couldn’t easily find this information on the homepage, and found that some fixes had been done to clean up the list of countries, including Australia. Woohoo!
So I did a search for my usual test surname – Eason – and restricted the country to Australia. Eason is uncommon enough that I don’t get thousands of results, and not so uncommon that I don’t get any at all.
Much to my surprise the list of results included John Eason, buried in an unmarked grave in Condobolin. I was a bit surprised, as I have a copy of his NSW death registration and a photo of his headstone in Blayney.
Clicking on the link to Condobolin Lawn Cemetery gives this information:
There are approximately 1000 unmarked graves in the general cemetery.
“I visited the undertaker, the council, the ladies club, the local Anglican and Catholic churches, the local court house and the local historical association, asking what records they had. I tried the local newspaper; they have their back issues to about 1906 on film but they weren’t big on obituaries. They don’t have a monumental mason in Condo.”
In compiling the list, reference was made to the NSW indexes of births, deaths and marriages and to military records for further information. The images may be viewed and downloaded from the list of all inscriptions for this cemetery.
I’m impressed that someone has gone to the trouble of deducing that the reported approximately 1000 unmarked burials in Condobolin Lawn Cemetery must include John Eason, whose death was registered in Condobolin. Unfortunately it is dangerous to make these sorts of assumptions. John was in Condobolin with his daughter when he died, and was apparently transferred to Blayney to be buried with his wife Lily, who predeceased him by three years.
The website allows corrections to be sent to the contributor, and I have now done so.
- Don’t dismiss a website just because you assume it is American. It may have gone international.
- Don’t assume that the contents of websites where information has been voluntarily entered is correct.