The Cemetery Recording Initiative - An Introduction
Genealogical source data is a prerequisite for practising genealogy and for that reason the GSSA runs several projects within certain focus areas: a person’s life, in its most basic form, is defined by the events associated with birth and death. The first focus area, therefore, centres around death related information. This includes cemetery locations, cemetery records, headstones, funeral letters and a virtual space for remembering loved ones (“in memorium”).
The following three projects are interlinked and interdependen - together they constitute the GSSA Cemetery Recording Initiative:
The Cemetery location project
The Cemetery records project
The Headstone photos project
Overview of the Cemetery Recording Initiative
This is an initiative of the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA), spearheaded by Peter and Beverley Moss and Riana le Roux.
The goal is to preserve the genealogical information contained in cemeteries of South African interest and make the information accessible to genealogy researchers.
The aim is to preserve information by managing the collection, recording, processing and safekeeping of cemetery data. As such, the genealogical information recorded includes birth, death and burial data, plus any personal historical data (e.g. occupation, marriage or any other family relationships) contained in the cemetery records.
The data is collected from all types of cemetery sources, such as gravestones, burial registers, memorials and cremation memorial plaques.
The project covers all cemetery data of South African interest, inside and outside of South Africa.
A prime focus of the project is the collection of information from the many farm cemeteries that exist throughout South Africa. These have no burial registers and the gravestones are subject to neglect and damage, unlike town cemeteries that are now increasingly also under threat.