View Headstone Photos from across Canada
Welcome to the Canadian Headstone Photo Project
 

Help & FAQ

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How do I Submit my Headstone Photos/Transcriptions?

  • Simply go to the correct Province or Territory
  • Click on Submit a Photo
  • Click on Browse; find the photo (max. size 3mb) on your computer
  • Click Submit
  • The next screen is the photo editor
    • Crop out un-necessary background around the headstone
    • Adjust the quality and brightness only if necessary to make the headstone more readable
    • Click Continue
  • On the next screen
    • First select the correct county, district, region, or whatever applies to the province/territory
    • For the province of Quebec, to help you properly locate a cemetery, visit the website Inventaire des lieux de culte du Québec
    • Select an existing cemetery or add a new one by scrolling to the bottom of the list
    • Enter your email address
    • Count the number of names on the headstone including any people who are named on the headstone but not buried there (married females only count as one name) and choose the correct number; the screen will refresh with blanks for your chosen number
    • Enter/index all of the names. Be sure to enter a space between initials - i.e.- J. D. is correct; J.D. is incorrect; J. Donald is correct; J.Donald is incorrect.
    • Do not use nicknames in "quotes." However, nicknames may be placed in round (brackets).
    • Where names are unclear question marks - ? - may be used. Suggestions - where only some of the characters are unclear use M??ane or McK???. Should the whole name be unclear and you cannot determine the correct number of characters simply use One question mark - ?. One question mark is preferred for an unclear name, please do NOT use "unknown."
    • Take care to enter all firstnames and initials in the firstname field.
    • Enter the full name, not abbreviations i.e. not Wm. but William unless you do not understand the abbreviation. Also, enter the full name instead of an initial if you know that the W. is William. Do not enter title or suffixes in the name fields - i.e. Rev., Jr., Ph.D., DDS
    • For married females, the Surname = her married surname; don't forget to add maiden names, if known, even if not on the stone
    • Now, carefully transcribe ALL of the text from the headstone exactly as it is shown on the headstone. Please use individual lines for each line on the headstone. Where the headstone text is in columns, please enter the left column first; then the next column to the right. All comments, additional names, etc. should be entered in [square brackets] or at the end of the transcription. If you are in doubt, check out some of the transcriptions of similar headstones on the website.
    • Click Submit.
    • That's all there is to it!!  Seems like a lot but once you do a couple, you will find it quite easy. 
    • Good Luck!

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How Many Headstone Photos/Transcriptions May I Submit?
You may submit one or 1001!  It is entirely up to you!

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Who Controls CanadianHeadstones.com?

CanadianHeadstones.com is a Canadian Non-Profit Corporation. As such, it is not at risk of becoming extinct upon the death or incapacity of any single person. Just as any other corporation, it is its own legal entity which is required to abide by all the laws of Canada. To meet these requirements CanadianHeadstones.com must hold regular meetings of the Board of Directors, file certain documents annually with Canadian regulatory offices and file an annual income tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency. It is not registered as a charitable organization.

CanadianHeadstones.com is a Non-Profit Corporation which by law must have at least three directors who are forbidden from receiving any compensation for their services as a director.

The Bylaws state the Purpose of the Corporation as: The corporation shall gather, archive, publish and disseminate genealogical, historical data or other records of interest to family historians, genealogists or other researchers.

The CanadianHeadstones Photo Project is completely FREE to all researchers and will always remain as such. Although this website is non-profit in its intent, we do offer users a selection of Ads by Google. This is necessary to 'pay the bills.' Please patronize our advertisers to ensure the future of this valuable resource.

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Is There Any Cost or Charge Involved?
CanadianHeadstones.com is completely FREE to all researchers and will always remain as such. Although this website is non-profit and non-commercial in its intent, we do offer users a selection of Ads by Google. This is necessary to 'pay the bills.' Please patronize our advertisers to ensure the future of this valuable resource.

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What is the Maximum File Size?
The maximum file size is 6megapixels and 3mb. Remember - the smaller the file, the quicker the upload! However, do not make your photos smaller than 900x900 pixels.!

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What to do if My Files are Too Large?
You will need to re-size them smaller. Your favourite photo editor should have a function to re-size files. It is best to re-size them to 2000x2000 pixels but not smaller than 900x900 pixels. Compressing your file via jpg should not be done as this lowers the quality of the picture. An excellent, FREE program for re-sizing is Fotosizer. If you need assistance, please contact us.

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What filetypes are allowed?
Jpg files are preferred. However, the system will accept gif and png files.

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How Many Names do I enter for one Headstone Image?
Enter EVERY name on the headstone, whether buried there or not. If you know that the initial "F" on the headstone stands for "Frank", please enter it.  For married females, enter Surname = Married Surname; Firstnames; Maiden Name = Birth Surname. This will automatically create two indexed entries - one for "Marriedsurname, Firstname" and one for "Maidensurname Marriedsurname, Firstname." If you are aware of the maiden name but it is not on the headstone, please enter it.

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How do I enter Names for Married Females?
For married females, enter Surname = Married Surname; Firstnames; Maiden Name = Birth Surname. This will automatically create two indexed entries - one for "Marriedsurname, Firstname" and one for "Maidensurname Marriedsurname, Firstname." If you are aware of the maiden name but it is not on the headstone, please enter it.

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Bio - Jim McKane
Jim McKane has been involved in genealogy for over 35 years. He is a member of several branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society and for several years was an executive member of a Branch. As well as other major genealogical efforts, Jim spearheaded the first computerized version of the 1871 Heads of Households Ontario Census which eventually was online. He has been developing genealogical websites for close to 15 years and currently, is webmaster for 6 websites involving genealogy, DNA studies and family history.

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How do I enter comments and additional information?
Comments and additional information should be entered spaced down one line below the headstone transcript and in [square brackets.]

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How do I search for a Headstone?
The indexing software is very powerful! Headstones can be searched many ways: -

  • By all or part of a province or territory
  • By surname and firstname
  • By "starts with" or "contains" or "sounds like"
  • By cemetery
  • OR under the tab "Cemeteries", you can view all entries for a particular cemetery
  • Happy Searching!

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How do I Submit a Transcription without a Photo of the Headstone?
Click here for the details.

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Are there Special Instructions for Cropping/Editing the Image?
It is most important to crop the headstone using the arrows beside and below the photo. Please remove as much background from the photo as possible without removing any parts of the headstone. Usually, the quality or the brightness do not need adjusting. However, if the text on the headstone is not clear, please try a higher quality image or lighten/darken it to create the most clarity. If you photo requires rotating, crop it first and then do the rotation.

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How do I Submit a Cemetery Entrance Gate Photo?
You may submit up to two photos of the cemetery sign, entrance, ID plaque, etc. These are to be emailed directly to the Administrator. For rural cemeteries, often there will be a green/blue & white number sign in front of the cemetery. Please submit this number and the name of the road as many people have difficulty locating cemeteries by Lot/Concession.

We also prefer to insert a link to a map from Maps.Google.com. It is very helpful if you can locate the cemetery on this website. Then, with your mouse cursor over the cemetery, press the Shift key; this will display the GPS coordinates to send to us along with your photos.

The basic information we attempt to record on each cemetery is: -
Street Address:
City:
Lot/Concession:
Township:
County/Region/District:
GPS Coordinates:

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How do I Find a Cemetery Photo on CanadianHeadstones.com?
NOTE: Only cemeteries indentified with a plus sign (+) in the cemetery name - i.e. St.John's+ or Cemetery+ have a photo of the gate, entrance, plaque, etc.

Cemetery entrance/gate/landscape photos will show at the top of the list of headstones in a cemetery with AAA in front of the cemetery name. i.e. Elsinore Cemetery

You may also locate the photo by searching within that county/district for the first word or two word of the cemetery name. For example, in Halton County, Ontario, a search for either the Surname "Glen" or "Glen Williams" will locate the sign at the Glen Williams Cemetery.

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What do I do when a Headstone has inscriptions on several sides?
It is best if you take a photo of each side with inscriptions and submit them separately. However, if you only have one photo, transcribe the visible side first; then insert [Left Side] or [Back Side] before the transcription for that side.

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How do I enter Names with "Senior"; "Junior" ?
Please do NOT enter Senior, Junior, Sen., Jr., etc. in the surname field - even when it is on the headstone. Only type it in the Comments/Transcripton field.

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PRIVACY - What is the Privacy Policy?
We don't and won't share your email or any other information with anyone outside the Administrator and Coordinators of CanadianHeadstones.com. We will only use your email for legitimate, necessary contact regarding one of your submissions.

We recommend that you do not "hide" your email in a submission as hiding it prevents legitimate researchers from contacting you. We protect it, as completely as possible, from being copied by SPAMMERS. Notice at the foot of a headstone listing - your email address is only shown as <joe [dot] anyname [at] isp [dot] com>. This makes it next to impossible for copying by other computers robots.

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Should I "hide" my Email Address on Submissions?
We recommend that you do not "hide" your email in a submission as hiding it prevents legitimate researchers from contacting you. We protect it, as completely as possible, from being copied by SPAMMERS. Notice at the foot of a headstone listing - your email address is only shown as <joe [dot] anyname [at] isp [dot] com>. This makes it next to impossible for copying by other computers robots.

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I made an error! What do I do now?
Send an email to the Administrator using the "Contact Us" icon at the bottom of the page or if you have contact info for the Coordinator of the County/District, please email him/her directly.

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What does the Plus (+) Sign in a Cemetery Name Mean?
The Plus (+) sign indicates that there is a picture(s) of the entrance/sign to the cemetery archived for this cemetery.

Why is XYZ Cemetery not Listed?
A cemetery does not show up in the list until at least one photo is submitted. When you choose Cemeteries from the main menu, the dropdown box gives you the choice of viewing all cemeteries for the province or choosing one County/Region/District within the province. If the cemetery is not listed, when you submit a photo choose the County/District; then when you go to choose the Cemetery just scroll to the bottom of the list where you click on Add a New Cemetery. This will open a new window where you type in the name of the cemetery without typing the word "Cemetery" as the software inserts it at the end of each cemetery name.

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How do I Submit a Headstone with more than thirty (30) names?
The software only allows 30 names per photo. Therefore, submit the photo indexing the first 30 names; however, include the complete transcription; then submit the photo a second time with the complete transcription adding the remainder of the names.

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What is the Best Method of Photographing Headstones?
The best method is any method that results in a good picture! <Grins> Actually, much of headstone photography is trial and error. NEVER use chalk, shaving cream, etc. to enhance the text as these can be very destructive to certain types of stone. Often, it is helpful to take an overall photo of the stone; then closeups of hard-to-read areas.

Always  carry a notepad as many times the text is more readable in person than from the photo.

If you are taking the photos only for the CanadianHeadstones.com project and have no intention of printing hard copies of them, you should consider using one of the lower resolution settings in your camera. This will allow you to upload the submissions much quicker and to store more photos on your camera's memory card. Personally, I use a setting that produces a 1600px X 1200px photo. It provides clarity but is much smaller and uploads faster. Caution: Don't forget to change the resolution back to the previous setting before using the camera for other photos!

Suggested Tools - It's a good idea to carry a small knapsack with:

  • A small hand broom, whisk or scrub brush to brush debris off the stone and remove lichen
  • A small pair of hand clippers to trim the greenery growing around the stone and covering a portion of the stone
  • A pair of gardening gloves as sometimes the greenery is not friendly.
  • A small spray bottle of water as often a little water will help clean a stone or enhance the text by wetting it.

  • NEVER use abrasive materials on a headstone. Even shaving cream, chalk and other marking type materials can damage some headstones when mixed with water in the next rainfall!

Preparing the area around the stone before taking a picture only takes a few minutes and you will be much happier with your image.

Flash Off - please turn the flash on your camera to the OFF setting. Most flash photos will have a bright/glare spot on the headstone often obliterating some of the text.

Please photograph each side of the headstone separately. Caution: Many "mirror" finish-type headstones will show YOU in the picture. Watch for your reflection on the stone! If you see yourself (or your legs) move off to one side of the stone or if you have a good telephoto on your camera move further away from the stone.

Headstones should be photographed with the camera at right-angles to the headstone to avoid distortion. However, in some cases, this is not always possible. If the headstone appears hard to read, you may wish to snap photos from different angles to see which one is most readable.

Here is an article with more great tips!

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A Cemetery is in the Wrong County! What do I do?
Please contact the coordinator or administrator with the details as soon as possible.

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A Cemetery Name is Incorrect! What do I do?
Please contact the coordinator or administrator with the details as soon as possible.

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I Found an Error. What do I do now?
Please forward your correction to the Coordinator or Administrator along with the County and Cemetery where the headstone is located.

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I have a Better Photo of a Headstone? Can I submit it?
Yes, please forward it to the Administrator with the County and Cemetery where the headstone is located.

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Permitted Uses of Photos -
Persons may used the photos contained on this site for their OWN PERSONAL USE ONLY! No photos or materials from this website may be reproduced otherwise in any fashion, in print or website format, without the express written consent of BOTH CANADIANHEADSTONES.COM and the original SUBMITTER. Persons or organizations desiring to use the photos contained on this site must obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal representative of the submitter, and contact the Webmaster of CanadianHeadstones.com with proof of this consent. For further information, click here.

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Photos from Other Websites -
NO PHOTOs from other websites may be copied and submitted to CanadianHeadstones.com without the express, written consent of the person/s owning the Copyright on the photo/s in question. This written consent must be forwarded to CanadianHeadstones.com and receive approval prior to submission. CanadianHeadstones.com does not allow, condone nor promote using photo/s from other websites without such approvals.

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How to Choose a Headstone -
The Definitive Guide to Choosing a Gravestone - this guide contains key information you need to know about choosing and purchasing a headstone. The info is UK-based; however, most of the info applies world-wide. Gravestones HQ

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