Recently, one 14-year-old boy has been photographing tombstones and recording their inscriptions into a national grave-collection genealogy database as his Eagle Scout project. This interesting news came to us from The Southern Illinoisan in their article, “Eagle Scout candidate indexing graves at local cemeteries.”

This unique indexing project is being carried out by Tanner Burke in Carbondale, Illinois. Having just finished 8th grade and a Life Scout with Carbondale’s Boy Scout Troop 7-151, the honor student said he was looking for an Eagle Scout project and heard about the BillionGraves website and knew that his grandparents were keen on genealogical history. He chose Walker Hill Cemetery, because he has relatives buried there, and Woodlawn Cemetery, because of its historical significance and relevance as perhaps the first site where a Memorial Day observance was held in southern Illinois.

Local genealogist Debbie Fraedrich is head of the Family History Center at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Carbondale. She noted that the data can be uploaded to cemetery genealogy research sites such as BillionGraves and FindAGrave.

Melody K. Smith

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