Community cemeteries across the nation will be offered a free solution to preserving their burial records, allowing the public to search genealogical information, and raising funds for cemetery preservation. webCemeteries.com, a Berks County business, is offering the use of its program free of charge to cemeteries with fewer than 2,000 internments."Today, I am excited to announce the launch of the American Legacy Initiative. As this new program takes root across the nation, we are hopeful that the memories and records of men and women across America will be preserved, and that their legacies can be easily found and remembered by members of their communities," said Eric Robuck, president of webCemeteries.com.
The goal of the initiative is to preserve the legacies of Americans buried in community cemeteries. Often, these cemeteries do not have the finances, staff or technology to preserve their burial records in anything more than a locked up file card system. webCemeteries.com offers cemeteries an online database where the public can search cemetery records.
"If this initiative takes off, not only will community members be able to perform genealogical searches on the Internet, they will be able to leave their comments and condolences about the lives of their family and friends. These websites for local cemeteries can become the new history books for our communities," said Robuck.
Current users of the program are excited about the potential for the American Legacy Initiative. Tom Roberts of Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh noted that "the webCemeteries.com program certainly warrants investigation for small and large cemeteries. It provides an easy way for accessing your databases and organizing your burial and ownership information."
The webCemeteries.com program not only opens genealogical information to the public, it also helps cemeteries manage and grow their operations. Users manage their cemeteries online, and choose what information is accessible to the public. Cemeteries using the program find it an excellent tool for increasing public awareness and income.
Hope Cemetery in Kutztown, gets enough web visitors that they earn more in online advertising than they do in cemetery sales.
The web company hosts data for cemeteries ranging from 10 to 142,000 graves. They are hopeful that as the word spreads about the initiative, community members will take steps to preserve and memorialize the records of those buried in their local cemeteries.