Nema Mobley and Rose Birdwill
Cemetery Survey website a big hit in Blairsville, Georgia and the whole U.S.
Cemetery Survey website a big hit. The site receives at least 50,000 hits a month. According a "usage statistics summary" generated on January 2, 2007 , the Blairsville-based site received over 5 million hits during the past 9 months.
President Rose M. Birdwell and Associate Nema Mobley aren't surprised. "More people are interested in genealogy than ever before. They want to trace their family history."
Rose says, "Our goal is help connect as many people as possible to their roots. Our site brings information to people that are searching for missing links in their family trees. It is thrilling when people email us with different stories about how the site helped in some dramatic way."
Nema adds, "We photograph cemeteries and individual headstones. Back home we index all names, birthdays, death dates, and any special notations carved into the stones. Each cemetery tells a story, we have to interpret what we see and hopefully family members will send us more information and pictures to add to the story. We also collect digital images of birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, and obituaries to include on the site."
Rose and Nema have help. A team of dedicated people spend a lot of time and money in their effort to photograph cemeteries, answer emails, and keep the website updated with new information. "We couldn't do it by ourselves. Our long term goal is to have contributors from all states helping to catalog our nation's cemeteries. If you are interested in photographing a cemetery, please contact us and we will show you how to post to the site."
Many cemeteries are currently in the process of being indexed. Nema is working on the new Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Ga. Rose is working on the Chattanooga National Cemetery in Tennessee. Rose and Nema often combine the Cemetery Survey Project with their love for motorcycles. Nema says, "We ride the trike as much as possible to save on gasoline."
Cemetery Survey, Inc is a free site and does not contain advertisements or pop-ups. Nema adds, "We are all volunteers. Cemetery Surveys is a not-for-profit organization and accepts tax-deductible donations. We are looking for individual and corporate sponsors which are then listed as such on the site. We use donations for electronic equipment, cameras, traveling, and all the other expenses involved with developing a dynamic web site. We are also looking for someone to help us organize a bike ride to get the word out about our cause. We could really use a PR person, someone with a marketing background, or a grant writer."