Northern New York Tombstone Transcription Project
In the early spring of 2000, I realized that records for Franklin County cemeteries were in appalling disarray. Records were spotty, existing for some but not all cemeteries. There was no alphabetical index. Work that was complete had been done as much as 50 years earlier and needed updating. As Town Historian, I had done the cemeteries in the Town of Moira a few years earlier. I decided to try to extend that work to nearby townships, my ultimate goal being to create a fully searchable CD-ROM containing tombstone inscriptions from every cemetery in Franklin County.
I began by visiting each cemetery and transcribing data from all cemetery stones. In smaller cemeteries, digital photographs were taken of all stones. These were typed, alphabetized, and indexed. Next, the data was checked against the original field notes taken in the cemetery. At this point, I searched the House of History in Malone, Special Collections at SUNY Plattsburgh, and the Saranac Lake Union Free Library for previous cemetery transcriptions. If found, these were compared to my typed transcription. Discrepencies were resolved by re-visiting the cemetery. Once I had completed all cemeteries known to me, I contacted the Town Historian to make sure that I had not missed any. I especially inquired about private cemeteries as well as small plots with only a few stones.
I would like to thank all of those who have been supportive in this project. Too numerous to mention, they kept me moving forward even at times when I felt overwhelmed by the sheer size of what I am attempting to do.
In spite of my careful efforts, I am certain that these records contain errors. It is nearly impossible to be perfect with this quantity of data. Please contact me if you see something that needs correcting.
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