If you’ve been tracing your family’s genealogy, and came across a member that’s buried in a Deadwood Cemetery (Deadwood, South Dakota), in an unmarked grave, you can now obtain a tombstone for free, and help provide information for future genealogists and historians. Greg Bischoff wrote an article in The Black Hills Pioneer about a project that was setup by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission.
Excerpt from the article:
Through the program, historic preservation will purchase a basic grave marker for $400 from Deadwood Granite for an unmarked grave.
In exchange for the tombstone the family of the person whose grave it is must provide the City of Deadwood with historical information pertaining to the person in the grave, Wilson said.
The data that is compiled, is entered into the City of Deadwood Cemetery IMS (Internet Map Server). This is a neat historical project by the City of Deadwood, that with the family histories provided by genealogists, will allow researchers, or even those with just a passing interesting in genealogy or the history of Deadwood, to access information about people buried in Deadwood, by going to the map of the cemeteries, and clicking on the various plots.
I don’t know how much of this is being done elsewhere, but it is an interesting use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (gis.com). Genealogists twenty or thirty years from now will probably find these kinds of things commonplace by then.