German ancestry? Celebrate Ahnenfest - Ancestor Festival - with free Premium access to our German collections! Learn more
Geneanet > Resources > Blog > Geneanet News

5 million photos of graves at Geneanet!

Posted by Sean Daly on Sep 1, 2022
Save Our Graves smartphone app in cemetery

Geneanet has rich collections of genealogical data in France and Europe. We are excited to share that our “Save Our Graves” project has topped 5 million graves!

These photos are freely accessible, as is all data shared by Geneanet members. Our “Save Our Graves” project simplifies the uploading and indexing of gravesite photos, through a smartphone/tablet app (iOS and Android) and an online indexing tool. The goal is simple: preserve the memory of the departed by indexing their names with gravesite photos.

In many European countries, churchyard space is limited (many churches are hundreds of years old) and large cemeteries are not commonplace. Perpetual care plots are the exception; most plots are leased. It is often the case that plots considered abandoned are dug up and made available for the recently deceased. Any remains found are buried in an ossuary or potter’s field, a common grave. So what is an abandoned plot? In France for example, town halls manage the contact list for cemetery plots. When a lease expires on a grave more than 30 years old, a public notice is shown at the cemetery gate, a letter is sent to the lessor of record, and the grave is marked with a “Lease expired, please contact town hall” notice. With no response within 1 year (this just changed; it was previously 3 years), the plot is emptied for someone else. “Save Our Graves” is an effort to document gravesites which could disappear, if surviving family members have moved and not visited the cemetery for some time. Of course, it is useful to document all graves and monuments: finding the burial place of an ancestor opens new avenues of research, and gravestones often provide vital clues with dates and other family members!

Access the photo collection through the “Search” menu, “Cemeteries and Memorials”:

Search for a person by name and place; access advanced search through the “More criteria” link. Keep in mind that some graves may not have first names, or only initials.

You can also search for a cemetery on the interactive map, available on the search page. Use the zoom controls to the upper left: some towns and cities have more than one cemetery!

With “Save Our Graves”, uploaded grave photos can be easily indexed by other Geneanet members, or by yourself. A grave photo can be attached to your tree!

A grave uploaded and indexed by volunteers in St Stephen’s Cemetery, Chelsea, Québec, Canada

Want to get involved?

Are you near a cemetery? Consider uploading photos! What if you are far from a cemetery? You can contribute by indexing photos, in other words adding the names on the gravestone. Visit the Save Our Graves page, download our iOS or Android app, read our PDF manual, and watch our video to learn how it works:

We are very grateful to the many volunteers who participate in this large project which is so helpful to fellow genealogists. It’s thanks to them you may find the gravestone of an ancestor!


Find answers to your questions on our forums.

4 comments

I hoped yo search for my grandmother’s grave but when I try to enter her name I get sent elsewhere.


Where is , Albert Critchlow buiried


See more

Log in to leave a comment. Sign In / Sign Up