2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
People Are Dying To Get On This Website
Tipton started the Internet site as a hobby in 1995 when he wanted to find out where certain celebrities were buried and couldn't find anything on the Web. The idea has been met with so much public interest that he now works at it full-time.
The site has grown into two sections - one with information on the graves of famous celebrities, and one with data on ordinary people who have passed away. The popularity of the site is due to both morbid curiosity, and the need of genealogists to find information.
Site-goers can search by name, location, claim to fame, or birth and death dates. They can leave virtual flowers on graves and submit their own listings, complete with memorial pictures, family photos and pictures of the actual headstone.
Marilyn Monroe, Christopher Columbus, Al Capone and Jimi Hendrix are just a few of the 11,000 celebrities whose information can be found in the celebrity section.
As Tipton started entering data on famous people he learned that there was a demand for records on ordinary people.
"Burial information is a wonderful resource for people researching their families (genealogists). Most importantly, visiting a gravesite is a way of keeping the memory of someone alive," he says. "We aim to create a comprehensive virtual cemetery where loved ones can visit graves, leave flowers, etc. when they cannot do so in real life due to geography, finances and other circumstances."
Tipton says the submission rate to Find A Grave has just surpassed the death rate in the U.S., meaning more people are being added every day than are
dying every day (in the U.S.).
The service provided by his site is completely free to the user. It's funded by advertisers. His goal is to create a comprehensive listing of burial places of virtually everyone in the world by getting data from cemeteries, cremation societies, etc.
"I've got 20,000 people looking at the site every day. It boggles my mind. The whole thing is really kind of a community and the site has a lot of loyal fans," Tipton says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Tipton, Box 522107, Salt Lake City, Utah 84152 (ph 801 943-1123); E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.findagrave.com).
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