Tips for Submitting Update Requests to Find A Grave Volunteers

I can't tell you how grateful I am for the Find A Grave website. The volunteers have saved me countless hours of traveling to far away places to locate my ancestor's photos. Living in Iowa, it's very hard to get to Ohio or Ontario, Canada. But Find A Grave brings those cemeteries to me.

I took over 500 photos of grave stone photos while I was in Franklin County, Ohio this past May. As I started submitting photos to the website, I also wanted to provide any additional information I had on these individuals. Call me crazy, but I even attempted to look up the person's death certificate using As I did so, I was able to provide the Memorial Manager with updates for the individual's memorial including parent's names, spouse, and children.

Perhaps I didn't read all the instructions on how to make a request, as I like things to be intuitive. I submitted about 20 names to a volunteer in a 'poor' fashion before he sent a sweet email. He gave me the following tips to ease his work and I'm going to share them with you. Perhaps you already know this, but it's a great reminder. If you didn't know this, no fear. Now you do.
  1. Linking a child to two parents does not link the parents. You need to send a separate request from a parent requesting a link to the spouse. 
  2. You can only like spouses one way (either husband to wife or wife to husband), BUT once they're linked, they're linked. So only send one link request for a husband/wife combination.
  3. You can't link parents to children, only children to parents. Send a separate correction request from the children's memorial page for each child.
  4. Include the memorial numbers for the person's to connect. That way volunteers don't have to look up the reference you're indicating.
With regards to these points, if I was submitting a request to link a child named David Brown to his father John Brown and his mother Anne Collins,  I would:
  • Access David's memorial page on Find A Grave
  • I would select "Submit A Correction" under the Edit tab
  • I would request that David's parents be linked to John Brown #0000000 and Anne Collins #0000001 
  • If the parents weren't linked as husband and wife, I would access John Brown (or Anne, doesn't matter) and send a separate "Submit A Correction" using John Brown's memorial page and providing Anne's memorial number.
  • If David Brown had a sister of the same parents, then I would access the sister's memorial page and send an additional "Submit a Correction" using the sister's memorial page and providing the parent's names and memorial page numbers.
Another tip that I discovered is sending a copy of the corrections to yourself. Some volunteers will complete the update requests quickly. Others may not ever make the updates. If you have taken time to provide additional information to a volunteer, you'd want to know if the work is completed. If you're submitting a large number of photos at one time, it is easy to forget who you found information on. So, send a copy of your work. When the information is complete, you can delete the copy of the request. If it isn't in 30 days, you can submit the request to Find A Grave help set, provide the date you made the request, and they'll be able to assist you.

Hope that helps.


  1. Good reminders! I once made a request of another volunteer to link a memorial of a 2nd great uncle of mine to his parents for whom I had set up memorials. The next thing I knew, the volunteer had transferred the memorial to me, so you never know what another volunteer might do.

    Also keep in mind that if you make a request of Find-A-Grave itself, it takes them a long time to follow up because there are so few people to handle the multitude of requests made of them.

    1. That's so true! Some volunteers will just transfer the memorial to you. Thanks for reminding me of that fact.

      I agree, it can take a long time for Find-A-Grave itself to make updates. Yet, I like knowing that eventually it will be handled. And sometimes, it's quick. You just never know.

  2. Thanks for the tips. Many we Where new to me.


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