[APG Public List] Subject: Re: Whispers from the Dust cemetery grant program

D. K. Jacobs dkj8888 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 4 15:51:51 MST 2011

Hi Jeanette and APG members,

I am posting this reply to the APG list because I noticed your email
question to me was also posted to the list.  I'd like to clear up the
confusion, if any, for other APG members regarding the "Whispers from the
Dust" cemetery grant program just announced by ICAPGen:

Many are aware that the central mission of ICAPGen is "to advance family
history/genealogy work around the world by accrediting and promoting
genealogy professional professionals who are competent, ethical, and
reliable."  We have made great strides in mentoring, testing, and
accrediting genealogy professionals in recent years.

There are some who do not realize that another part of the ICAPGen mission
statement is "to work to promote the preservation of genealogical

Accordingly, we decided to develop a program to help preserve cemetery
records because of their vulnerability to loss and damage.

You are correct in observing that such an undertaking will require a lot of
research and work, as well as money.  The research and work will all be done
by individual cemeteries who would like to preserve and modernize their
records.  ICAPGen is not involved in preparing the cemetery records.  We
actually encourage cemeteries to involve volunteers with their efforts.  I
was involved with such a project at my local cemetery as a volunteer, and
you can see the results at www.namesinstone.com if you look at the King City
Cemetery in California.

These projects do cost money, because the maps and data have to be
integrated into a cemetery records management system by professional mapping
consultants, but the results are very beneficial to the cemetery and to
researchers everywhere.  Most cemeteries don't have the funds for this, but
we believe it is so worthwhile to preserve these records and make them
available, we are making an effort to help cemeteries out. As you also
correctly observed, we are in an economic downturn, so our help becomes
particularly critical for them.

Funds for the "Whispers from the Dust" grant program come from our efforts
to find foundations who are interested in supporting historical preservation
and family history projects, an annual giving campaign with our membership,
and from other generous donors who also believe in the merits of the
program.  It is a lot of work for us to secure the funding, but it is very
rewarding to help these deserving cemeteries.

I invite you to visit our website at www.icapgen.org to learn more about the
program.  I have also attached a brochure.  I hope you will have a chance to
visit www.namesinstone.com to see the potential for cemeteries.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.  I welcome
your input and thank you for your interest.

Dayna Jacobs
"Whispers from the Dust"

Dear Dayna,

Is ICAPGEN planning to hire its members (AGs) to do research on all of the
people buried in cemeteries that get grants?  "Imagine making a “virtual”
visit to a cemetery with an online map that identifies each grave
individually.  Imagine clicking on that grave and viewing birth, death,
spouse, marriage, and military information along with a headstone photo.
Now, imagine zooming out and identifying everyone buried in adjacent graves.
Integrated mapping and data will help solve genealogical puzzles that could
not be solved with mere headstone transcriptions."

How is this going to happen without extensive research?  Is this a plan to
hire AGs during the economic downturn of the US economy?  I am trying to
figure out why ICAPGEN would be involved in something like this 'Whispering
from the Dust' grant project and how it would be funded.

Any ideas?


Jeanette Daniels
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