The Churchyard Project

Filey St Oswald’s is one of the largest churchyards in Yorkshire. (I have been told it is the largest and would like this to be true.) John and Maisie Crimlisk surveyed the memorials in the 1970s and produced a typescript record in 1977. John Siddle added many more transcriptions and the East Yorkshire Family History Society published their 3 volume survey in 2014/15. More stones have been erected in the last five years and, as far as I know, these haven’t been surveyed and recorded.

There must be over 2,100 graves in the churchyard. Perhaps 75% are marked and less than half “take a good photograph”. About 5,500 people are remembered on the headstones and kerbs.

I have put a hundred headstone photographs on the FamilySearch Shared Tree (as memories) over the last ten years but on the first day of the New Year will begin uploading photographs and people profiles to Wiki Tree. To complete the task (all photographable stones with their remembered people) whilst “having a life” will take at least ten years. I’m certain I don’t have that much time remaining. I am also sure that it is a job worth doing.

Expertise and money can work wonders. There are about 2,000 graves in All Hallows Church, Kirkburton. Atlantic Geomatics have recorded and presented them wonderfully here.

(Check out the company’s Terms of Use if you find your forebears at All Hallows.)

I will be using the satellite imagery available at Google and Bing to locate the stones I have photographed.

I have marked the place on Sand Hill Lane from which I took Yesterday’s Image in 2016. Should you wish to visit the Creighton Family Grave, you won’t find it where the marker has been placed. The stone is in the Crimlisk Section E, not D.

Claim and Fulfillment

Most of my research time this week has been taken up with preparing for a winter campaign on the St Oswald’s churchyard front. I have failed miserably to regularly upload headstone photographs to the FamilySearch Shared Tree ­– or to get to grips with volunteering at Billion Graves.  I am now looking to concentrate my forces on supplying photographs to Wiki Tree. I risk getting bogged down again because each photograph I place there will require at least one personal profile to be created.

I have a dream – that I might be able to set up a production line that will see a headstone photo with its transcription and a brief life sketch find a place on three platforms, as if by magic.

Make that four. While nosing around Find a Grave yesterday, I noticed two requests for photographs of graves in Filey churchyard. I had one “in stock” but the second was an unfamiliar name that isn’t listed in the East Yorkshire Family History Society survey books (2014/15).

It was blowing a gale this morning but the rain had yet to arrive. I found stone 2 sheltering in the lee of the north wall.

On the way home, I bumped into an “old Filonian”. On impulse, I asked if he had known Dicky Mint. I received an affirmative nod but had to press to learn that Dicky “always had a story to tell”. No examples were offered, alas.

Back at the ranch, I fired up the computer, joined the Find a Grave community, claimed the two photo requests and fulfilled them straight away. About four hours later I received the first thank you. FaG beats Billion Graves for its “system” being proof against the idiot writing this post. But when I have my system up and running I’ll give BG another go.

I hope to return to telling family stories next week.

Landscape 124 · St Oswald’s & Church Field