Cemetery gets organized with online database, map

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With more than 20,000 people buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, Iowa, locating the grave site of a friend or family member can be a difficult task. However, a new custom online database has become available, along with a map, to help people search names, burial sites and view the records available. KCRG-TV spoke with Joan Dinnel, who has family buried there and has been trying to find certain people for more than 30 years. Now, the online database makes it simple to search through these records and find who she was looking for.

“I knew my great great grandparents on my mother’s side were buried there… Since these have come online, I found out they bought eight lots but no one knew they had eight lots,” said Dinnel.

Russell Buffington, Oakland Cemetery supervisor, told KCRG-TV that they want people that find mistakes they have thought were the truth to help improve the system. Some of the records may be incomplete, so he hopes the cemetery and users of the online database can go back and forth to help make it right.

Other graveyards and cemeteries have seen the benefits of using a custom online database, including Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery in Ireland. More than 70,000 people are buried there, so their online database is trying to transcribe thousands of records between 1855 and 2008. The goal is to help families find who they are looking for, and to help researchers figure out if any records of importance are missing.