Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Exploring Juneau's Evergreen Cemetery

We help people from around the world find information about their Alaskan ancestors, so we're always looking for tools for genealogy searches. One new resource that we're really excited about is the Evergreen Cemetery digital map.
A frosty morning at Evergreen Cemetery. Many of the headstones have sunk into the ground and are difficult to decipher.

Evergreen Cemetery is the final resting place of 8,000 Juneau residents, including notables like founders Richard Harris and Joe Juneau, civil rights activist Elizabeth Peratrovich, baker China Joe, and photographers Lloyd Winter and Percy Pond. Until now, finding a grave in Evergreen Cemetery meant wandering around the grassy hillside, hoping that the grave you were looking for actually had a headstone. I recently spent the better part of an hour squinting at the old 1986 cemetery survey, trying to help a patron find the grave of one of Juneau's first pharmacists, William Britt, and wishing for a resource like the Evergreen Cemetery digital map.

The new map allows you to type in a name and view the grave's location, as well as surrounding graves and other landmarks to help you find it in the cemetery. Although some of the names are still being reviewed, the majority are easily searchable by first or last name. The software includes a feature to show photos of the grave, the person, and the funeral record. Although these images are not currently available, they may be added in the future. Some images are available on findagrave.com, a crowd-sourced headstone photo website.
Screenshot from the Evergreen Cemetery online map
The site of Elizabeth Peratrovich's grave in Evergreen Cemetery. The colored zones show the different sections of the cemetery.

We're happy to add this resource to our genealogy toolkit and hope it helps genealogists fill in pieces of their family trees!

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