This whole thing got started in June 2005 when when at the ECCGS Board meeting those present were encouraged to think about projects that would benefit the good of the genealogical community as well as meet the interest and abilities of the members. Vicki Vigil suggested we transcribe the interment records of City of Cleveland-owned cemeteries and make them available on-line. We contacted the Director of Parks, Recreation and Properties with a proposal which was voted on and agreed to at the April 2006 Cleveland City Council meeting.
May 2006-August 2006
Two ECCGS members - Norm Henke and Jerry Kliot - graciously came forward and helped organize and refine the technology-side of the project. We had help and support from the City of Cleveland; particularly John Laird, Deputy Commissioner Parks, Recreation and Properties and David Mitchell, Manager of Cemeteries.
We began training volunteers and contacted area genealogical groups and organizations such as AARP & Business Volunteers Unlimited. From September 2006 - August 2007 volunteers came to the office at Highland Park Cemetery and typed data into the database. By August we had transcribed 19,235 records from the 11 City-owned cemeteries.
Meanwhile, we learned that the Genealogical Society of Utah, now under the umbrella of FamilySearch, was expanding their Records Access Program to include cemeteries. July 30, 2007 we received confirmation that indeed cemetery records in Ohio were on the priority list for GSU.
April 15, 2008
Next we had to get all 3 entities - City of Cleveland, GSU, and ECCGS - to agree to the project. April 15, 2008 all three organizations had signed-off on the project.
July 31, 2008
The FamilySearch Imaging Team took images of all the interment records so volunteers could work from home. The image-taking was completed July 31, 2008.
Plans were made for the finished project. Permission was obtained from the Cleveland District Round Table to use their web site for presentation. Rootsweb was contacted and agreed that we could put this very large project on their server.
September 2, 2009
The first cemetery index, Denison, which had been done at the cemetery office and retrofitted, was uploaded to the web for public use.
The revised cemetery database project began September 4, 2009 and by February 1, 2010 we had indexed 117,929 records. This was being done by a process of e-mailing an assignment to the volunteer who would access the image online, type the index data into a spreadsheet, and return the spreadsheet by e-mail. These were proofread upon receipt and forwarded by volume to the "Turk Tech Team." There the work done at the cemetery office was being retrofitted to match the new process. The records were massaged and HTML coding was added.
November 2, 2010
Cemetery indexes were uploaded as they were ready, nearly one per month. (Brookmere 9/14/09, Scranton Road, 10/5/09, Erie Street 3/18/10, Harvard Grove 3/17/10, West Park 7/10/10, Highland Park 8/3/10, Alger 8/17/10, Monroe Street 9/17/10, and Woodland, the last cemetery, was uploaded October 6, 2010. The tech team continued to work on improving the data by making separate entries for each alias, each twin, and each spelling issue. Each volume was corrected for miscellaneous discrepencies and prepared for submission to FamilySearch. A total cumulative index of all the cemeteries was created and uploaded on November 2, 2010.
Each of the individual cemeteries is updated to reflect the new entries and corrections, and uploaded again. The web site is remastered to reflect a completed project.