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April 20, 2016 – In an event called “BillionGraves Service,” Local volunteers with the PlayForBurk Foundation photographed headstones and beautified the grounds at Bartlesville’s White Rose Cemetery on Saturday, April 16th .

“Taking pictures of headstones is not your typical community service project, but this was an important service we did today,” said Clint Hansen, President of the PlayForBurk Foundation and organizer of the event.


“Many people in this world are trying to find out who their ancestors are and where they have been buried. Putting these pictures online makes it possible to share headstone information with anyone anywhere.”

The 30 volunteers at the event photographed all the headstones in the cemetery with smart phones. These photographs were then uploaded and transcribed into the BillionGraves searchable database by recording the name of the deceased, birth and death dates, and other information on the headstone. BillionGraves is the world′s largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data.

“It was such a neat experience,” said event volunteer Shallan John. “I couldn’t help but think of the families of each individual and how much these pictures will mean to them. I know not everyone has the opportunity to see their ancestors’ gravesites in person, so this is the next best thing.”

The volunteers also worked hard throughout the day to clean up the entire cemetery from trash and branches, plant flowers in a large central flowerbed, and lay sod.

“We worked hard all day, but it was exactly enough people to get every headstone picture taken and get the cleanup work done that we needed to. It was perfect, and the cemetery folks seemed very happy with our efforts,” said Hansen.

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