Recently, as part of my own Genealogy Do-Over, I have spent more time researching death record information, specifically gravestone images and related data. Normally, I would use the Find-A-Grave site since I have been using it, well since forever. I also decided to start using BillionGraves and after setting up a free login and using its basic functions, I wanted to know more about the premium version, BillionGraves Plus.
The folks at BillionGraves have given me a behind-the-scenes look at BillionGraves Plus and after putting it through several tests with my own search criteria, I can say that going premium is definitely worth the price! (Note: see my special offer at the end of this review to get a HUGE discount on BillionGraves Plus!)
BillionGraves Plus Features
So what do you get when you sign up for BillionGraves Plus? Here is an overview:
- Family Plots: 70% of all people are buried in Family Plots. This feature shows you where they are!
- Nearby Graves: Family members that do not share the same family name are most likely found near other family graves. This feature allows you to see those headstones, sorted by distance from the one you selected. An example might be a headstone that is labeled only as “Infant”, “Mother” or “Father”.
- Global Family: See everyone that shares the same family name on a map sorted by city, county, state, country or even the whole world. You can then zoom in and see the specifics.
- Family Notifications: You will be notified immediately ANYTIME a NEW RECORD comes in that matches the name and location you have selected. You don’t have to search. We search for you.
- Ad Free: No Ads. No distractions. Faster search results, bigger photos, and larger maps.
- Priority Support: Click on the support link in the footer of any page and submit your question. Your question will be moved to the top of the support queue.
Overall Impression of BillionGraves – It’s the Community!
Being an accomplished user of Find-A-Grave, I figured I had all the features I needed for locating gravestone images with their site. Boy was I wrong. Not only does BillionGraves provide you with accurate GPS location information, but also the sense of community is much different from other sites.
I have had many issues with several contributors at Find-A-Grave in terms of “ownership” of memorials and images. The frustration level has been so much that many times I don’t think it is worth it to use the site. Genealogy should be enjoyable and not stress you out, right?
Well at BillionGraves, there is a better sense of community and “stewardship” for the content contributed. Every member is working towards the same goal: to document every gravesite in the world with accurate information that is easy to access and share.
I have several family members buried at the Grahamsville Rural Cemetery in Grahamsville, New York. So using BillionGraves Plus I was able to see plots grouped by families:
The Nearby Graves feature is different from Family Plots in that it includes those family members who have married or do not share the same family name. This is excellent for locating those headstones that say “Mother” or “Father” or “infant.”
As genealogists, we continue to have increasing access to large amounts of data, to the point where we can feel overwhelmed. So the Notifications feature in BillionGraves is a valuable way to manage genealogy data – just enter your search criteria and when other users add new data, you receive an email notification.
Here is how the Family Notifications feature works:
- No more searching day after day looking for a particular ancestor! Let us do the work for you!
- Set up an on-going search that notifies you the second your results are available! No need to keep searching again and again.
- We’ll email you a photo and a link to the headstone details as soon as it is available.
After using BillionGraves Plus, I don’t think I could possibly use the BillionGraves site without these features. I can’t tell you the number of hours that features like Nearby Graves has saved me in terms of research. In addition, Family Notifications is worth the price alone since I can receive updates for my family names via email. The BillionGraves Plus feature enhances the experience of using the BillionGraves site and makes it easier to find the information I need for my family history research.
Special Offer from BillionGraves
Right now, BillionGraves is offering one of the lowest prices EVER for their BillionGraves Plus upgrade! This is an exclusive offer for readers of GeneaBloggers and instead of the normal $59.95 a year price, you pay just $39.97! You must use this link to take advantage of this offer, which expires on Monday, March 14th at 5pm MDT!
Power up your genealogy research using BillionGraves Plus and see how much progress you can make with headstone and death record research!
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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statements.
©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.