As I write this, I’ve not yet seen an announcement, but I see that FamilySearch has published an index to Find A Grave. FamilySearch published the collection on 16 November 2014. Like FamilySearch’s index to BillionGraves, the collection contains basic information about the burial, but does not include marker photographs. Both collections provide links to the respective websites, FindAGrave.com and BillionGraves.com, where you can view the photographs and possibly other information for no cost.
I’m not qualified to do an accurate comparison between the two. Many of the differences that used to exist between the two have been eliminated as the two vie for market dominance, but here are some differences:
- Find A Grave is much, much more comprehensive: On FamilySearch.org, the Find A Grave index contains 124,060,301 records, while the BillionGraves index has 10,376,845.
- I don’t have the numbers, but Find A Grave has a large army of volunteers willing to respond to requests for new photographs. BillionGraves has a much newer battalion.
- Very few records have GPS coordinates on Find A Grave, while they are ubiquitous on BillionGraves. BillionGraves shows a satellite view of the cemetery with the grave location marked.
- On Find A Grave, only a record’s owner can change information. On BillionGraves, anyone can make changes.
- FamilySearch has certified that BillionGraves is compatible with FamilySearch Family Tree. Linking a record to Family Tree creates a link from the BillionGraves.com record to a person in Family Tree and a reciprocal source link from Family Tree back to BillionGraves.com.
- Find A Grave is owned by Ancestry.com, which I consider to be one of the most stable genealogy companies in the universe. BillionGraves is owned by Otter Creek Holdings.
- BillionGraves has partnered with MyHeritage, supports Hebrew calendar dates, and plans to add dozens of languages.
- On Find a Grave, visitors can leave virtual flowers, flags, and religious symbols on memorials.
Readers will have to help me out with other comparisons. Please don’t send me email with the comments. Leave comments on the AncestryInsider.org website for all to see.
I found a record present on both sites. Here is the record on Find A Grave:
The owner has done quite a bit of work on this record. Clicking on the grave marker opens the full-resolution original.
Here is the same record on BillionGraves:
It looks like BillionGraves supports the same sorts of improvements as Find A Grave, but this record is much less mature. (There’s also a transcription error, but anyone can fix that.) Clicking the photograph produces a pop-up with limited resolution. For barely legible markers, this might make the difference between being able to read it or not.
Oops. This was supposed to be a short announcement.
Find A Grave: now indexed on FamilySearch.org. Done.