Sunday, October 20, 2013

Take the time to ask permission

Y’all know that I am doing a major overhaul of my genealogy file (remember my massive scanning project?)  One of the things on my list of things to do is add grave marker photos.  Adding the ones I took myself is no problem at all but if someone else took the photo I need to ask permission to use it.  Not only is it common courtesy, it is also an issue of federal copyright law. 

This is my great-aunt Ada (Simmons) Bounds, my grandfather’s oldest sister.  I visited her grave at the Grantham Cemetery in Lamar County, Mississippi in 2001 but I didn’t take a photograph of the marker.  I was so happy to see her marker on Find A Grave.  I sent the photographer an email asking permission to download his photograph and use it in my personal file.  I also asked his permission to use it on the blog.  He very kindly gave me permission and that is why you get to see this great photo.



I have never had anyone tell me that I couldn’t use their photo.  So what would I did if someone did say no?  I would have to find someone else who is willing to give me permission go out and take another photo for me.  If not through Find A Grave then maybe through the local historical or genealogical society.  I have a similar problem right now that I am working on.  My father has a memorial marker at Matecumbe Memorial Gardens in Islamorada, Florida (he was cremated).  The Find  A Grave contributor that took the photo has since died so I can’t ask his permission.   I will need someone to go out and snap a new photo for me.  If any of you blog readers happens to be in the Keys, let me know.

I want to tell you a little something extra about my great-aunt Ada.  When my grandfather was born his mother died in childbirth.  His oldest sister Ada had a baby on the very same day that her brother was born.  Ada took her brother and nursed him alongside her own daughter Della.  I have a lot of admiration and respect for Ada though I never met her.  She died two years before I was born.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Michelle,
    Do you have a Cornelia C. Bounds in your database, Rankin Co, Miss?

  2. I don't have her. All my Bounds are in Marion County (later Lamar County). I did find one in Jasper County. I have another one in South Carolina but that is way back, 1787.

  3. Hi Michele. Is that a screen shot from the beta copy of Legacy version 8? It doesn't look like mine, so I'm just wondering, as I know you work for them now.

  4. Yes it is. I knew the Legacy users would pick up on that and I wanted to give you a bit of a tease :)

  5. Michele,
    I was going to ask how you keep track of the permissions. I gather now, that you link the photo to Legacy and then write the permission information there?

  6. Excellent question! Besides what I have in Legacy (what you see on the screen) I also have a list of photographers in an Evernote note. When I send them an email asking for their permission I ask for blanket permission to download any photo that they took that is of one of my family members so that I don't have to ask on each one of them. Usually the photographer took more than one photo in a cemetery. I also mention that the photo could end up on my blog at some point. I give them a little explanation of the blog. In Evernote I write their name, the date I emailed them and the date I got the response and what the response was. I do not go as far as to keep the emails they send back giving permission but honestly, that isn't a bad idea. When I see a photo that I want I check my list to see if I have already got permission from that photographer. If not, I send them an email :)

  7. How wonderful it was for Ada to raise him as her own. I have a mystery sort of along the same line. I found the Baptism for my grandmothers sister (Anne) in November 1875, but about four weeks earlier and a few lines above the entry, they had another child (Dennis) listed as their child also. Dennis died early and this has caused a great mystery in my research. I would like to determine which of the two children is actually their biological child and who are the parents of the other. I do not think I will ever know.

  8. Since these are baptisms and not births maybe the two children were actually bio siblings? Or, is it possible that there were two sets of parents with the same name? That is certainly not unheard of.

  9. I will be in islamorada over New Years, be happy to take a photo for you.
    Email more info for me please, Elizabeth

  10. You are so sweet, Elizabeth! I heard from a Find A Grave volunteer that is going to snap the photo for me in the next couple of days. When I get it I will post it to the blog :)