Why Purchase A CD?
Compare the cost of a CD to the price of fuel required to drive from St. John's, Newfoundland to a small town somewhere in central Newfoundland to visit a cemetery. The savings on gasoline alone is enough to justify the cost of a CD. If you are a tourist visiting Newfoundland and your travel expenses are averaging over $100 per day, then it would be fairly expensive to allocate a day of your time for poking around in the cemeteries. Valuable vacation time would be better spent at the archives, interviewing distant relatives, or enjoying the incredible natural beauty of Newfoundland.
Have you ever returned home from a cemetery field trip and discovered that you forgot to record the information from a few stones, or later discovered you had several other relatives buried in the same cemetery that you didn't know about at the time? It can be terribly frustrating. But with StonePics CD's every headstone in the cemetery is just a few mouse-clicks away!
Transcribers at StonePics compared our photographs with several sets of cemetery transcripts found on internet websites. Some were littered with errors, but there were many good ones as well. Researchers often assume information from the internet is correct because they "found it on a computer". When the cemetery transcripts you find on internet websites do not correspond with what you think is correct, nothing is better than a photograph to resolved the problem.
The old-fashioned process of generating written transcripts of cemetery records tends to be error prone. There are several reasons for this, but they include misreadings and misinterpretations during the fieldwork, sloppy handwriting, errors in transcribing the information in the field from the stone to the paper, and yet a second opportunity for errors in transcribing the information from the field notes to the computer. If two people are working together in the field, what one says, and what the other hears and records on paper can easily be different. During the fieldwork biting insects, strong winds, and other unpleasant conditions may create an environment for errors. Proper cleaning and preparation of stones for reading is a task that many go unprepared for or are not interested in doing.
Another disadvantage of computer-based transcripts is the inability to determine the layout of the graves. For example, it might be very useful to know if the three people with the surname WHIFFEN were all buried together. With StonePics CD's, you have the option of sorting the photos alphabetically or arranging them numerically according to the order they were taken as the photographers walked up and down the rows.
With over 200,000 records in the StonePics database there are certainly many transcription errors. The difference between what you get on a StonePics photo CD and what you get from cemetery transcripts is the opportunity to look at the pictures of the stones in the comfort of your own home and decide for yourself what was written there. Internet transcripts are fine when nothing better is available, but photos are the best.