Barcodes on Gravestones Tell Stories

barcode Genealogists visit cemeteries because they can get a lot of information about a relative or ancestor by reading his or her gravestone. Usually, there is a limit to how much a gravestone can tell about a person’s life. A company called Code_IT has created a barcode that can connect a genealogist to a digital memorial of an ancestor.

There is an old saying that states that “dead men tell no tales”. Their tombstones however, can give a genealogist quite a bit of information. You can learn the person’s full name, their birth date, and their date of death.

Sometimes, a gravestone will say the name of the person’s spouse, and indicate if the person was a mother or father. Since people are generally buried near where their close relatives were interred, a genealogist might be able to discover ancestors that they were not aware of by visiting the cemetery, and taking a look around.

Unfortunately, this is pretty much the limit of what a gravestone can tell you about the deceased person. Until now, that is. Advancements in technology have allowed a company called Code_IT to create a way for people to leave a digital memorial for their ancestors.

It starts with a barcode. You can have the Code_IT company send you a handcrafted plaque that has been etched with a personalized QR barcode. The product is called a Legacy Marker. The barcode is durable enough to be attached to the gravestone of your loved one, relative, or ancestor. The company suggests that the barcode can be placed on existing cemetery headstones, national memorials, veteran memorials, museums, mausoleums, cremation urns, field stones, and wherever else you want to place one.

The barcode plaque has self-sealing adhesive tape on the back of it, to make it easy for you to attach it to a gravestone. When people visit a cemetery, they can use their smartphone to scan the barcode. It will automatically connect them to an online, digital, memorial for that person.

You can think of it as a digital scrapbook. Families can add their memories of the person in the form of text, photos, videos, audio recordings, and more. There is room for comments to be left, and you can add a visitors log to the memorial if you want to. You can include details about the person’s history, or biography, onto the digital memorial. The Code_IT company has made it easy for families to upload the information. You don’t have to be extremely adept with computers in order to do it.

This barcode technology has amazing potential for genealogists! Imagine being able to visit a cemetery, and see a photo of what your ancestor looked like when she was alive. You could watch videos of your ancestor, and hear his or her voice. A digital memorial can let you read about your ancestor’s life in ways that just were not possible before.

Image by Wapster on Flickr