Linking To Find A Grave

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Often you don't have the time or resources to photograph grave sites for everyone in your database. Find-A-Grave is a volunteer-driven website dedicated to photo documenting graveyards & gravestones. A search for your ancestors may turn up a list of names and clicking on them will take you to a memorial (as they call it), often containing photos, bios, obituaries and family links. Now, you can gyp the photos (not nice), you can ask permission from the photographer (they almost always agree), or you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by linking directly to the memorial. --Rick Bisbee

Update Note

If you've tried this and found menu listing for your External Links missing an icon, please see the correction we've made to the instructions for Creating A Collection, under Icon File.

Find A Grave Memorial


Gravestone and personal images can almost always be enlarged for viewing. We will show you how to link to a Find-A-Grave memorial like that shown above and associate it with your ancestor's burial information.

Link Visualization

This is what a finished link should look like on a TNG personal page.


Create a Collection


To create a new collection (document type) for External Links, go to your Admin panels, select Media and click on Add Collection.


Fill in the short Add Collection form as follows:

  • Collection ID. Use a short, one word Collection ID; we suggest using 'elinks'.
  • Display Title. This is the Title that will be displayed in TNG media listings. Type in 'External Links'. You should also add the title to your cust_text.php file for every language you support: for English it would look like this:
$text['elinks'] = "External Links";

Language definitions will override whatever you put in the Add Collection Display Title field.

  • Folder Name. This will be the home folder for External Link documents. In fact, there are no documents, since they reside on the Find-A-Grave site. The only thing this folder will contain will be the gravestone (or whatever) image you want to use as the thumb for your link. As a start we recommend you copy /img/headstone_thumb.png to /links/fag.png. Notice we have renamed the file to remind us what it is.
  • Icon File: This is for the icon that will appear in listings alongside of 'External Links'. This is a generic icon used for any and all types of external links, and not the same as the thumbnail that you enter when you create a FAG link. It should be about 24x24 or 32x32 pixels. Notice that you need a full path here. In the example above, we've dropped the link.gif icon into the elinks folder.
  • Thumbnail File: leave blank
  • Display Order: leave blank
  • Same setup as: Photos

Click on Save.

Creating a Find-A-Grave Link

Back on the Media page click on the Add New tab and fill in the form (see screenshot below) as follows:

  • Collection: select External Links from the dropdown list.
  • Click the box next to "This media comes from an external source..." The Media File input will change to 'Media URL'.
  • With the Find-A-Grave memorial page in a browser, copy the URL (address) and paste it into the Media URL field.
  • For Thumbnail Image File, click on Select. You should find yourself in the /links directory you just created, so select fag.png or whatever you named your thumbnail image. You do this by clicking on the Edit icon -- the one that looks like a checkmark.
  • Under Media Information add a suitable Title and Description. I like to credit the person who created the memorial here.
  • For Owner/Source: use the Find-A-Grave URL as shown in the screenshot.
  • Tree: select the proper tree from the dropdown list
  • Check the box next to 'Open in new window.' This is not absolutely necessary, but doing this keeps your visitor from having to exit your website.


  • Click on Save and Continue...

Associate The Link


Next we will associate the link with a person's Burial information. Enter the person's ID in the form shown above and click Add. If the correct person's name shows up, click on the edit action button (looks like a checkmark).


The only thing you need to do here is to select 'Burial' from the dropdown list and save the form. The Event field in the person's link information (see the previous screenshot) should now show 'Burial'. Save the page. If you had the subject's personal page already up in the browser, just click the browser's refresh button and you should see the link. Click on it to test it and you're done.