Why is having GPS on every headstone in BillionGraves SO important?! This is another question we get a lot. It’s time to set the record straight and show you the SECRET to finding more family with GPS!

Why GPS Matters.

Every headstone on BillionGraves has the exact GPS location attached. “Why is this important?” you may ask… GPS tagged records are tangible proof thatVALIDATES every record on BillionGraves.

But what does this REALLY mean for you? In light of the 4th Thomas_Jeffersonof July, let’s use one of the Founding Father’s and 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, as an example.

Thomas Jefferson is buried in a small cemetery in Virginia. Coincidentally passing away on the 4th of July 1826. The very day we celebrate his actions for signing the Declaration of Independence.  (View his BG record here)

Let’s use the first search tool used by genealogists on BG to find more family and just do a basic search for other people with the last name “Jefferson” in the same cemetery. This returns 8 results. Not bad for the first search! But… BillionGraves can do SO much better!

BillionGraves Helps you Find MORE!

If we were like any other site, that’s about as far as you could go on a basic search. But BillionGraves is NOT like any other site. We have the GPS location of not just the grave for Thomas, but for the entire cemetery! This means we can look at exactly where Thomas is buried AND look at the graves nearby to find even more information!

We know that more than 70% of people are buried in family plots. Using the BillionGraves Plus Nearby Graves tool, we can see who is buried nearby Thomas regardless of their last name. Notice how this search shows several people buried within a few feet of Thomas. In total, we actually find a total of 18 people buried within 25 feet with the last names of Randolph, Carr, Eppes and more. A quick look at these headstones shows inscriptions of their relationship to Thomas Jefferson!

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 12.15.18 PM

Thanks to the GPS coordinates and the Nearby Graves tool on BillionGraves Plus, we were able to find 10 more people that are related to Thomas Jefferson in just a matter of minutes, that we wouldn’t have found otherwise!

Use Nearby Graves in Your Research

What does this mean for you? That’s simple! When you find someone on BillionGraves, don’t just stop there. Look at the headstones surrounding their gravesite using the Nearby Grave tool in BillionGraves Plus. Read the inscription of those stones for any clues to their relationship or any family members. You never know what treasures you will find on headstones. Who knows; you could be one search away from finding those elusive family members or breaking through your genealogy “brick walls”!

Don’t take our word for it. Read what Richard Sayre CG, CGL, FUGA, instructor and professional genealogist has to say about BillionGraves…



“The BG+ tools represent a significant and unique analytical capability for genealogists. With the ability to display family plots and nearby graves, potential relationships are readily identifiable.




BillionGraves’ GPS technology shows you the family members you NEED by looking at who is buried nearby. Thanks to our better GPS data, you just found more family!