(BROWNSTOWN) - Members of the Brownstown Town Council received an update on the progress of documenting the grave sites at Fairview Cemetery.
Jordan Richart of The Banner reports that Jim Phillips, who has spearheaded the project, said all death records were maintained and stored at Brownstown Town Hall on note cards from 1890 until present day.
Phillips told board members he and his wife began going through records and making sure they matched grave sites to document online which should make it easier for users to find where a relative is buried.
Phillips is working on mapping out the graveyard, while his wife is working on details.
Phillips said he has to map out the sections because people were buried at different angles or "any way they could" before proper burial procedures were adopted to conserve space and ensure other plots were not being disturbed.
The work, Phillips said, required him to walk through each section of the cemetery and write down names and record plots.
Phillips said he planned to finish the project by the end of 2014. After he's finished, though, he said it would take time to maintain the records and keep them up-to-date. So someone will have to take over, cause he can't keep up the project
"Someone else will also have to learn this, because I won't be able to keep them up forever," he said.
Phillips was hired to do the project after the cemetery board received a quote from a consulting company that came in more than the town could afford.
The fees were so high, he said, that similar communities have had to wait to electronically document their own cemeteries' grave sites.
"There's towns out there now that are waiting to get this done, but they don't have the money for it," he said.
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