Monday, July 06, 2015

Evan Rasmussen, Genea-Miracles and Mondays with Myrt

Oh, the younger generation. Aren't they just awesome! Case in Point: Evan Rasmussen, who worked on his Eagle Scout Project this past week. The goal?

Digitize the tombstones at the Greenleaf Cemetery near his home and garner public support to transcribe the text from each stone using the BillionGraves website and app for iOS and Droid smartphones. Find out more about Evan's project in his guest post on his father's genealogy blog located here:

This spry young scouter appeared as a guest today on Mondays with Myrt. He was joined by his father, Geoff Rasmussen, well known in the genealogy community for his work at and The first 27 minutes of the hangout involved a lively discussion about Evan's project. Tune in - you'll find Evan is a confident, well-composed young man, who speaks well for himself. (He's a third generation Eagle Scout, you know.) Here's the video, just press the play button in the middle of the screen below:

You can tell Geoff is mighty proud of his son simply by the expression on his face during this interview. Geoff writes:
"Evan is 15 years old and will be a sophomore in high school in the fall. He's been involved in scouting since his cub scout years which began at the age of 8. He earned the Arrow of Light award, and currently holds the rank of Life Scout. One of his first merit badges was the genealogy merit badge. Like his Dad, he enjoys basketball, his family, and doing family history and indexing.

Once at the cemetery, it took 20 people (members and leaders of Evan's troop, family, church and friends) about 45 minutes to photograph the 30 rows of headstones, which resulted in 687 pictures. After issuing the call for help, it took about 5 [four hours actually] hours to transcribe the photographs which resulted in about 900 indexed names. With the planning, organization, photographing, indexing, and reporting, the Eagle project took about 95 total man hours. Spreading the work out amongst hundreds around the world made the actual time a lot shorter than that.:

 TWO GENEA-MIRACLES. Well, 4 actually.
  1. The genea-miracle of the digitizing crew. Thanks to Evan and his volunteers, the photo imaging was completed in record time.
  2.  The genea-miracle of the crowd-sourced indexing. Evan estimated it would take a week or so to get the job done. Thanks to crowd sourcing, via blog posts and Facebook, the indexing took only about 4 hours. Evan and Geoff mentioned they are processing some blurred image corrections just now, ensuring their work is as accurate as possible.
  3. The genea-miracle of the fallen, crumbling tombstone. Looks like Evan got the cemetery preserved just in the nick of time. The day after the project was completed, one of the grave sites "caved in" taking the tombstone with it. Some stones totally crumble when this occurs.
  4. The genea-miracle of Evan's example. Evan's 6-year-old sister was excited to participate in the digitizing at the cemetery. Viewer Cheri Hudson's scouting sons are excited about doing a similar project.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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