After almost two years, the Boston Studio Cemetery Project website is up and running again.
A group of volunteers started the Boston Studio Cemetery Project in the summer of 2008 after the Nebraska State Genealogy Society asked all counties to begin an effort to photograph every gravestone in the state.
Genealogy information, photos, and locations of burial sites in all 45 Butler County cemeteries are available on the website, butlercountygallery.com. Boston Studio Cemetery Project volunteer Carolyn Dvorak said the site is particularly useful for genealogy work.
“We’ve had requests from all over the country from people wanting obituaries and more information,” Dvorak said.
One of the advantages of the Cemetery Project website over resources such as findagrave.com is its understanding nature.
“Their name, who they are married to, when they were born and died, what cemetery they are buried in, who their children are, it’s pretty amazing,” Dvorak said. “…We also have married names there…(and) children who have not died.”
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Obituaries are also attached, if available.
Dvorak explained that the cemetery project’s website was down until recently due to technical difficulties.
“He collapsed on January 7, 2020,” she said.
It’s back now, though.
The Boston Studio Cemetery Project is named for its connection to the Boston Studio Collection, which includes more than 68,000 negatives of daily life in David City between 1893 and 1979.
“The negatives and registers describing each photograph are stored at the Hruska Memorial Public Library in David City. Volunteers worked to digitize and describe just over 1,000 images from this collection for the Nebraska Memories Project,” said one. page about the collection on the Nebraska Memories website said.
The same group involved in the collection oversees the cemetery project, which was originally led by Bonnie Luckey, Jeanne Hain, Ken Pohl and tech specialist Kevin Meysenberg, who were later joined by Trish Collister, Pauline Dvorak, Carolyn Dvorak and Jeannette Heins.
Volunteers spent thousands of hours over several years walking through Butler County cemeteries row by row, photographing headstones and recording all the information they contained.
“Many of the large ornate cast iron cemetery crosses by Charles Andera have been photographed,” said a February 2 Boston Studio Cemetery Project press release on the project’s website. “They have truly stood the test of time and are a Czech-American treasure. … In the summer of 2010, all information collected was uploaded into a database and a website was developed.”
Volunteers have continued to update registers and take photos of new graves since then.
“(The website is) now managed by Kevin Meysenburg of Bellwood,” the press release reads. “During this process, other volunteers who helped were Chris Glock and Jane Buresh from David City and Rosalyn Chmelka (now deceased) from Dwight.”
Those who find errors or wish to add relevant information to the project records are encouraged to contact us.
“Anyone interested in helping or donating to the project can email the address listed on the website,” the press release read.