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Mapping old cemeteries by GPS

Family cemeteries, common in the 1800s, are vanishing from the landscape taking valuable historical information with them. Armed with a hand held GPS, Dogan a GIS analyst from Flower Mound in Texas aims to save as many as she can find.

In addition to the large Flower Mound Cemetery, Dogan has recorded the longitude and latitude coordinates for every tombstone at the Shiloh, McCombs and the Rivers Family cemeteries. Dogan then sifts through census data and other information, tries to piece together the past and seeks a historical designation.

The Rivers Family Cemetery, not on any current maps, had grave markings for 14 people and no local relatives Dogan could find when she first wandered upon it this year. Later, she found a relative in nearby Roanoke who knew about it. The research she has done into the cemeteries has added to the history of Flower Mound. Dogan parlayed her uncommon hobby into work by putting together and continually updating a Flower Mound historical profile.

Dogan, who often finds out about cemeteries from others, became interested in Texas history after relocating from her native Australia in 1996. If Flower Mound cemeteries become thoroughly mapped, Dogan may expand her search. There are always more forgotten cemeteries wilting away with a story to tell.