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Filipino youth, Church leaders use app to capture family history

The Manila South Cemetery was flooded with yellow "Helping Hands" vest on Saturday, April 28, as over 100 Filipino youth and Church leaders worked in collaboration with FamilySearch to transcribe and upload family history information.

The activity was part of a pilot program with FamilySearch Philippines and used the third party app 'BillionGraves' to take pictures of headstones. The information on each headstone was then transcribed, making it possible for information to be searched and used for family history online.

The Makati Philippines Stake organized the event, which also involved cleaning and weeding the cemetery, to prepare them for their upcoming youth conference.

"We hope that the youth of the Makati Philippines Stake will increase their desire to search for [the names] of their ancestors," Stephen Notarte, the second counselor in the stake presidency, said.

Doing family history research in the Philippines has been notoriously hard. Records are often lost in natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan, wiping out decades of information.

Due to a lack of space, many graves are often replaced in the Philippines, causing any headstone information to be lost. Saving this information online is one way to help combat that problem.

The pilot program was a huge success and the stake plans on holding another event soon.

For more information, visit here.