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"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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GPS Position of Gravemarkers

The Global Positioning System (GPS) "is a satellite-based navigation system consisting of a network of 24 orbiting satellites that are eleven thousand nautical miles in space and in six different orbital paths. The satellites are constantly moving, making two complete orbits around the Earth in just under 24-hours."

I use an eTrex™ 12 parallel channel GPS receiver manufactured by Garmin to mark the location of gravemarkers. The eTrex weights 6-ounces and is only 4-inches high and 2-inches wide. The eTrex only has five (5) operator buttons and is user-friendly. Additionally, the eTrex is completely waterproof so it can take an accidental splash or dunk in the water and still continue to perform. Another great feature is that the eTrex™ will operate 18-hours on two (2) AA batteries.

In rural Milam County, Texas, the eTrex indicated accuracy within 3 to 5-feet. That is excellent results for its cost and easy to operate features. You can spend considerable more money for GPS that will be accurate within a few inches, however, the cost for that equipment is exceptionally high and they are extremely complex and involved to operate.

For more information and to see a photograph of the eTrex, visit: http://www.garmin.com/products/etrex/. I purchased my eTrex at Academy Sporting Goods for $119 + tax.

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The USGS Geographic Names Information System at: http://mapping.usgs.gov/www/gnis/gnisform.html will allow you to search for cemeteries in a particular county and it will give the Longitude/Latitude.

If you have cemeteries in your county that are not included in the USGS Geographic Names Information System database, you can send them the name of the cemetery and the Longitude/Latitude taken at the center-point of the cemetery, 4-corners (or however many corners there are to the cemetery) and at the entrance, approximately six (6) readings and they will add the cemetery to their database.

The USGS Geographic Names Information System database is used to make new maps. Therefore, by adding cemeteries to their database the cemetery will then begin to appear on new road maps.

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This webpage was last created on 14 Sept 2000 and was last revised on _____ 2000

Copyright © 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604

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Lynna Kay's Other Websites

"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column by Lynna Kay Shuffield

You can visit my personal genealogy research at My Loose Ends Family Tree Database

San Jacinto County TXGenWeb

Milam County Texas War Dead Project which will document the biographical, genealogy and military history of the 270 men from Milam County who have died in the four-wars (WWI, WWII, Korea & Vietnam)

“Clippings from the Cameron Herald

The Scrapbook of Seaman First Class Guthrie F. Layne, Jr., U.S.N., Compiled Aboard the USS Houston (CA-30) from November 2, 1940 through October 2, 1941.

SS Paul Hamilton Personnel Lost at Sea - 20 Apr 1944 - which will document men lost at sea as result of this Liberty Ship sinking off the coast of Algiers, North Africa


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Links to Lynna Kay's articles published at "Ancestry Daily News"

World War I Burial Case Files and the WWI Document Archive - 25 May 2000

100 Years of Submarine History and the Sailors in Your Family Tree - 1 Jun 2000

A Korean War Story & Wartime Experiences Are Being Collected - 22 Jun 2000