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Transcription filters

When I am transcribing photos, I usually set the Language filter to English. Even so, I often will get photos that are clearly NOT from an English speaking country (i.e. China, Belarus) or are written in Chinese, Hebrew, or other non-English languages. Why is this? I also will select the country as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or Australia but will still have photos from other countries which I cannot read to transcribe. It is a waste of my time to continue to see photos which I do not have the skill set to transcribe.  I would rather see a message "no photos available" than to transcribe one picture, then have to skip through 10-12 nonEnglish photos before I find another that I can read and transcribe. 

3 people have this question

When attempting to transcribe, the program gives foreign countries to transcribe no matter how I set the choices.  Cannot transcribe languages I do not know.

I have the SAME problem. I just uploaded over 500 pictures and would like to transcribe them myself (under the 14 day window) but whenever I hit the transcribe button I see NONE of my pictures but some from Poland, Illinois, Russia. What is the deal? I hit "Next" and still none of my pictures show up AND I cannot even select my cemetery from the list.

Renna - if you have your own images, go to MY PHOTOS in your dashboard and you should be able to access all the photos you took. From that MY PHOTOS page you can choose a particular cemetery, or photos uploaded on a certain date. and other option. 

After you open an image, finish a record and save, don't use the upper right NEXT button as that will throw you into the genaral queue with all the other language. INSTEAD, use the next/previous buttons at the bottom of the transcription screen to navigate through your photos. In NEW transcription screen they are the left and right arrows at bottom right; in the OLD screen they are the words/ PREV/NEXT below the image. 

Reply back here if you need further help.


on your dashboard after logging in there is a box titled "my cemeteries"

In order to do your own photos you do the following:


Log in

Click on View My Profile

My Images will show up at the top

Click on the thumbnail for the cemetery of your choice ( DO NOT click on the cemetery name or you will be taken to the cemetery page)

This will open up your album of individual photos

Start with the first thumbnail click on it

A transcription window will open with the new photo



Another photo will appear in your que



If you would like to go in order in your album go back and forth between the two tabs you currently have open (Album Page and Transcription Page)

I keep coming back to try to volunteer and transcribe records, but filters are still not working.  I have it set for English, United States, ALL cemeteries.  I keep getting foreign country cemeteries, today it is Romania.  How am I suppose to do the work if I can't get what I need?  It would take me forever to click through all the photos, after about  12 Romanian headstones I gave up. 

This is an article on the website explaining this phenomenon:

We have far too many transcribers and not enough photo takers on our website. Also, many of our photo takers transcribe their own photos, leaving the pool very slim. When photos are released to the general public, our site becomes similar to  an Easter Egg hunt for adults. Transcribers will pounce on any English record that becomes available and they are gone in a matter of hours or minutes.

Here are some other ideas, try going into any cemetery and looking for green pins. The stones with green pins are often ones that our fast transcribers skipped over because they don't like to take the time to figure them out. Personally, I'm one of those weird people, I guess, who love a challenge!  I want people to be able to have the data they are looking for, and am willing to go to great lengths to ensure they get information on loved ones.

If a stone is unreadable or there is difficulty reading a stone, perhaps you can use other websites, published information, and genealogical sites  to try and figure out who's stone it is.  Just be sure to add this in the notes section. For example, I was having difficulty reading some of the green pins in the Trinity Churchyard in New York City.  However, there is a free archive site online that listed all of the stones and their epitaphs and I was able to figure out whose stone it was and even added it to FamilySearch!

Speaking of FamilySearch, did you know that you can add FamilySearch personal identification numbers to our database and it will link the two accounts together? This is yet another activity I like to do when we are low on easy transcriptions. I will often go into FamilySearch and either create a new person using the information from the cemetery or I will link Billion Graves information with FamilySearch to help others in their family history. This is a win win for everyone!

If the idea of scrolling back and forth between websites is a little unnerving, how about connecting families together on our website. As we have thousands of transcribed records with no family relationships listed.  I have personally gone into my family and genealogical family stones and have added data to connect my grandparents with their parents and children and so forth.

Another idea is adding information in the memories section.  Add an obituary, story or any other information you wish to enrich the life information of an individual.  You can also add photos, just make sure the DPI is larger than 400x500 to ensure high quality viewing. By adding photos, you almost seem to breathe life into the life information area of the website.  I would highly recommend it!

Hopefully these suggestions will create some ideas on just how you can further help our movement, as we want to protect and preserve cemetery information for future generations, and create a rich database for all to enjoy!

Hopefully these suggestions will add to your Billion Graves experience!

Below is one of the records that was listed as a "green pin" on a cemetery in California.  Could you read it? I know I can, as I just transcribed it.  There are pins like this in every just have to look for them!

Ok thank you for that, I am new to this and haven't done so many as others probably as I am just learning.   

I have had the same problem with languages and being sent all over the world to headstones i cant transcribe, i have also tried looking for the green pins, unfortunately this does not work either as every pin i try says it is not available until a certain date, when i check again on that date it is pushed even further ahead. must say im so frustrated myself i also feel like giving up. There are cemeteries there that have been on my transcription lists, Australia for example that have been showing for months and i still cant transcribe them. i have spent my time just checking for errors.

Another item that we always need help with is writing stories of individuals or adding obituaries, finding FamilySearch PID#'s and creating family relationships. Although these things do not count as "credit" with your name as transcriptions do, these items are all needed. 

I transcribe one item and then my filters don't stay set.   Can't find any more pictures so I can go no further even after I set my filters.

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