Our Lady of Calvary Cemetery in Dieppe

Our Lady of Calvary Cemetery in Dieppe is creating a user-friendly digital backup of its records for all 16,000 graves. (Find a Grave)

A cemetery in the Dieppe area is going digital, and the New Brunswick Cemeteries Association hopes others will follow suit.

Our Lady of Calvary Cemetery in Chartersville has all 16,000 of its graves currently logged in decades-old ledgers, said manager Dianne Leblanc.

It also has a database, but it needs to be updated, said LeBlanc, who spends much of her days looking up the grave stones of tourists' long-dead relatives.

"Depending on how it was spelled, or if … something was put in a bracket, that won't come up," she said.

Leblanc is working on a user-friendly system that will be accessible online.

Ed Graham, president of the cemeteries association, would like to see more cemeteries do the same.

He says cemeteries are an important link to the past and better records of the province's ancestors should be kept.

"Maybe some will never move from paper. If that's what you like, keep them, but we'd like to see an added security for all records," said Graham.

Without a digital backup, a cemetery's history can be lost forever, he said.

"I've heard where there was fires and records were lost. Some were kept in the basement and there was a flood in the basement so the records were almost ruined."