I’ve just been having another look at Find A Grave which has photos and a searchable database of monumental inscriptions from all over the world. Obviously it’s incomplete, and an ongoing project, but it’s always worth trying a search there.
For example it includes the gravestone at Melrose Abbey of my Usher ancestors: John Usher of Toftfield, his second wife Agnes Blaikie, and parents James Usher and Margaret Grieve. Likewise there’s the gravestone at Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh of my distant g..uncle Dr George Somner, his partner/not-wife, and their children. And near to that stone is the gravestone of George’s sister Mary, Mrs Seton, and her husband and children. Martin found these Somner/Seton stones for me while he was a student in Edinburgh, spending rather a lot of time hunting in graveyards for my relatives. So we knew they were there. But it’s nice to be able to see good quality photos online.
There are also family graves from much further afield. For example the site includes the gravestone at Mountain View, Oakland, California of John Usher and Agnes Blaikie’s grandson George Blaikie Somner, who emigrated first to Australia, then New Zealand, where he married and had children, before going on via Fiji to settle in the United States. I’ve made contact with a descendant of this line and we’ve been able to exchange family photos. She thought her ancestor, George’s son, was born in Dunedin, Scotland, but I had to explain it was on the other side of the world!
I must try looking up some more surnames, especially for the English ancestors, both mine and Martin’s. And it’s a site that I should return to in future as it gets more content.