Finding Cemetery Records on Your Ancestors

If your ancestor lived in another state at the time of their death, you may have thought it impossible to find their grave without traveling to that area. Thanks to the internet, finding where your ancestor is buried may be only a few clicks away.

One of my first steps in finding someone's grave is checking FindAGrave. This website is filled with user-submitted cemetery information, as well as pictures in some cases. If your relative's grave is listed in a cemetery, but it lacks a photo of the headstone, you can request a photo. The request then goes out to volunteers in the area with the hopes that one will fulfill your request.

Not all cemeteries on FindAGrave have every interment listed. This can be for various reasons. One, the grave may be unmarked. Two, some people may have only submitted cemetery records on their own family members.

One of my favorite features on FindAGrave is the ability to make a virtual cemetery. It's a way to gather all your deceased relatives graves in a single area.

If FindAGrave does not have the grave, I then move to the USGenWeb sites. County sites often have cemetery transcriptions for their counties. In some cases, the look-up volunteers for that county may have books on the burials or cemeteries in the area.

Wherever you manage to find cemetery information, keep one thing in mind. Dates on headstones and memorials are not always accurate. Several of my relatives had different dates of birth and death when I checked the Social Security Death Index.

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