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Genealogy Resources

Cemeteries  and Tombstones

A tombstone usually provides the name, death date or year, possibly the age, birth date or year. Some family or group stones can give relationships. Adjacent and nearby tombstones can often be relatives or in-laws. Monuments may provide additional biographical or historical information. The family or a civic organization usually erected them at a later date.

There are publications of tombstone inscriptions for many cemeteries that were done by a variety of organizations, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  These publications are useful if a tombstone cannot be read due to deterioration or vandalism.

Check the cemetery records if possible. The records will usually indicate who purchased the plot, who was buried there, and the date of burial. It may also contain the cause of death, the funeral home, the parents' names, and the relationship of the plot owner.

In your research be aware that a tombstone may not exist for everyone buried at a cemetery. Stones may be placed as memorials and the person may not be buried there. Multiple people may be buried in a single grave. Some cemeteries reuse plots after a certain period of time.

  • African American Cemeteries Online - a database of African American cemetery interments from 30 US states.
     
  • American Battle Monuments Commission. The ABMC commemorative mission is reflected in 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places for almost 125,000 American War Dead; on Tablets of the Missing that memorialize more than 94,000 U.S. servicemen and women; and through 25 memorials, monuments and markers.
     
  • Ancestors At Rest. Search Free Cemetery Records Database For The United States, Canada, England, and Ireland.
     
  • Arlington National Cemetery.
     
  • The Association for Gravestone Studies. The Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) was founded in 1977 for the purpose of furthering the study and preservation of gravestones. AGS is an international organization with an interest in grave markers of all periods and styles. Through its publications, conferences, workshops and exhibits, AGS promotes the study of gravestones from historical and artistic perspectives, expands public awareness of the significance of historic grave markers, and encourages individuals and groups to record and preserve gravestones.

  • Belfast (Northern Ireland) City Council. Burial Records. You can search for burial records in Belfast from 1869 onwards.

  • Billion Graves. Our goal is to preserve precious records found in cemeteries throughout the world. We use modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so users worldwide can access those records anywhere. BillionGraves strives to do just that: preserve at least one billion graves.
     
  • Blatt, Warren. Reading Hebrew Tombstones.
     
  • Burke, Deborah M., editor. Cemeteries of the U.S.: A Guide to Contact Information for U.S. Cemeteries and Their Records. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, Inc., 1994.
     
  • Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo. Your Guide to Cemetery Research. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2002.

  • Cemeteries Photographed by Allen Wheatley.  Jump to State: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NC, NE, ND, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WV  There is no search feature, but the cemeteries are listed by state, county & cemetery name, and then alphabetically by the name on the gravestone. Included is a collection of Internet links to other sites with cemetery information, transcriptions and photos.

  • Cemetery Census: Cemetery Records on the Web.  A volunteer effort to provide free listings of complete cemetery surveys along with photographs of grave markers.

  • The Cemetery Club - TheCemeteryClub.com celebrates the art and history of cemeteries across the country and even the world. TheCemeteryClub.com recognizes the importance of education and cemetery preservation.
     
  • Cemetery Do's and Don'ts from the Connecticut Graveyard Network. Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven. Grave stone and graveyard maintenance.
     
  • Cemetery Forms. Chicora Foundation, Inc.
     
  • Cemetery Junction - Cemetery Listings. Many of the cemeteries in this directory are linked to transcriptions entered by volunteers.  Use with Interment.com, Find-A-Grave and others.
     
  • Cemetery Records Online - search over 3.7 million names from more than 7,500 cemeteries worldwide.
     
  • Cemetery Records from Rootsweb. Contains over 79,000 names.
  • Cemetery Registry. This project was initiated by Gravestone Imaging to fulfill a need, the need for a registry of cemeteries in the U.S. and their locations. When doing Genealogy research, you sometimes need or want to visit an actual gravesite. In order to visit a gravesite, obviously you need to know where it is and how to get there.
     
  • Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions and/or Contributed Records Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
     
  • Cemetery Transcription Library
     
  • CemSEARCH -  A tool that will allow keyword searching of your surnames through thousands of online cemetery inscriptions across the web state-by-state. .
     
  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. Cemeteries.
     
  • Columbia Cemetery Burial Index. Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado, 1870 to the Present, Index of Burials, Updated December 2001. Compiled by Mary McRoberts for the Boulder Genealogical Society, Boulder, Colorado.
     
  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission. Includes burial records from many sources. Established by Royal Charter in 1917, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission pays tribute to 1.7 million men and women who died in the two world wars. After the Second World War, a record of the civilian war dead was also established.
     
  • Confederate and Union Soldiers Burial Places - Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Home Page
     
  • Confederate Cemetery Index - Confederate Cemetery Index
     
  • Death Indexes and Records. Directory of online death indexes arranged by state and county. Includes death records, death certificate indexes, death notices, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery records.

  • Deceased Online. The central database for UK burials and cremations.
     
  • Find a Grave - Created by Jim Tipton, this site is a giant online cemetery -- a necropolis with a search engine, instantly providing photos and information on the final resting places of the famous, infamous and anonymous.  Currently there are over 8 million graves with 100 more added each hour.
     
  • Grave Symbols. The Olive Tree Genealogy. Includes a section with grave images and their symbolic meanings.
     
  • Graveyard & Cemetery Conservation & Preservation. Gravestone Conservation.com.

  • Historic Graves. The Historic Graves project is a community focused grassroots heritage project in Ireland.
     
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society - Cemetery Location Project.
     
  • International Jewish Cemetery Project. The International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies' International Jewish Cemetery Project mission is to catalogue every Jewish burial site throughout the world.
     
  • Interment.com. This is a grave index that should be used along with Cemetery Junction, Find-A-Grave, and others. This site has an index to records for 4,056,102 burials in 8,905 cemeteries from around the world. You can browse cemetery transcriptions by county. The site also links to gravestone transcriptions on other Web sites.
     
  • Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts. There are 209 Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts; JCAM currently owns and operates 101 of these Jewish cemeteries. As a service, we are providing maps and directions to all 209 Jewish cemeteries. Database of over 50,000 Jewish names in the Jewish cemeteries. Results will shows the name, burial location, cemetery name, street name and date of death.
     
  • Karrick, Katie. How to Do Gravestone Rubbings.

  • Locate Grave. LocateGrave.org allows you to search for gravesite locations of family members and friends that have passed. The dataset contains almost seven million entries. A majority of the data is form U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which tracks graves marked with a government grave marker. You can search by several metrics including first name, last name, date of birth, date of death, cemetery, cemetery state, and cemetery city.

  • Nampa, Idaho Interment and Genealogy Site. This application is intended to assist the general public with genealogical research.
     
  • National Cemeteries and Veteran Burials.
     
  • National German Military Grave Registration Service. A database of more than two million names of missing and dead German soldiers from both World Wars. In German. Notes for searching: Nachname=surname; Vorname=first name; supplying a DOB or DOD is optional. Click on "Suche beginnen" to start your search.
     
  • Nationwide Gravesite Locator.  Started as a database of veterans buried in VA national cemeteries since the Civil War, and in state military cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery since 1999. Recently, the VA added 1.9 million records (mostly for veterans and their family members buried in private cemeteries since January 1997), the total number of records now exceeding 5 million.
     
  • The Political Graveyard. The Internet's Most Comprehensive Source of U.S. Political Biography, or, The Web Site That Tells Where the Dead Politicians are Buried.
     
  • Resting Places of United States Colored Troops
     
  • RootsWeb's Cemetery Database. Database contains 793,201 records (74457 distinct surnames)
    Selected states, and counties (as contributed)
     
  • RootWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees - Lesson 4: Vital Records: Death, Tombstones and Cemeteries
     
  • Smith, Gary. "Finding the Final Resting Place." NGS NewsMagazine. 32:2 (April/May/June 2006): 44-46.
     
  • Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. Grave database.
     
  • Strangstad, Lynette. A Graveyard Preservation Primer. Walnut Creek, California: Alta Mira Press, 1998.
     
  • Tombstone Transcription Project. The purpose of this project is to organize volunteers who will work together to create a lasting tribute to our ancestors. We will transcribe tombstone inscriptions and have that work archived for the future and made easily accessible to all. US GenWeb.
     
  • A Very Grave Matter. This web site is a collection of photographs and historical information of colonial cemeteries and gravestones of New England in southern Maine, southern New Hampshire and northeast Massachusetts.

  • Virginia, Danville City Cemetery Records 1833-2006 - Imaged documents - Cemetery records for several cemeteries in Danville, Virginia. Records include indexes, burial records, deed books, and plot books. Although the collection contains information on individuals buried, 1833-2006, coverage will vary between cemeteries. FamilySearch.
     
  • The Virtual Cemetery Project. The Virtual Cemetery Project is a collection of tombstone photos and a fully searchable archive of transcriptions. Members of the Genealogy.com community contributed all of the tombstone photographs in this collection.

  • Virtual Civil War Cemetery. Photographs by John A. Jackson of Civil War veterans' tombstones.

  • Yalom, Marilyn. The American Resting Place: Four Hundred Years of History through our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008.