Cemetery Records and Obituaries
Cemetery Records and Obituaries can provide invaluable insights into an individual’s life and family history. Cemetery records can tell us the location of a person’s burial, as well as information about the deceased such as their name, date of birth or death, maiden and married names, occupation, address at the time of death, military service, and more. Obituaries are often published in local newspapers and can give us further information about the deceased, such as their place of birth, spouse or children’s names, and a brief description of their life.
Types of Cemetery Records
- Burial Records – These may include the name of the deceased, date of birth and death, place of burial, cause of death, and other information related to the individual’s burial.
- Death Certificates – A death certificate is an official document issued by a government agency and provides information about the deceased such as name, date, place of death, cause of death, and other relevant information.
- Obituaries – Obituaries are often published in local newspapers to announce an individual’s death and may provide additional details about their life and family.
- Funeral Home Records – Funeral homes may have records of obituaries or other information about a deceased individual that can help in your research.
How To Find Cemetery Records and Obituaries?
Cemetery records are kept by local governments and religious institutions, so it is important to know where to look to find them. Cemetery records may also be kept online by genealogy or historical societies, or they may be stored in archives such as the National Cemetery Administration’s Grave Locator.
- Contact the cemetery – Most cemeteries keep records of burials and may be able to provide information about a particular individual.
- Check online resources – Many genealogy and historical societies have digitized cemetery records, obituaries, and other documents related to death that can help you learn more about your ancestor.
- Search newspaper archives – Obituaries may have been published in local newspapers at the time of death, and many newspaper websites now have searchable archives for their publications, but it is helpful to know what newspapers were published in the area at the time of death.
- Check with funeral homes – Funeral homes may also have records of obituaries or other information about a deceased individual that can help you in your research.
- The local library in the place where the deceased lived or died can be a great resource for obituary archives. Libraries typically subscribe to local newspapers and preserve them digitally or on microfilm for future generations.
Each cemetery keeps its records and some may not be available or accessible. Therefore, it is important to contact the cemetery directly to inquire about any records they may have. It is also important to be aware of the privacy policies related to these records, as some information can only be released with permission from the family or other individuals involved. Finally, it is helpful to use a variety of resources and search multiple newspaper archives when possible to find the most comprehensive and accurate information about your ancestor.
Cemetery records and obituaries can be a great resource for learning more about an individual and their family history, but it is important to remember that they may not always provide complete or accurate information. It is also important to remember that some records, such as those related to African Americans or Native Americans, may be difficult to find due to their marginalization in the past. With a little bit of research and knowledge, however, these records can be invaluable for discovering more about your family history.
Gathering information from cemetery records and obituaries can give us a fuller picture of our ancestors’ lives and help us to understand how they fit into the larger family history. Knowing where to look for cemetery records and obituaries can be a key step in uncovering our ancestor’s stories.