Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cemetery Research In Winter Months

Now that winter weather has hit here in my area, it is very difficult to do any on-site cemetery research. I don't know about you, but I do not enjoy walking and searching through cemeteries with snow or ice on the ground and temperatures near freezing. So here are some ideas on alternate ways to find cemetery or burial information.

A great website to visit is They have a database of over 16 million burial records. You can search for a cemetery and see who is buried there, or you can search on a surname or full name to see what cemetery they are buried in. The information is entered by individuals, so you may need to double-check birth and death dates. There are even some pictures that have been uploaded by individuals. You could get lucky and find a tombstone photo of one of your ancestors.

Try visiting or writing to local libraries, genealogy libraries, and genealogical societies in the area where your ancestor is buried. You may find your ancestor's gravestone inscription listed among the transcriptions owned by these organizations, or they may know where transcriptions are located.

Computerized cemetery records indexes can be helpful in locating the record you need. These can be found at some libraries, or can be purchased from genealogical and historical societies.

Another great idea is to visit the web page for the area where your ancestors lived or died. Many counties and states now have on-line databases with helpful information. I have had great luck using the Randolph County and Perry County, Illinois web pages. Visit to find the state or county site you are looking for.

I hope these few ideas will help you. If you do not yet know the cemetery where an ancestor is buried, try sending for the death certificate. It often provides the place of burial. And don't forget to ask an older relative. Quite often older relatives know information the younger ones do not, even where to find that elusive cemetery.

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