Saturday, December 6, 2008

Contacting A Cemetery Office

Cemetery offices can be busy places at times and often the staff is small. They get a lot of people visiting and looking for graves. To save yourself some time, and the office staff some stress, write well in advance of your visit.

The following suggestions may help you get a response more quickly:

Always enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your reply.

Request a cemetery map with the location of each plot marked on it. This will help you find the graves you are seeking more quickly.

Limit your request to just a few grave locations. It is time consuming for the staff to look up the information and then mark it on a map. If you are requesting quite a number of lookups, allow more time to receive a response.

Give them the name you are looking for as well as the date of birth and death, and any other information you can provide that will help distinquish one person from another (such as a spouse, parent, or sibling's name). This is really important if you are researching a common name or there is more than one family member with the same name.

Not all graves are marked. Be sure to ask if there is a stone or marker on the grave. This just might save you a trip, if all you want is a photograph of the stone.

Try to visit the cemetery when the office is open in case you have trouble finding a grave and need more help.

And always write a Thank You to the person who sent you the information.

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