How to Find a Gravesite
Visiting gravesites is as much a study in common history as it is getting in touch with your own personal history. Whether you’re looking for a grave in a cemetery nearby or one across the country, you can use the steps below to help you find the site you’re looking for.
1. Gather Information About the Deceased
In order to find the right grave, you need to know what you’re looking for. Some information that will be helpful in your search includes:
- Full name, including any married names
- Date of birth
- Date of death
- Location of death
You can find this information in census records, family records, newspapers, and even by calling local records offices where death certificates are stored.
2. Check Online
Once you have the basic information that can help you determine whether you’ve got the right grave, start an online search. Websites such as FindAGrave.com and BillionGraves.com are great starting points.
Volunteers photograph gravestones and regularly upload photos to help people find graves from anywhere in the world.
3. Contact the County or Funeral Homes
You may not find the information you’re looking for online, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Try reaching out to county offices where you think the grave may be located, or funeral homes in these areas.
You may be surprised to find that a funeral home or county office has exactly the records you need.
4. Visit the Cemetery
Once you’ve figured out which cemetery the grave is in, it’s time to track it down in the cemetery (if you’re able to get there). If the cemetery has a website or a phone number you can call for information, you should be able to get directions to exactly where the grave is located.
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