Thursday, January 13, 2011

Online Cemetery Information - Find A Grave

Nancy's Tips

Finding the cemetery plot of your ancestor can yield surprising results! I have occasionally used the free web site called Find A Grave and recently spent some extended time on it again. I found it to be extremely valuable!

Find A Grave currently contains information for over 300,000 cemeteries in over 170 different countries. Find A Grave is a resource for finding the final resting place of family, friends, and "famous" individuals. With millions of names and photos, it is an invaluable tool for the genealogist and family history buff. As a contributor to the Find A Grave site, you can add information such as photos, obituaries, biographies and dates.

When looking up ancestors for my husband's family line, I searched for a cemetery in Riverside County that I thought they would be buried in. When I found the names of cemeteries in the town they lived in, I took a chance and put in the family surname. I hit pay dirt! For example, in the case of Hannah Case Barr, I found a picture of her marker.

I also found a picture of the gate to Riverside Cemetery where she was buried.

Also, while going through all of the names on Find A Grave that matched some information I already had, I found dates of births and deaths, pictures of headstones, obits, information on spouses, parents and children.  I didn't find all information for all relatives, but Find A Grave provided enough new details to make my time worthwhile!

Be sure to explore the many features of Find A Grave.

And be sure to leave a comment to let us all know how you do!


  1. Find A Grave can be a tremendous tool BUT... The data there must be verified before taking it as genealogical "gospel". I have been a contributor there for over 10 years and have enjoyed posting my own data and using the site to "fill in the blanks". I also volunteer to take photos for people all over the country who make requests through the web site.

    Currently, my family is planning a family reunion in September 2011 and Find A Grave is one of the sites that I have recommended we use to help consolidate all of our information. I agree that it's a great place to post pictures, biographies, family relationships and even vital records.

    I also volunteer at the Museum of Springfield History where we are attempting to upload to Find-A-Grave the data from as many of the area's cemeteries as possible. I think the oldest person that I've posted is Japhet Chapin born in 1641 and died in 1712. He was the youngest son of Deacon Samuel Chapin (1595-1675), one of the founders of Springfield, MA.

  2. I totally agree with you Dave! This is a great place to find information. Now I have a hint on where to look for the Death Certificate and perhaps additional information!

  3. Dave,

    Just checking with my database and find that Deacon Samuel Chapin is the ancestor for my new neice!! We probably have ancestry to exchange! My e-mail is I would love to exchange information with you!