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Guide 2 Genealogy   >   Sources   >   Cemeteries

 

Cemeteries in Genealogy


Cemeteries and cemetery records can be an excellent source of genealogical information, but before you can use them, you will first need to locate the particular cemetery in which your ancestor was buried. If you know the person's religion, this will greatly narrow where to look. You can start by calling the cemetery offices of the cemeteries located in the town where your ancestor was last listed in the city directory.

If you do not find the correct cemetery right away, you can try those located in neighboring towns. Some smaller cemeteries may not have an on-site office, so for these, you will need to contact the municipal clerks office to learn where and who is keeping the records. Some cemeteries have no formal records at all, which means that you will have to make a trip to the cemetery grounds and conduct the search on foot by reading headstone inscriptions.

As always with historical records, you should be aware that alternate spellings of your ancestor's surname may be used. Thus, when you ask someone to conduct a search, be sure to include these alternate spellings too.

If you've tried everything that you can think of, but are still unable to locate the correct cemetery, then one of three things may have occurred:-
  1. There may be no record of your ancestor's burial even though they may have died there.

  2. Your ancestor may be buried in a town in which you have not yet searched.

  3. The year in which your ancestor died was outside of the range of years that you have searched.
If that happens, the next step is to start at other genealogical sources to try to learn more information about when and where your ancestor died.


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