How can I find where my ancestor is buried?

Finding the burial place of ancestor is made easier these days with so many cemetery transcriptions in print and online. Even so, those elusive ancestors may be hard to find, perhaps laid to rest in an unmarked grave or a cemetery not surveyed. Some may never be identified owing to burial grounds covered over, uprooted or removed. But leaving no stone unturned, researchers do have a number of resources to check and continue to check over time, as new information comes to light over time that one might not have imagined.

Various death records may include the place of burial, including death certificates, funeral records, obituaries and death notices. Less familiar death records include burial-transit records, necrologies and death registers. While the death register may or may not indicate place of burial, it does indicate place of death, which is a good starting point. Prior to civil registration, the local church often handled deaths and burials. Wills and probate records may also indicate burial information. Of course, cemetery and sexton records for the area in which you ancestor lived and published cemetery transcriptions are important resources, in addition to in addition to websites such as and Local area histories can provide important information on cemeteries within the area, and may indicate cemeteries outside of the area where residents might be buried such as in neighboring counties or towns.

Of course, an important part of the research process is to check the work of others, including family trees, messages boards, etc. The one caveat, as always, is to verify the accuracy of information obtained from others.

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