Cemetery Research Tips


By George E. Wolf Jr./2010

1. Maps are a great source. Old and new work well together. You can compare the two.

2. Death certificates are wonderful to use. You can see if the cemetery is going by another name.

3. Census records work great by putting groups or families names from a certain cemetery together.

4. Community histories.

5. Genealogy or family histories.

6. County Tax Block Books.

7. Findagrave.com

8. Cemetery websites.

Searching For A Cemetery

1. . Depending on where you live, fall and winter is best for searching for cemeteries. No heat, no snakes, no mosquitos, low vegetation making it easier to find the tombstones and no people around.

2. Don't go alone. If you do let someone know where you are going. There is more to fear from the living than the dead.

3. If it is on private property be sure to get permission and keep all gates closed.

4. Its best to go on a clouded day, the sun sometimes makes the tombstone hard to read in direct sunlight.

5. Look for large old trees, oaks and cedars. Cedar trees were put at the head of a grave when there was no headstone. Look for lilies and other flowering plants that would not normally grow there.

6. Indentions in the ground where the coffin has fallen in. Old metal funeral markers. Fieldstones or large stones. Linch-gates, broken gravestones. Grave goods put on a grave, toys, bottles, shells.

7. Old fence lines, fence post and barb-wire.

8. Dense woods and over grown lots.


Kinds of Gravestones and age

1. Wood 1650-1900

2. Slate 1650-1900

3. Sandstone 1650-1890

4. Marble 1780-1930

5. Granite 1860-Current day


(C) 2011