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Cemeteries of Palm Beach County

If you want burial information looked up you should check with the Palm Beach County Genealogical Society.  I do not have these books myself, but the society should have them.  This below information was provided by a prior coordinator and is included here for your use as far as it currently extends.  I would be thrilled if someone who has access to this information would be interested in becoming a lookup volunteer for this information. Please contact me at PalmBeachCoGenWeb and let me know what books you have in which to do lookups.  Thanks!

The following books are available through the Palm Beach County Genealogical Society:  

  • The Municipal Cemeteries of Lake Worth, Florida - Index of Burials 1923 - 1997
  • Delray Beach Memorial Gardens - Index of Burials September 1903 - September 1987
  • Woodlawn Cemetery, West Palm Beach - Index of Burials January 1905 through December 1994
  • Boynton Beach Memorial Park and Mausoleum - Index of Burials August 1903 through April 2005

See also the Palm Beach County Genealogical Society's Cemetery Records page.  They have a huge volume of records available.  

Not sure where to start?  Try the Master Burial Database.  It has over 1,750 burials listed. 

Cemetery Information

            Boca Raton Cemetery (Boca Raton)
            Boynton Beach Memorial Park (Boynton Beach)
            Delray Beach Memorial Gardens (aka Pine Ridge Cemetery) (Delray Beach)
            Eternal Light Memorial Gardens (Boynton Beach)
            Evergreen Cemetery (Lantana)
            Foreverglades Mausoleum Garden (Belle Glade)
            Glenwood Memorial Cemetery (Riviera Beach)
            Hillcrest Memorial Park (West Palm Beach)
            I.A. Banks Memorial Park (aka Osborne Municipal Cemetery) (Lake Worth)
            Jupiter Cemetery (aka Riverside Memorial Park) (Jupiter)
            Lake Worth Memory Gardens (Lake Worth)
            Lincoln Memorial Gardens (aka Palm Beach Memorial Park) (Lake Worth/Lantana)
            Menorah Gardens (aka Palm Beach Gardens) (West Palm Beach)
            Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery (Royal Palm Beach)
            Palm Beach Memorial Park (aka Lincoln Memorial Gardens) (Lake Worth/Lantana)
            Pine Crest Municipal Cemetery (Lake Worth/West Palm Beach)
            Pine Ridge Cemetery (aka Delray Beach Memorial Gardens) (Delray Beach)
            Port Mayaca Cemetery (Port Mayaca)
            Riverside Memorial Park (aka Jupiter Pioneer Cemetery) (Jupiter/Tequesta)
            Royal Palms Memorial Gardens (West Palm Beach)
            Shalow Memorial Park (abandoned) (West Palm Beach)
            South Florida National (VA) Cemetery (Boynton Beach)
            The Gardens of Boca Raton (aka Heritage Manor Memorial Park) (Boca Raton)
            Woodlawn Cemetery (Palm Beach)
See also, USGenWeb Archives site for Cemeteries.

Hurricane of 1928 African American Mass Burial Site - located at the Junction of 25th Street and Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach

Conducting Your Own Search

If you didn't find the information you were looking for on this site, here's some advice on how to conduct your own search.

Thanks to thousands of volunteers that transcribe and submit cemetery information for posting on the internet your odds of finding that ancestors final resting place increase each day. The majority of U.S. cemetery transcriptions will be found in one of the following places

Cemetery Junction: Many of the cemeteries in this directory are linked to transcriptions entered by volunteers
Virtual Cemetery at Genealogy.com 
Interment.net: There are close to 4 million burial records available for searching on this site.
FindAgrave.com - over 11 million grave records
RootsWeb: Another excellent resource are the state and county pages maintained by the volunteers of Rootsweb. The County pages normally have links to cemetery transcriptions. Th fastest was to find the correct page is to use Google with the search terms rootsweb STATE* COUNTY* (*insert the state and county you're interested in) 
AccessGenealogy.com: Includes a state-by-state listing of cemetery transcriptions

There are also many smaller lists, such as the GraveStone Archives and specialized sites such as the Burial Sites of Michigan Veterans 1861-1866.

To begin your search you'll need a few pieces of information. The most critical piece of information you need is to know where they died. Most people, particularly before long distance travel became practical, were buried near the place they died. If they died at a location that wasn't considered "home" but was fairly close (such as a hospital in another county), they were probably taken home for burial. Once railroad travel became widely available families with the funds may have transported thier loved ones long distances to lay them to rest in the cemetery where other family members were buried - particularly their parents and siblings.

Having the date of birth and death will help to narrow your search, although a good estimate will normally do the job (unless you need to order a death certificate).

What if I don't know where they died?

The best resources for finding clues on where an ancestor is buried are:

If you have access to the US Censuses, and they lived between 1790-1930, track them to the last census they show up on.
Obituaries: Obituaries will often indicate the burial location. If you know the city or local area of where the person died, and date of death, obtain the newspaper of that area, for that date, and look up the obituary. Newspapers will publish an obituary as soon as someone submits one. Therefore, when searching for an obituary, check all editions of the newspaper following the next seven days from the date of death.

Visit your local public library and speak to the reference librarian on how to obtain old newspapers. For newspapers that are no longer in circulation, the state genealogical or historical society will often have microfilms that are available through inter-library loan.

Social Security Death Index: The Social Security Administration publishes a database of SSA registrants who have died since the 20th century. The database will provide the date of death, and the zip code of where the registrant was residing at the time of death. The database can be queried either by name or social security number. The main reason for using the Social Security Death Index is to find the date of death, so as to obtain a death certificate or finding the obituary. Ancestry.com provides a Social Security Death Index based on this database but you must be a member. You'll find a free Social Security Death Index at Find A Grave.
Death Certificates: Obtaining a decedent's death certificate will indicate the place of death. Often, it will also include the place of birth, date of birth, and even the names of parents. The catch is, however, you need to have the exact date of death to begin with in order to obtain a death certificate. You may or may not need to have the county of where the death was recorded.

Death certificates are issued by the county or state of where the death was recorded. Requesting certificates from the state will always require both the date and place of death. Requesting certificates from the county, will only require the date of death. Small, rural counties, will often require only the decedent's name, as there are fewer names to sort through.

A good website for getting instructions on how to obtain death certificates from state and county offices is the RecordsRoom

Cemetery Offices: Each active cemetery has an office that maintains records of who is interred at the cemetery and who was moved from that cemetery to another. The offices are always more than happy to look up a name in their records, free of charge. Often, they will mail or fax you copies of the burial records, and may even supply a map pinpointing the exact location. Public cemeteries are operated by the "cemetery district" responsible for a defined geographic area.

Funeral.com has a directory of active cemeteries in the United States with addresses and phone numbers.

Websites for cemetery districts can usually be found by running a search for "cemetery district" on any popular Internet Search Engine.

Cemetery Societies: A Cemetery society is a group of people who take interest in a particular cemetery and volunteer their services. Often, the cemetery is inactive, and has no other means of maintenance. Some societies take interest in a historic cemetery already under the management of a government agency. These societies record the history of the cemeteries and have usually taken an inventory of all burials.

Only a handful of societies have its own website. Most, if not all, societies are operated out of someone's home. Local genealogical societies are usually aware of these societies and know how to contact them.

Funeral Homes: Also referred to as "mortuaries", funeral homes provide funeral services. Funeral homes are often happy to look up the name of a decedent to tell you if they handled the funeral service, and can often tell you where the decedent is interred.

FuneralNet is perhaps the best Internet resource of locating addresses and phone numbers to funeral homes throughout the United States and Canada.

Another way to look up funeral homes on the Internet is by using an Internet yellow-pages. You can select a state, and search on "funeral".

Other Information to Consider

The decedent's religion and the church they attended can be a clue in finding their burial location. Churches often maintained a cemetery on or near their location. Often these cemeteries are available only to church members or someone of that specific religion.
Was the decedent retired from military service or did they die while serving in the military? Retired military personnel are eligible for free burials at a national cemetery. Quite often, these people elect to be buried there for economical reasons and for pride. One must serve at least 20 years in the military in order to be eligible for "retired status". Each large city has at least one national cemetery.

The National Cemetery Administration is responsible for operating the cemeteries in the national cemetery system. Their website provides a list of the cemeteries with addresses and phone numbers, as well as information on how to obtain military records.

Was the family well off or poor? Families with little money often bury their dead in public cemeteries. Public cemeteries offer burials at nominal cost. These cemeteries are operated by "cemetery districts", which are under the jurisdiction of a city, county, or parish government. A cemetery district usually has two or three cemeteries in operation, and these cemeteries are usually among the oldest operating cemeteries in the area. These cemeteries are often named after the geographic region they are located in: "Anaheim Cemetery".

Conversely, wealthy families tend to bury their dead in privately owned and operated cemeteries, where they can purchase enough land to buffer themselves from other graves, build mausoleums, and erect monuments. These cemeteries usually have picturesque names such as "Shady Oaks Glen", or "Lilac Hills".

Family Cemeteries: In the past it wasn't unusual for families living in rural areas to start a family burial plot on their property.
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