Find Ancestral Burial Grounds Without Leaving Home

Updated and revised July 2014.

There’s little a genealogist loves more than tramping through an old cemetery. That’s because we have an insatiable desire to learn more about our ancestors, when and where they lived, and their final resting place. In today’s modern world, so many people live hundreds or thousands of miles from their 18th or 19th century ancestral homes that on-site cemetery research often has to wait for a family vacation or business trip.

How frustrating to find a clue about a family burial plot, only to be prevented by distance to visit in person. Fortunately, this short guide will show you how do cemetery research from your own home, as well as how to request tombstone photos at a distance.

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Why Cemetery Research?

For genealogists, cemeteries can contain a treasure house of clues for further research: The inscription on just one stone can contain a maiden name, a place of birth, the names of children or wives, and cause of death. The carvings and artwork on the stone itself contains symbolic clues to religious beliefs or the family’s expression of grief.

Thanks to the Internet, the possibility of locating family burial sites without leaving home is excellent. Instead of indefinitely postponing cemetery research, you can now search the Web for cemetery transcriptions, headstone records, and even volunteers who will go to a cemetery and take photographs for you.

What This Guide Contains

This One-Hour Genealogist guide contains the best free websites for doing cemetery research, resources for finding a cemetery photographer and how to get great tombstone photographs when you’re doing in-the-field research. It also contains the author’s favorite free website for discovering information about old cemeteries. Don’t wait til you can travel to a cemetery – take advantage of the excellent online cemetery resources.

Start Your Research Tonight

Scroll back up to the top of this page and click the Buy button. You can instantly begin your cemetery research in just minutes.

About the Author

Nancy Hendrickson is the author of the Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com, Discover Your Family History Online, The Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference, San Diego Then and Now, and Historic Photos of Old California. She is a life-long genealogy researcher and the creator of the One-Hour Genealogist Series.

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