April 30, 2017, 1:23 am
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Unlocking the Past with Cemetery Records
 
The majority of cemeteries around the world keep records in respect of the people buried on the grounds, including the location of the burial plot, the date the burial took place and in some cases, information related to the person responsible for the purchase of the plot. Usually, cemetery records are kept at the discretion of each individual cemetery. Therefore, the depth and quality of these records often varies considerably.
Cemetery records are especially valuable to anyone working on a genealogy project to find out where their ancestors may be buried and discover additional ancestors that may be buried nearby. Cemetery records are extremely valuable in cases where cemeteries are destroyed or relocated, which makes the process of tracking information related to the individuals whose remains may have been affected.
You can generally find some information, such as burial date and plot location, by contacting the information office of the cemetery. Most of the time, the cemetery's information office holds the responsibility of maintaining the property, arranging funerals, selling and managing plots in addition to keeping records of all burials. Keep in mind that the information offices of the smaller cemeteries are not usually on the grounds.
Changes to the land, such as flooding or the demands of municipalities like road development or construction, may require some burial plots to be moved. Cemetery records help to make sure that the sites that are moved remain intact and have all of the proper identification in order.
Cemetery records are also often compiled by genealogy research organizations and public interest groups, primarily for cemeteries that are old or have been abandoned. These individual groups are able to put together cemetery records by identifying graves manually.
They conduct extensive research, rifling through newspaper archives and sifting through any information they can find related to members of a community that were around at the time the cemetery was established. The majority of these private groups make the information they find available to the public by posting cemetery archives on the Internet.
The cemetery archives that can be found online are patchwork information portals that offer any information that is submitted by groups or individuals. However, the cemetery records that some of these sites keep are not verified. On the other hand, these online records are updated constantly and they will provide you with an excellent place to begin your research. In addition, a number of cemeteries these days publish records on their own website.
It is important to note that cemetery records are not the same as death records. Death records are typically maintained by government agencies as proof that a specific person is deceased. Benefits such as the transferring of properties and insurance payouts more often than not require a death certificate in order to prove that a person is in fact deceased. On the contrary, cemetery records will not serve the same function.
Even though lots of detailed information is out there related to the dead and buried, you may still find it difficult to locate the specific cemetery records that you need. Not all cemetery records are available online and some may never be found. However, with a little time and effort combine with luck, you may just find exactly what you need.
 
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