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What Are Cemetery Records?

Cemetery records may be a good place to look for those who wish to complete a family tree or learn about the life of someone who has died. These records are basic information tools. They contain information about the person who died and who is buried at the location. Cemetery records do not provide details about the person at any depth of level, but they do provide information about the individual that can be helpful for verification or to better understand someone’s life. These records are often available to the public through the various cemeteries.


Cemetery records can be very helpful. The information included in them ranges widely from one location to the next. Older records tend to contain less information than newer ones, though. This is important to understand if you are considering using these records for any type of search. The information contained on very early records may be nothing more than the person’s name and the date of his death. Records that are more thorough were kept in the 1900’s when actual files on the person were kept by the cemeteries.


In early American history, very few records or monuments were erected to capture a person’s life after his or her death. This was commonly done by only the wealthy who had the funds necessary to do so. However, these records were often kept on file for many reasons later on. For example, in the 1800’s, many churches began creating cemeteries devoted specifically to those of that faith. The cemeteries were often on or near church grounds. These records would include information about the person who died and his or her family’s information. Information about the person’s parents, spouse and children were commonly included. Birth and death dates were a part of the record as well.


Today, those who are looking for cemetery records will find a good deal of information about the person but only the information that he or she actually wished to share. There are no requirements by any agency to provide this information to the public either. However, most cemeteries do not have policies that prevent the sharing of this data with the public. Doing so can help individuals to feel more comfortable about the passing of a friend or family member. This information is generally on file.


For those who need cemetery records for genealogy projects or for other needs, the best possible location to gather these records is from the source. If you do not know the cemetery in which the individual was buried, you can also use the various databases online to track down any known people with the name you are looking for. These searches can be harder to do because they require you to have as much information as possible about the person. However, for those who are piecing together the puzzles of a family tree, having access to cemetery records can be very helpful. They can often link families to other relatives or provide information about a person’s history that is not otherwise known.

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