BillionGraves Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: BillionGraves Index .


Record Description

This collection is a name index of burial records posted on BillionGraves has shared the index to the website, a large family history database of records and images from the world's cemeteries, all tagged with GPS locations. Volunteers around the world capture images of headstones in a cemetery and upload them to the site.

Record Content

This collection may include:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Name of cemetery
  • Date of burial

Information not in the index, but found from time to time on the headstones in the images on the BillionGraves website when you view the image associated with a record there:

  • Relationships (Father, mother, husband, wife, etc.)
  • Marriage place (not commonly seen).
  • Other family members such as parents or spouse of deceased
  • Epitaphs
  • Military service, unit, and rank information for service in wars fought by the United States or British Commonwealth nations. Some British Commonwealth headstones that have military information may have unit insignia as well as ID numbers of soldiers interred, but that information may vary from locality to locality.
  • Religious symbols that may be indicative of what religion the deceased may have practiced. This may aid in later research as many churches, synagogues, etc., may have or had kept records associated with the deceased that have other and more complete information.
  • Other information of various kinds.

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and surname
  • Identifying information such as residence, age, and family relationships

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

Viewing the Original Headstone Photos on BillionGraves

If you find a record while using this collection, you may view an image of the headstone associated with it at the BillionGraves website (link below). There is no fee to view the image associated with the record. You may also view a cemetery's Google map, and see where the headstone you are viewing is on that map, for free as well.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index to identify other relatives.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • For women you know have married or were married at some point in their lives, look for the name with the husband's surname on it.  Some also will not have the maiden name although a few do.  Often it is not possible to put all names on a headstone due to the size of the headstone, so this helps when trying to locate a female name.  Girls under at least 15 but usually 18 to 22 will almost invariably have only the maiden surname.  
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

Frequency of Collection Updates

Since BillionGraves users are gathering and uploading new headstone images and those images are being transcribed daily, there will be regular updates to this collection. Updates happen every couple of weeks, and are usually no longer than every four to six weeks. The latest update occurred 24 June 2015 and the collection, with that update, now contains 14,112,502 records. The collection time period box on the upper right of the page says "1001-2015."

Be aware that headstones may not show burial dates for at least 3 to 4 months. This is especially evident at the beginning of a new year.

Related Websites


Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"BillionGraves Index." Database. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Citing BillionGraves. : 2012.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for BillionGraves Index.


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  • This page was last modified on 24 August 2015, at 21:37.
  • This page has been accessed 43,650 times.