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Cemetery records, such as tombstones and sexton’s records, may give birth and death dates, age at death, name of spouse and children, and the maiden names. Sometimes they contain birthplace. Tombstones may have symbols or insignias indicating military service and social or religious affiliations. Family members may also be buried nearby.


Internet Tombstone Transcripts and Index

WPA Cemetery Index

As part of the Historical Records Survey, the federal government created a North Carolina Cemetery Inscription Card Index. This is commonly known as the WPA Cemetery Index. It is at the North Carolina State Archives and on microfilm at the Family History Library. The films are arranged alphabetically in two parts by the name of the person: one for burials before 1914 and another for burials after 1914.

  • Pre-194 Cemetery Survey
  • Pre-1914 Cemetery Inscription Card Index. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1972. (Family History Library films 882944–64) A list of the cemeteries included in the indexes is found on microfilms 882942–43.
  • Post-1914 Cemetery Inscription Card Index. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1972. (Family History Library films 882965–69)

Cemetery Records

The Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Collection also contains tombstone inscriptions arranged by county from many North Carolina cemeteries. See North Carolina Bible Records for more information about the collection.

Many cemetery records and tombstone inscriptions have been published or microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library. Examples are:

  • Cemetery Records of North Carolina. 8 vols. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1947–1961. (Family History Library book 975.6 V3r; film 873690 item3 to 873691 item; fiche 6046892).
  • McEachern, Leora H. Gravestone Records. 10 vols. Wilmington, North Carolina: L. H. McEachern, 1971–81. (Family History Library book 975.6 V3m; fiche 6017876)
  • North Carolina Cemetery Project. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. (Family History Library fiche 6047785 [set of 7].) These records are alphabetical by surname within each cemetery. There are some death dates as late as 1961.
  • Welborn, Mrs. John Scott. North Carolina Tombstone Records. 3 vols. Highpoint, North Carolina: Mrs. J. S. Welborn, 1938 (Family History Library film 18068 items 1–2 [vols. 1–2]; film 18069 item1 [vol.3].)

Several periodicals have published inscriptions and inventories from North Carolina cemeteries. These are referenced in the "Places" section of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), described in North Carolina Periodicals.

Family History Library

The Family History Library has a county-by-county inventory of cemeteries as of 1987:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah). Index to United States Cemeteries. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. (Family History Library films 1206468–948.) Films 1206483–85 list cemeteries in North Carolina counties from Alamance to Yancey. This is an inventory of cemeteries, not an index to the names of individuals.

For more information on cemetery records, see United States Cemeteries. To find more sources in the Family History Library Catalog, use a Place Search under:





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