BillionGraves Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: BillionGraves Index .
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 4 Related Websites
- 5 Related Wiki Articles
- 6 How You Can Contribute
- 7 Citing this Collection
What is in the Collection?
This collection is a name index of burial records posted on BillionGraves.com. BillionGraves has shared the index to the website billiongraves.com, 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.
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
- 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 Do I Search the Collection?
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 this collection by name: 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.
What do I do Next?
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.
What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- 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.
|On the BillionGraves website itself, when viewing the image, you can rotate and zoom in or out as needed, just use the controls at the top of the actual image. Some headstones were photographed sideways due to conditions at the time the photo was taken which makes the rotation feature a very useful tool. Some inscriptions, particularly some epitaphs, may appear too small to read, zooming in will be useful for those situations|
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.
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 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.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "BillionGraves Index." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing BillionGraves. http://www.billiongraves.com : 2012.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):