California Cemetery Transcriptions (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, Cemetery Abstracts, 1850-1960 .
This article describes a collection of records at
California, United States
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Flag of California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Cemetery
Collection years 1850-1960
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of abstracts from cemeteries for 1850-1960 in the following counties:

Amador Fresno Los Angeles
Mariposa Merced Napa
Riverside Sacramento San Joaquin
San Mateo Santa Cruz Siskiyou
Solano Stanislaus Sutter
Tulare Yolo Yuba
You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, Cemetery Abstracts, 1850-1960.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Cemetery abstracts usually include the following information:

  • Name of Cemetery
  • Location (Town, County, State)
  • Full name of deceased
  • Lot number
  • Age
  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Names of Parents, Husband or Wife
  • Other Important Facts
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Birth

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know the following:

  • The person’s name
  • The approximate burial or death date

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "County, Town" category
⇒ Select the "Cemetery" category which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images 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.

What Do I Do Next?

Once you have located your ancestor’s burial record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Burial records are often brief so it can be easy confuse individuals. Compare what information is given with what you already know about your ancestor to make sure it is the correct person. Next, look at the pieces of information given in the burial record for new information. Add any new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the birth date or year to search for birth records.
  • Use the birth date along with relative’s names to find the family in census records.
  • Use the locality and relative’s names to locate church and land records.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have been buried in the same cemetery or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby cemeteries.

Citing This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. 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.

Collection Citation:

"California, Cemetery Abstracts, 1850-1960." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Cemetery Offices, California.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, Cemetery Abstracts, 1850-1960.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.