Cemetery records include tombstone records and sexton records. Cemetery records may give more information than parish burial registers or civil certificates of deaths. They may include the name of the deceased, age at death, date of death or burial, birth year or date of birth, birthplace, and sometimes marriage information. They may also provide clues about military service, religion, occupation, place of residence at time of death, or membership in an organization.
Tombstone information may be very helpful. Many of the inscriptions on gravestones and monuments have been transcribed and are found in manuscripts and printed books in cemetery offices or libraries.
Chile’s public cemeteries date back to 1885. Each cemetery records office contains books with the name of the deceased person, date of burial, relationship to the person paying for the burial, date of purchase, and location of the burial. Contact the cemetery in the area you are researching and request information.
Because relatives may be buried in adjoining plots, it is best to examine the original record rather than rely on alphabetized transcripts.
To find tombstone or sexton records, you need to know where an individual was buried. The person may have been buried in a church, community, or private cemetery, usually near the place where he or she lived or died. You can find clues to burial places in funeral notices, church records, and death certificates.
Many Asians, Jews, and Europeans are buried in Chilean cemeteries, and information on their tombstones may be very valuable, in some cases listing their places of origin. Cemeteries in Santiago, Chile, include:
- Cementerio General (General Cemetery) founded in 1821, occupying a large area on Recoleta Street.
- Cementerio Católico Parroquial (Catholic Parochial Cemetery) founded in 1883.
- Cementerio Israelita (Jewish Cemetery) founded in 1938, with some tombs from as early as 1924. The guardian at the office has an alphabetical index of persons buried there.
The Family History Library does not have copies of cemetery books for Chile.