Cemetery records often give more information than church burial records and may include the deceased’s name, age, date of death or burial, birth year or date of birth, and sometimes marriage information. They may also provide clues about an ancestor’s military service, religion, occupation, place of residence at time of death, or membership in an organization. Cemetery records are especially helpful for identifying ancestors who were not recorded in other records, such as children who died young or women.
To find tombstone inscriptions or burial records, you must know where an individual was buried. Clues to burial places may be found in funeral notices, obituaries, church records, and death certificates. Individuals were usually buried in a church, community, or private cemetery near the place where they lived or died. Cemetery locations may be found on maps of the area. For information on maps, see the "Maps" section of this outline.