Strategy for finding an Irish tombstone

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Ireland to Strategy for finding an Irish tombstone

What you must know to start

  • The parish or townland where the person lived
  • The person's name and approximate year of death

Strategy for success

  1. Search the graveyard of the church near where you ancestor lived. Start with the present church but if a grave is not found check for the original church building.
  2. People of any religion could be buried in a Church of Ireland cemetery. If you do not find the ancestor's grave in the cemetery for their church check the local Church of Ireland cemetery.
  3. Search any other cemeteries in the parish. Be sure to check with people who live in the area to learn if there is an old burial ground no longer in use.
  4. Consider the possibility that a person may have attended church a few miles from where they lived. Try searching cemeteries in the surrounding parishes.
  5. Not everyone had a tombstone and many that did have been destroyed for various reasons over time. There may not be a tombstone for the person you are researching.

Online Searches

Other Related Family Search Sources


  • The book, A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards will list most cemeteries in a specific townland and parish up to 1864.
  • The six inch to a mile Ordnance Survey maps from the 1830s and 1840s show cemeteries.