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All About Cemeteries and Funeral Homes

Although you may not have guessed it, cemeteries can be excellent sources of genealogical information. This topic tells you how cemetery and funeral home records may help you in your research. Click any of the topics listed at the bottom of this topic to get more complete descriptions of what cemetery and funeral home records exist and where to find them.

Using cemetery records and gravestones, you could find an individual's birth and death dates, and perhaps information about military service. Sometimes you will discover epitaphs that give you insight into the individual's sense of humor, ideas about death, or even the way other people felt about him or her.

If you are having trouble locating an individual's parents, children, or spouse, you can often find information about them, too. Some gravestones have inscriptions such as "Beloved child of..." or "Beloved parent of...," which give you clues to the names of other ancestors. An even better find is a family plot. By locating the burial place of one relative, you may also find the graves of several other relatives. All in all, if you are unable to locate vital records for some of your ancestors, a cemetery may be a good second place to check. You may not actually need to visit a cemetery in order to look at cemetery records and gravestones. Many of these records have been transcribed.

Funeral homes also keep records about the individuals that they take care of. Some just keep the basic information about birth and death dates, but others go much more in depth. You can sometimes find information about the individual's family, occupation, and even insurance information.

For more information about using cemetery and funeral home records, select one of the topics listed below.

Locating cemeteries and cemetery records

Funeral home records

Keys to successful genealogical research:

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