Digging For Answers – September 24, 2009
Best Online Databases for Cemeteries
by Randy Seaver
Welcome to the Digging for Answers column on the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.
This column will depend on your submission of questions about cemeteries, gravestones, burial practices, and other topics that concern a Graveyard Rabbit (other than where his next carrot is coming from!). So please send some questions to the editor, who will pass them along and keep the columnist hopping.
A reader wants to know: "What are the best online databases for cemeteries?"
There are quite a few online databases for cemetery records. Some records are in large databases for completely surveyed cemeteries, and other databases have only partial compilations. Many of these records were generated by volunteers working with the cemeteries, or by just "walking the cemetery" and noting the inscriptions. In many cases, genealogical and historical societies have sponsored projects to collect inscriptions and/or cemetery burial records from cemetery files. Of course, there are many cemetery inscriptions and burial records that are not online.
Here is a list of some of the online cemetery and burial record websites:
Interment.net (www.interment.net) has over 4 million records from over 8,000 cemeteries, including some outside the United States. Use the search box on the home page or select a country, state, and county to refine your search.
US GenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project (http://usgwtombstones.org) has records organized by States and Counties. Start on the state page at http://usgwtombstones.org/registry.html. There does not seem to be a Search box for the entire collection.
Rootsweb Cemetery Records Database (http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cemeteries/) has over 1 million records. Use the Search box on the page.
Nationwide Gravestone Locator (http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov) has over 6.5 million burials in over 320 national and state military and veterans cemeteries.
Access Genealogy (www.accessgenealogy.com/cemetery) has about 45,000 entries in two different databases.
JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (www.jewishgen.org/databases/cemetery) has more than 1 million records in over 1,900 cemeteries worldwide.
Cyndi's List Cemetery page (www.cyndislist.com/cemetery) has links to many articles and some locality-based databases not in other indexes or databases.
The Political Graveyard (http://politicalgraveyard.com/) has over 190,000 cemetery records for politicians and government officials.
Cemetery Junction Directory (http://www.daddezio.com/cemetery/index.html) has about 80,000 cemetery records including some non-United States cemeteries.
Ancestors at Rest (http://www.ancestorsatrest.com/cemetery_records/) has links to selected local cemetery records in the USA, Canada, Ireland, and England.
Maggie Stewart's Favorite Genealogy and History Web Links (http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~maggieoh/Links/cem.html) has links to many locality specific websites with cemetery records.
Local, county, or regional genealogical and historical societies may have cemetery records listings on their web sites (use a search engine to find records for a specific town, county, or state). Societies may offer lookup services for specific cemetery records that are not online but are available in libraries or repositories in book, manuscript or, CDROM format.
Genealogy researchers need to understand that not every burial has been recorded, and that only a fraction of the available tombstone or burial records are online.