Template Sample Alabama Cemetery Records

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Alabama tombstone transcriptions date from the early 1800s. Tombstones and sextons' records may give birth and death dates, age at death, name of spouse, names of children, and maiden names. Birth places usually are not mentioned. Tombstones may have symbols or insignias suggesting military service and social, fraternal, or religious affiliations. Family members may be buried in the same plot or nearby.

Before using this record, know this

  • Name you are searching
  • Locality
  • Timeframe
  • Names and addresses of mortuaries in the locality, the local public library, the local genealogical society, or the city or county engineer to get a map of the local cemeteries

Before using this record, search this

  • Interview relatives, the older the better
  • Gather official documents:
    • Death Certificates
    • Death Indexes
    • Death Notices
    • Burial Permits
    • Cremation permits
    • Transit Permits
  • Gather family information:
    • Funeral cards
    • Funeral Mourning cards
    • Funeral program
    • Obituaries
  • Contact local organizations for information on the cemetery, and contact the cemetery or those holding the cemetery records

Where to find the record

Tombstone Transcriptions

  • The Gandrud and Jones Collection, Alabama Records. The Gandrud and Jones collection is described in Alabama Genealogy.

Daughters of the American Revolution Library

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) have tombstone inscriptions from Alabama cemeteries. This collection is located at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., which also includes transcripts of Bible records, cemetery records, church records, family records, marriages, deaths, obituaries, and wills.

Family History Library

The Family History Library (FHL) has a Genealogical collection of Alabama cemetery records microfilmed from the original records in the D.A.R. library in Washington D.S. Daughters of the American Revolution (Alabama).

Miscellaneous Records. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1970. FHL 835113 (first of seven films.) There are 44 other microfilms in the DAR collection for Alabama. See the FamilySearch Catalog, Author/Title

Alabama Cemetery Records. 6 vols. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1946. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online:

  • Vol. 1 Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Colbert, Coosa, Covington, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Geneva, Houston, Lee, Limestone, Jefferson, Marengo, Marshall, Mobile, Montgomery, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties
  • Vol. 2 Barbour, Henry, and Houston counties
  • Vol. 3 Calhoun, Lauderdale, Talladega, and Walker counties
  • Vol. 4 Colbert, Coosa, Lauderdale, and Talladega counties
  • Vol. 5 Jefferson, Lauderdale, Madison, Mobile, and Perry counties
  • Vol. 6 Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Coosa, St. Clair, Talladega, and Winston counties

Search the microfiche catalog, under Daughters of the American Revolution (Alabama), for a list of the other films. This collection consists of transcripts of Bible records, cemetery records, church records, marriages, deaths, obituaries, and wills. It was microfilmed in 1970 and 1971 at the DAR Library in Washington, DC. The volumes are generally arranged by county and many have individual indexes. These records are indexed by surname in E. Kay Kirkham’s An Index to Some of the Bibles and Family Records of the Southern States, cited in Alabama Genealogy.

  • A county-by-county list of cemetery record transcripts and the book and film numbers to locate them may be found at the Family History Library.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah). Index to United States Cemeteries. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. FHL films 1206468–94. FHL film 1206468 includes Alabama through Arkansas.
Cemetery records are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:

The USGenWeb Project

Genealogical society members often copy and publish tombstone inscriptions. The USGenWeb Archives Project has records from cemeteries listed on their Internet site at:

The Alabama Tombstone Transcription Project. In The USGenWeb Archives Project

You will find many cemetery records transcribed and published in genealogical periodicals. See Alabama Periodicals for indexes to periodicals.

How to search the records

  • Go to the cemetery and find your sites
  • Copy stones exactly
  • Take lots of pictures from every angle
  • Check all possible names for other family members
  • Make note of the surrounding graves in case there is further family connection

Record samples

Obituary Record

Chicago Tribune Obituaries Joan Sharp: 1941 - 2007

During the late 1970s, Joan Sharp served as a delegate to a United Nations Convention on women's rights. In later years, she would remember it as the time she met Rosalynn Carter. But she also enjoyed telling her children and grandchildren about her encounter with Tom Brokaw. Mrs. Sharp's family delighted in her ironic sense of humor. But they were even more proud of her devotion to women's rights.

Mrs. Sharp, 65, died Friday, Aug. 2, after a three-year battle with cancer. Mrs. Sharp was born in St. Paul. Her first marriage ended in divorce, leaving her a single mother with three small children. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1976 with a degree in American studies. In January 1991, Sharp was working for the IRS when she met her future husband. Ten months later, they were married, and Sharp moved to Chicago. In Chicago, Mrs. Sharp worked as a legal secretary at Martin & Karcazes, then spent nine years as a contract negotiator for the city's Department of Procurement Services. In their spare time, she and her husband enjoyed reading and listening to music together, and she adored her grandchildren. Mrs. Sharp also is survived by a daughter, Jane Guernsey; two stepchildren, Stephen-Paul Sharp and Timothy Sharp; and six grandchildren. A son, Michael Guernsey, died in 1982. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Benson Family Funeral Home, 3224 W. Montrose Ave., Services will follow.

Cemetery Record: Jones Cemetery #1 Autauga County, Alabama


To reach cemetery start at Autauga Co. courthouse in Prattville , AL.
Take State-206 West 1.6 mi. to US -82 West and keep going straight ahead .
Take US-82 West 9.3 mi. to Autauga Co. road 40 West and turn left .
Take Autauga Co. road 40 West 4.2 mi. to Autauga Co. road 19 and turn right.
Take Autauga Co. road 19 for .05 mi. to Autauga Co. road 79 and turn right.
Take Autauga Co. road 79 for .05 mi. The cemetery is about 50 feet of the right 
of the road.

AUG 12 , 1872
JULY 20 , 1941
FEB 12 , 1874
JAN 15 1937
MAR 15 , 1878
NOV 28 , 1926


  • If you cannot locate a cemetery, take out an ad in the local newspaper
  • If you do not locate a marker, check the records in the cemetery office
  • If you need to clean or rub damaged or decaying tombstones, check with the office before doing anything to the marker
  • Take into account what the marker is made of to choose any of several materials that can be used to improve the legibility of the marker:
    • White flour
    • Cornstarch
    • Baby powder
    • Carpenters chalk
    • Shaving cream
    • In the absence of anything else, white bread
  • If you feel you must use something to highlight the lettering, be sure to thoroughly wash it off when you are finished
  • When writing for information about a cemetery:
    • Send a SASE
    • Limit requests
    • Allow enough time for a reply
    • Ask for a map
  • If you are unable to go to the cemetery, ask if someone would be willing to take a picture of the marker

What to do next

  • Verify the information that is found on the headstones
  • Make several copies of the information you have located and store them in different locations or with different individuals
  • Share the information with other relatives
  • Have the information recorded with local Genealogical and Historical Societies, Colleges and Universities (if they have a genealogy section), and with the local Public Library
  • Use the information to support records on hand and to provide clues for further research

See also