Washington Cemeteries

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

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Cemetery records often include birth, marriage, and death information and clues to military service, religion, membership in an organization, and more.

Online[edit | edit source]

The following have significant cemetery listings for Washington state:

  • Findagrave.com Search for names Enter at least a last name then click Search. Can narrow by first names or dates.
    • This site frequently has tombstone images
    • List of cemeteries statewide for cemeteries in their database
        • Go to Find A Grave Home page, click Search for a cemetery, select the state (Washington), then select from the county list, and press Search.
      • Click on the number below Interments for a cemetery to access names. Click Records arrow to scroll through to the end.

  • Interment.net
    • Lists of cemeteries in the counties.
    • Transcriptions viewable.
  • Washington State Digital Archives collection.
    • Search: Select Record Series "Cemetery Directories," enter name, click Search.
      • Can narrow by county or to specific cemetery.
    • For a list of cemeteries they have for a county: Select the county and click the down arrow next to "Select a Title."
  • Linkpendium scours the Internet for resources.
    • Links to cemetery databases on other sites.
    • Many cemeteries individually searchable.
  • I Dream of Genealogy (Free)
    • Lists of cemeteries by county.
    • All are linked to viewable transcriptions.
  • Washington Cemetery Records (Free) at LDS Genealogy. Easy to navigate.
    • Lists of cemeteries by county.
    • Some links to viewable transcriptions.
  • BillionGraves.com
    • Searchable at state or county level, images of tombstones.
    • Lists of cemeteries by county, with # of entries in Billion Graves site.

See also Cyndi's List links to databases on other sites.

Value of Cemetery Records[edit | edit source]

Cemetery tombstones, or sexton's records, usually give death date, and age or birth date. Sometimes they give birth place. Spouse and children who died young are often buried nearby.

Use cemetery records to:

  • Identify children who died young or who were not recorded in birth or death records.
  • Establish family relationships and learn of family members.
  • Find clues that lead you to other records about the person. For example:
    • Tombstones may have symbols or insignias indicating military service and social or religious affiliations.
    • There are also abbreviations that give clues when deciphered.

The Association of Gravestone Studies (AGS) has recommendations on the treatment and care of tombstones when needing to make inscriptions more visible.

Published Transcriptions[edit | edit source]

Many tombstones have been damaged over time by weathering, excavation, vandalism, and so on. As a result, earlier transcriptions may be more accurate and more complete.

Fortunately, early transcriptions may be found in periodicals. Individuals and societies also published cemetery indexes in book form.

  • Washington Cemetery Records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.
    • For counties, simply add a comma to the search box and slide (way) down to select the county.
      • Or do a Place Name search for "United States, Washington, [county]."
    • For towns, select the county, add a comma, and select the town.
  • A valuable published collection of tombstone inscriptions covering parts of 12 counties is Cemetery Records of Washington, Six Volumes. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society, 1957-60.) Family History Library films 824254 item 4 to 824255-56; book 979.7 V3p.
    • v. 1. Lewis and Benton counties -- v. 2. King, Klickitat, and Pierce counties -- v. 3. King, Klickitat, Pierce, Skamania, Snohomish and Thurston counties -- v. 4. King, Klickitat and Pierce counties -- v. 5. Island, Kitsap, Lewis and Pierce counties -- v. 6. Cowlitz, Pierce and Thurston counties.

See United States Cemeteries for further suggestions and information.

References[edit | edit source]