Finding Cemetery Records
Cemetery records can be found in various places, but the most common are:
- Online Records
- Published Records
- Visit the Cemetery
With the explosion of family history research, there are a number of internet sites which can help you find the cemetery where your ancestors are buried. These online sources will usually have information from the actual gravestone but may also have photographs of the stones. Helpful sites are:
- Find A Grave
- Billion Graves
- Pennsylvania Gravestone Photo Project
- Harry Senft York and Adams County Cemetery Pictures This site has 100s of 1000s of headstone pictures from over 200 cemeteries in York, Adams, and Cumberland Counties. Indexing of these headstone pictures is currently taking place. Map links are also included for easy finding of these cemeteries.
- Pennsylvania Cemetery Records (at Pennsylvania Genealogy) Cemetery inscriptions found online organized by county and city
These records can be found in book form or on the Internet. To locate cemetery books visit the library in the county or town where your ancestor died. A good source to locate published cemetery records is the Family History Library Catalog and WorldCat.
- The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, State Library of Pennsylvania, and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania have large collections of cemetery and burial records. Copies of many of their records are also at the Family History Library.
- The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) collection contains tombstone inscriptions from many Pennsylvania cemeteries. This collection is described in the "Genealogy" section. Another important collection is Cemetery Records of Pennsylvania, 9 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society, 1946-1968; FHL book 974.8 V3c; FHL films 823929-829931.
- A county-by-county list of cemetery record transcripts available at the Family History Library is found under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah), Index to United States Cemeteries (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988; FHL films 1206468-94.
The Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog lists more of these records under:
PENNSYLVANIA - CEMETERIES
PENNSYLVANIA, [COUNTY] - CEMETERIES
PENNSYLVANIA, [COUNTY], [TOWN OR TOWNSHIP] - CEMETERIES
Visit or Contact the Cemetery:
Many times records have not been published in book form or on the Internet. If this is the case a trip or phone call to the cemetery will be necessary. Visiting the cemetery is always better than a phone call. Honoring your loved ones by visiting their final place of rest helps to establish that family connection. Also, it gives you a chance to explore who is buried near to them. Are there other family members buried near by? Maybe a young child who could not be found on other records. locating contact information for a cemetery may be difficult but the following should assist in your search.