Cemetery records may give the name of the deceased, age at death, date of death or burial, birth year or date of birth, and sometimes marriage information. Sometimes they may give clues about military service, religion, occupation, place of residence at time of death, or membership in an organization, such as a lodge.
Unfortunately, some people could not afford a gravestone or monument. Some monuments have been vandalized or weathered so badly as to be unreadable. Therefore, also search the sexton’s records, which should list everyone who was buried in the cemetery. These records are especially helpful for identifying ancestors not recorded in other records, such as children who died young or women. Relatives may be buried in adjoining plots, so examine the original record rather than an alphabetical transcript.
Sexton records of some burials may have been lost, and some burials may not have been recorded. In isolated areas, most burials were in family plots on the farm itself. Other than a possible family Bible entry, there may have been no written record.