Although there were some pioneer settlers who could not afford a gravestone or marker, the majority of our ancestors had headstones. Because of the long-lasting qualities of materials such granite, marble, bronze, concrete or sandstone used for these grave markers, many have survived the centuries and are still standing today. By including photos and written records of these grave markers in our family histories, we pay tribute to these ancestors and preserve their memory for future generations.
Most cemetery offices today, have interment records databases, and can quickly find where your ancestor is buried, even if you have only an approximate idea of when the person died.
At many cemeteries you can provide a surname and they will be able to print out a list of all people with that surname who are buried in their cemetery. If your ancestor is on the list then they can usually provide you with a small printed map of the cemetery showing the approximate location. Someone from the cemetery staff may even escort you to the exact burial plot location – even if there is no existing headstone.
Below are some excellent free online databases where you can search for gravestones in Canada and the United States. Good luck with your search and I encourage you to leave a comment and share your finds and success stories!
Find a grave in Canada
You may search by surname and/or province
Gravemarker gallery – Canadian
Find a headstone in the U.S.
Find a grave
Search for a War Veteran grave – (Canadian)
War veteran grave (United States)
For headstones in Ontario – Many of these entries include photos of the actual monument or headstone
Until next time – Best of luck with your genealogical research!
Arlene Stafford-Wilson http://www.staffordwilson.com –