Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Find A Grave (cemetery surveys in general) won’t tell you

One thing that you miss out on when you don’t visit a cemetery in person is the actual placement of the graves and this can tell you so much.  Who was buried next to whom?  Who all are in the same outlined plot?  You can really see how families fit together by the way they are buried. 

Cemetery surveys, cemetery books and Find a Grave are GREAT but if at all possible, you will want to visit the cemetery yourself to get “the rest of the story.”


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I have been a FAG volunteer for several years. I truly enjoy "haunting" cemeteries!! I have learned so much and feel good knowing I am helping someone find their ancestors resting place. I agree with you. Many times I have photographed every stone in the area and have heard back from the requester that they have been looking for great aunt Mary and didn't realize that she had remarried or changed her name! Don't forget the beauty in old cemeteries. The trees and bushes and wildlife are worth the trip alone!

  2. Totally agree with you here Michelle. It's too bad that don't have a system where you can log a map or something. When I visited my ancestral lands in Maine, I came across 3 cemeteries that had my family in it. I was able to piece together marriages, that normally I wouldn't have been able to do, simply because they were grouped.

    One thing I've been trying to do is photograph the groups by zooming out and labeling those photos. This is great for your own record because memory fails and a separate piece of paper may get lost. Find A Grave allows you to post more than one picture, I believe. I may start adding those group photos.