How to find the burial site of a relative

Updated July 20, 2017

Searching for the burial site of a relative is akin to finding a needle in a haystack if you only have a minimum amount of information. There are tools and resources to make the difficult job somewhat easier. The records you need to find a burial site are available; you just need the right information.

Search the Find a Grave website. The website is still a work in-progress as it only has the records of 52 millions graves. Still this is a good first stop when searching for a burial site. Click "Search 52 million grave records" and enter as much information as you can about the relative. If listed on the site, the cemetery name should come up.

Call or visit the cemetery and talk to the office. They should have records and maps of all people buried and can direct you to your relative.

Search the Social Security Death Index. Use this option if you have very little information on your relative's death. Enter the first and last name in the field boxes. The search will turn up important information including date of death, social security number, last address, and which state issued the death certificate.

Do an obituary search. The obituary usually includes the burial site. You can search online news archive or visit your library to search their extensive database of news archives.

Get a copy of the death certificate. You can obtain this through the county office or you can use a third party vendor like VitalChek. The death certificate will give all the information you need to locate the burial site of a relative. It could be a case where the relative was cremated; if so the death certificate will state this. On the other hand, if there was a burial, the death certificate will have the name of the cemetery.

Contact the cemetery if you find that your relative had a burial. If your relative was buried, you can contact the cemetery and inquire about the grave site.

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About the Author

Lynn Dean has worked as a freelance writer since 2008. Her experience includes ad copywriting, content writing, news releases and eBook editing. She has written on numerous topics, but her favorite subjects are history, culture and interpersonal relationships.