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How to find a grave plot

Updated April 04, 2017

An individual may have many reasons for searching out a grave plot. You may want to pay respects to a deceased lost friend. You may want to learn more about your family history by finding the grave sites of ancestors. If you lack certain information regarding a person's place of burial, finding a specific grave plot can be a challenge. You can consult relatives, research cemetery and church records, examine newspaper obituaries and enlist historians.

Ask your family members about the location of relative's burial place. You may be able to narrow down the grave site by city or cemetery.

Search Internet grave registries to locate plots. Websites like Find A Grave have archives that list the locations of many grave sites. Not all graves for the United States are listed, but you may still find the information you're after.

Review family documents including wills and letters. Look for clues where the person may be buried.

Search through local cemetery records after you narrow down a specific city where the person had lived and died. Contact local cemeteries for assistance. Some larger cemeteries may have an online database you can search via their website. Consult the church where he was a member.

Ask history experts -- amateur and professional. Hire a professional genealogist and researcher to comb through old funeral documents, death records and undocumented grave plots. Historians and genealogists can often help locate an unmarked grave if they have clues that the individual died in a particular area.

Research newspaper obituaries. Review news obituaries and paid funeral notices for details about where the deceased is buried. Most dailies and community weeklies have obituaries available on their websites for recent years. Recent news is free; more newspapers are charging for archives. You can find older obituaries and funeral notices in databases and microfilm at public and university libraries. Legacy compiles this news nationwide on its website. Ancestry offers genealogy and history archives going back generations. Both charge fees.

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About the Author

Mary Corbin began her career writing for online and print media in Indianapolis. Since 2004, she has covered subjects such as home and family, technology and legal issues. Working in the broadcast industry, Corbin created articles for marketing, public relations and business matters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.