GRAVESITE and PERSONAL SEARCHES

Compiled by Peter H. Ostrander

Peter H. Ostrander is a Founding Member & President Emeritus of the Ostrander Family Association.

This is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices and registers, obituaries, wills and probate records, and cemetery burials. Several are government or free sites while some require registration for limited free access, others are fee based. Genealogists love cemeteries, and the records you find there can be game-changers for your research. In fact, a tombstone might be the only record that remains of your ancestor. But cemeteries can lie far from the comfort of your desktop computer or smartphone. Cemetery websites help you cover that distance, with searchable grave databases, pictures and online memorials to give you a virtual tour of your ancestor’s final resting place. Here are several cemetery websites and a couple of people search sites.

Look here for information on more than 200,000 burials and memorials in overseas US military cemeteries (mostly for the World Wars). Also find names from the Walls of the Missing at the East Coast Memorial, West Coast Memorial and Honolulu Memorial.
https://www.abmc.gov/database-search

BillionGraves collects crowdsourced gravestone images, transcriptions and GPS data. FamilySearch/My Heritage is pleased to have the BillionGraves collection of cemetery records searchable on the website and linkable to the Family Tree. As new cemetery records are captured through the BillionGraves system these new records flow in a timely way to the FamilySearch search indices. These grave records can then be attached as sources to document conclusions made in the Family Tree. A partnership with MyHeritage has made the site and mobile app (iOS, Android and Windows) available in 25 languages. Register to search the site for free; additional perks (including GPS searches for nearby relatives’ burials) come with a BillionGraves+ membership. https://billiongraves.com/

The central database for UK burials and cremations. https://www.deceasedonline.com/

Finding your British Isles ancestors can be difficult. With Findmypast, you get the complete British and Irish family history experience, to connect you with your ancestors. Findmypast is working in partnership with FamilySearch.org to make billions of family history records available to search online. FindMyPast has worked with FamilySearch to publish a variety of records, including the 1940 US census and British Army Service Records. FamilySearch is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and helps people to find and share their family history. Rates vary from 14.75 to 19.95 per month depending on level & length of service. https://www.findmypast.com/articles/world-records/

This free Ancestry-owned site, which has an app for iOS and Android, compiles user-contributed gravestone inscriptions and other data. Be sure to verify any biographical information and “calculated relationships” provided in your relatives’ memorials. There is a guide to the changes that have come to Find A Grave in the past few years.
https://www.findagrave.com/

This fast-growing, free website sources cemetery records from government offices, genealogical and historical organizations, and individuals. It’s funded through a sponsorship with GenealogyBank.com. You’ll find “Special Collections” of burials and deaths related to flooded cemeteries, mine disasters and the Woodmen of the World fraternal organization.. Published transcriptions are used by genealogists and local historians. They maintain an online archive of transcriptions that spans cemeteries across the world, many that no longer exist. Hence, Interment.net provides a place where cemeteries can be preserved in documentation and used by generation after generation. The site’s search form allows for name variants and misspellings. http://www.interment.net/us/index.htm

The US Department of Veterans Affairs runs this database. Search for burials of veterans and their family members in VA national cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and private cemeteries (with graves marked with government grave markers). Also be on the lookout for military headstone applications, which the families of deceased veterans filed to receive special military markers. https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/

A Genealogy Guide. This website is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices and registers, obituaries, wills and probate records, and cemetery burials. Contains links for Obituary Research. https://www.deathindexes.com/ 

 

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a database of people whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) beginning about 1962. A small number of deaths are listed before 1962. It was created from the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. Due to restrictions enacted in March 2014, new entries to publicly available versions of the Social Security Death Index will not be available for three years beginning on the date of an individual’s death. The site also has links to US State Indexes. https://www.deathindexes.com/ssdi.html

Results include name, aliases, age, date of birth, current address, address history, unlisted phone numbers, relatives, email addresses, and more. This is much more than a basic white pages search that can be quickly outdated. This up-to-date people finder database contains billions of public records compiled from thousands of sources that span over 20 years of historical data. A free online summary is included for all searches, so you know what you’re getting if you decide to buy. Get current address, phone & more. Easy to use, search for free! https://www.usa-people-search.com/

This is better for tracing the living and their potential relatives. Be careful the $2.95 five day trial becomes $24.95/month for unlimited searches. https://www.searchquarry.com/namesearch/death-records-lookup/

Looking for several living people? Similar to Search Quarry, White Pages is $29.95/year for 20 lookups per month. Watch out for auto renewal. https://www.whitepages.com/