How To Find Where Someone Is Buried

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It can be hard to find where someone is buried. Sometimes the cemetery lists are not up-to-date, or they don’t have a headstone yet, and it’s hard to locate them. 

You can try contacting the funeral home that handled the arrangements, but they may not be able to help you if it was a long time ago. 

There are a few other ways you can try to find out where someone is buried. First, you can look up old newspaper obituaries and see if they list the cemetery name. 

If all else fails, you can always contact the local historical society or library and see if they have any information on the person you are looking for. 

Let’s take a look at how to find where someone is buried.

What Information To Collect To Find a Person’s Grave?

There are a few pieces of information you’ll need to gather before you begin your search for a specific grave to be found. 

Before you start looking for someone, you’ll need to know their full name and any nicknames or aliases that they may have used in the past to identify themselves. 

If they have any information about them, you’ll also need their birth and death dates. It can also be highly beneficial to know the names of any close relatives and the cemetery’s name where they are buried to avoid confusion. 

Immediately after receiving this information, you can begin your search by contacting the cemetery directly or by browsing through various online databases for additional information.

What Records Can Be Helpful?

Death Certificate

When attempting to locate a person’s grave, the death certificate is the most important document to have on hand. 

It is a legal document issued by the government that specifies the date, place, and cause of death of the person who has passed away and the deceased’s name, address, and age. 

If the death certificate does not contain the information you require, you may be able to find it by searching for obituaries. 

Obituaries

Obituaries are typically published in the local newspaper following a person’s death, and they frequently include information about where the person was laid to rest after passing away. 

Most cemeteries will have an idea on where to find the obituary, but this is only helpful if you know of the person who died.

Many cemeteries maintain a register of all the people buried there, available to the public. By consulting these records, you can usually get a pretty good idea.

Family Records

When looking for a person’s grave, family records are one of the best places to begin your search. If the deceased was a relative, their family would most likely be aware of where they were laid to rest.

There are various types of death certificates, obituaries, and even family Bibles that can be found. When it comes to death certificates and obituaries, the name and location of the cemetery are usually included, whereas a family Bible may only include the name. 

In either case, family records are a fantastic place to begin your search for information.

Social Security Death Index

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a helpful resource for finding someone’s grave. The SSDI is a database of death records, including the name, date of birth, date of death, and social security number of the deceased. 

This information can be used to locate a grave and obtain death benefits from the government. To access the SSDI, you will need to have the deceased’s social security number. 

If you do not have this information, you may be able to obtain it from the Social Security Administration, depending on a few factors.

Church Records

When looking for the final resting place of a loved one, church records can be an invaluable resource. In many cases, churches keep detailed records of burial plots and interments. This information can often be found in the church office or library. 

In some cases, it may also be possible to find records online. For example, if the person you are looking for is a member of a particular church, this is often the best place to start your search. 

In addition to providing information about where the person is buried, church records can also offer insights into their religious beliefs and practices.

Funeral Records

Funeral records can also be beneficial. For example, it is possible to narrow your search to a specific period if you know when the person passed away. 

You can also often find out where the funeral was held and who was the officiant by looking at online funeral directories. 

This can assist you in narrowing down your search even more effectively. Occasionally, funeral records will also include information about the location of the deceased’s burial. If you are looking for a grave that is no longer marked, this can be extremely useful information to have.

How To Find Grave Death Certificates

Death certificates are one of the best ways to find out how someone died. They are also a great way to find out where someone is buried. You can find death certificates at the county courthouse or the state’s vital records office. 

You can also find them online. Many websites offer death certificate records. You can also find them in newspapers. Many times, death certificates are published in the obituary section. 

You can also find them in funeral home records. Funeral homes usually keep records of the people they have served. You can also find death certificates in cemetery records.

How To Find Where Someone Is Buried Online: 3 Ways

1. Use Sites Like Billion Graves or FindAGrave

Several websites, such as Billion Graves and FindAGrave, have databases of cemetery records that can be searched by name, location, or a variety of other parameters. 

It’s common to be able to view a map of the cemetery plot or even a photograph of the headstone once you’ve located the desired record. 

In addition, many of these sites allow users to leave virtual flowers or messages for loved ones who have passed away on their websites. 

As a result, it’s not difficult to find out where someone is buried online with a little time and effort.

2. Run a Google Search

If you’re trying to find out where someone is buried, a Google search can be an excellent place to start. Just enter the person’s name and the word “buried” into the search bar, and you’ll likely get a results page full of obituaries and funeral notices. 

You can also try adding other relevant keywords, such as the person’s hometown or city of death, and any other information you may have. 

Once you’ve found an obituary or funeral notice, you should be able to find the burial site’s location. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, you can try searching for the name of the funeral home.

3. Find State Or Country Cemetery Records

Cemetery records can be a great way to learn more about your ancestors, but they can be challenging to find. Start by searching for the name of the cemetery on the internet. 

If you’re unsure where the cemetery is, try searching for the city or town where your ancestor lived. You may also be able to find cemetery records through online databases such as FamilySearch or Ancestry

Once you’ve located the cemetery, contact the office to see if they have any records that might help you find your ancestor’s grave.

How To Use ‘Find a Grave’? 

Visit FindAGrave.com and enter the person’s first name (if known) and last name into the search box to start the process. 

It is necessary to enter the last name, but you can also include additional information if you have it, such as the year of birth. 

Upon entering your search criteria, the site will return a results list for your consideration. In addition to basic information about the individual, such as their date of birth and death, each result will include any additional information that other users about the individual have entered.

Alternative Ways To Find a Person’s Grave

Call a Funeral Home

In most cases, the staff at a funeral home will have a detailed record of every interment that has taken place at the cemetery. 

This means that they will usually be able to tell you exactly where a particular person is buried. Furthermore, many funeral homes offer grave locator services, which can be extremely helpful if you don’t have the time to visit the cemetery. 

Of course, it’s always best to call ahead and make sure that the funeral home you’re planning to visit will be able to help you with your search.

Call The City Or County Clerk’s Office

Another option is to make a phone call to the city or county clerk’s office for assistance. You might be able to get some assistance from the staff at these offices in locating the grave you’re looking for, or they might be able to point you in the right direction. 

Preparing some information about the person you are trying to locate will help to ensure that there is less confusion about who you are looking for when you ask the receptionist. 

The more information you have, the more quickly you will be able to locate the grave.

How To Find Someone In a Cemetery?

Looking for someone in a cemetery can be a daunting task, especially if the cemetery is large and/or old. However, you can do a few things to make the search easier. 

First, try to narrow down the area where the person you are looking for is buried. This can be done by checking online records or speaking to cemetery staff. 

Once you have a general idea of the area, start by walking up and down the rows of headstones, looking for a name that matches the one you are searching for. 

If you still can’t find the person you’re looking for, try asking nearby visitors if they know where the person is buried. Finally, you can ask a cemetery staff member for help if all else fails.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cemetery records be looked up online?

Yes, you can look up cemetery records on the internet in most cases. The procedure is usually straightforward: all you need to know is the name of the cemetery where the person you’re looking for is buried and an approximate date when the person was buried. 

Once you have that information, you can typically search for records on the cemetery’s website or on a genealogy website such as Ancestry.com, depending on your preferences.

Are burial locations public records?

In the United States, death is a matter of public record. This means that the government keeps track of all births and deaths within its borders.

As a result, it is generally relatively easy to obtain a copy of a death certificate. However, burial locations are not considered public records. 

This means that the government does not track where people are buried. In some cases, funeral homes or other businesses will keep records of burial locations, but these records are not open to the public.

What if I don’t know where a person died?

If you don’t know where a person died, the best thing to do is find out as much as possible about the person’s life. Often, people die in the same place where they were born or raised. 

Try to find out where the person was born, lived, and worked. If you can’t find this information, try asking family and friends. 

Once you know where the person lived, you can narrow down your search. If you still can’t find the exact location, consider searching for records of cemetery plots or obituaries.

Actionable Takeaways

Now that you know how to find where someone is buried put your new skills to the test. If you have a loved one who passed away, see if you can find their final resting place. 

Or, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, try researching the burial locations of famous historical figures. Regardless of who you’re looking for, the process should be simple to begin.

Make sure to check out our other blog post on how to find people. We cover everything from how to find a long-lost friend to how to locate a missing person.


bryan rucker
Written by Brian Williams

Brian is an expert in security, privacy, and information. He has studied background checks, criminal, people search, and such topics over the last 5 years. He is also an avid writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge through this blog. Read more of Brian's articles.