Found this on the Find-A-Grave Forums (you need to have a Forum account and be logged into your account to see it): https://www.findagraveforums.com/topic/17055-cemetery-does-not-have-record-of-burials/.
Question asked by Sarah1:
If the official death record, published obituary and/or funeral home records state a burial is in a certain cemetery but the cemetery does not have a record of that burials, should the place of burial be changed to unknown, should the memorial be deleted, or should there be a note added.? I know that cemetery records are not complete as I have been told by many cemetery office managers especially through the early years so where should a note be added – to the graveside details or bio stating that the cemetery does not have a record and where the information was obtained. I have been adding such a note in the bio section. Thank you.
Answered by Mark (admin)
As you say, cemetery records can be incomplete and inaccurate. You have three sources stating where the burial took place. Notes to that effect should be added to the memorial.
I talked to the cemetery where a great-grandmother is buried. They admitted she wasn’t listed in their records, but also admitted their records weren’t up-to-date. Staff had walked the cemetery in the early 1980s (she died in 1970) and recorded all the names on readable headstones. Yet, I had somebody, a non-relative, tell me she isn’t buried there according to the cemetery. I don’t know if he talked to cemetery staff or not. It’s apparent he didn’t ask the right questions if he did. Not only that, but he told me that my great-grandmother was male. I met her a year or two before she died and she was a feisty woman.
In a case like the one mentioned by Sarah1, it’s best to note in the Bio and Grave sections a note.
I have also ran across cases where the cemetery had no record, but there was a headstone for the individual in the cemetery. In other cases, a family member scatters the ashes on a family member’s grave, usually without getting cemetery permission. In those cases, the cemetery would not have a record. I don’t recommend scattering ashes without cemetery permission as there can be legal consequences, civil and/or criminal, for doing so.
I also don’t recommend on relying on death certificates or obituaries as the only source of where one is buried. Seen too many wrong cemeteries listed on both to trust them. Also, even when both documents agree somebody is buried in Cemetery XYZ, it doesn’t mean the person was buried there. Had a case where a person was buried in a cemetery, but was later moved to another cemetery. There are numerous instances where this happened for various reasons.