Cemetery Records Mistakes – Tombstone Tuesdays November 5, 2019

I was on a cemetery website the other day. I lost track of which one, but it was very detailed when you wanted to find someone who was buried in the cemetery. You could search by name and it included the plot information. However, a couple of names I looked for were missing. I had GPS tagged photos that showed the headstones were in the cemetery. I verified with other records to make sure I had the right cemetery. I ran across a few other names that were missing as well.

On a similar note, one of my great-grandmothers is buried in a cemetery that used not to keep good records. About 15 years after she died, they went through and documented all the headstones they could find and read. She was not on the list. I trust my grandmother knew where her mother was buried as she attended the funeral. She and my grandfather are buried in the same cemetery. She is on Find-A-Grave in that cemetery. I doubt my grandmother would have not paid for a headstone for her. She is in an area that gets hurricanes on a semi-regular basis, plus the headstone could have been buried over time.

Another thing to watch out for is the name in cemetery records may not match the name on the headstone. This holds true for death certificates and obituaries too. Ran across that when I first started photographing headstones around here. It’s usually women where the surname doesn’t match the surname on the headstone. For example, the woman is buried next to an earlier husband, but the pre-need headstone for her has his first husband’s surname. She later re-married, but the headstone was not updated with her new surname. Or, the cemetery records have a surname, often hyphenated, that is not hyphenated on the headstone. Or, the reverse where the headstone has a hyphenated surname, but the cemetery records don’t have the surname hyphenated.

Previous Tombstone Tuesdays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/Tombstone-tuesday/

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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2 Responses to Cemetery Records Mistakes – Tombstone Tuesdays November 5, 2019

  1. odell01 says:

    I was interested in reading here what’s like an evaluation process for historically-minded people wanting to locate a family grave. Along with my family, I help operate a little cemetery, and, in fact, we ourselves are on Find a Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2322713/maple-lawn-cemetery I don’t know much about Find a Grave, but if I were to ask my father Peter, I could probably infer something more about that tool.

    I occasionally look in at the blog which you publish, and when I do, I see the value you provide. You have about you what reads for me is an understanding of taking cemetery work to WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My latest post was a listing of some of the most popular and less well-known graving sites. Some of the sites allow adding records – Find-A-Grave, BillionGraves, but some don’t – the V. A. website generally doesn’t allow adding much information.

      Since you are involved with the cemetery, you can check what’s on the memorials on Find-A-Grave for accuracy. One of the site’s rules is the surname has to match what’s on the headstone. If you have any specific questions or want to learn more about a specific website, I don’t mind posting what I know about a website and linking to the site’s FAQs or About page.


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