Where Are They? Dead, buried, and invisible

One of the most frustrating aspects of tracking family history is when people who should be buried in a cemetery do not appear on any index, list, etc.   Numerous death certificates will say where the burial was to take place but they frequently cannot be found with any ease.  Reasons might be a last minute choice for the burial site, poor maintenance of local cemeteries leading to destruction or loss of markers (not all people had formal and expensive stone markers), local flood or development that might destroy portions of a burial ground.   The value of local volunteers doing indexes of headstones, grave records, and obituaries is incalculable. 

To researchers who must depend on the work of others because they cannot make those cemetery visits or conduct their own index work, the online records, lists and resources are a boon.   Too often they merely repeat the mistakes or limitations of previous works.

One area that has greatly frustrated research for one line is the area of Pulaski Co., Il and nearby Alexander Co., Il.   Several lines had probable and known deaths in the area.  Death certificates indicate burial location.  Most of the time, however, there is no index, no list, or what is found is obviously far short of the total burials recorded for the site.  

Local history researchers and community volunteers can combine to address these issues.  Local scouts, church, youth, business, school and paranormal groups are often willing to give back to their communities and preserve cemeteries and other historic records or sites.  

Long live random acts of genealogy kindness!

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