Why Visit Cemeteries?
Cemeteries are living lessons in history. People who buried their dead said as much about themselves as the loved ones they buried. While not considered a primary information source, gravestones and cemetery records are an excellent source of dates, birthplaces, maiden names, spouses' names and parents' names. They can also provide evidence of military service, membership in a fraternal organization, and their religious affiliation.
For many people, cemeteries are the one place where they can be the closest to their ancestors and deceased relatives, both physically and spiritually. While it is always a thrill to find your ancestors' names in historical documents, finding their names carved on a tombstone, and knowing that your ancestors are just six feet below your feet or inches beyond a granite mausoleum partition can be especially rewarding. Here you have physical evidence of your ancestor's existence.
Other than a few records and documents and, perhaps, some family jewelry or heirlooms, your ancestor's tombstone may be the only physical evidence of the life they lived. There is nothing in your genealogical research that will connect you to your ancestors more than to stand in the one place on earth that contains their mortal remains, and to see important pieces of their life carved into stone. It can be an amazing, awe-inspiring experience.
Cemeteries as Places
Cemeteries are entered as places in WeRelate.
The titling convention for cemeteries in United States is:
- If the cemetery is located within town/city/township limits: Cemetery Name, Town/City/Township, County, State, Country. Example: Place:National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
- If the town is not known or if the cemetery is located in a rural area: Cemetery Name, County, State, Country. Example: Place:Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church Cemetery, Guilford, North Carolina, United States
- For more information and details, review the following pages:
WeRelate has at least one cemetery Place page for each state in the United States and the District of Columbia. As of 25 April 2011, there are nearly 3,800 cemetery placename pages.
Helping Out: Things To Do
Tasks related to cemeteries include:
- Transcribe headstones in a cemetery
- Create a Place page for a cemetery
- Adopt or update an existing cemetery page that interests you
- On an existing cemetery page with little information, give directions, identify visiting hours, add names, etc.
- Create links on cemetery pages to existing external pages (such as found on interment.net or find-a-grave) for that specific cemetery
- Expand cemetery pages in your area with burial listings, either obtained personally or linked to pre-existing research
- Create Person Pages for individuals identified on a cemetery page
- Link personal obituaries to individuals identified on cemetery pages
- Ensure that existing cemetery pages are part of Category:Cemeteries.
- Ensure cemetery page category links are standardized in the category hierarchy under Category:Cemeteries.
- Browse through the subcategories of Category:Cemeteries to be sure that all cemeteries are listed in the appropriate "Cemeteries of County, State, Country" category.
- Beneath each "Cemeteries of <Country>" category, a category for each second-level administrative region (e.g. state or province) is listed.
- Beneath each state/province cemetery category, a category for each third-level administrative region (e.g. county) is listed.
There are various Place Page cleanup projects underway. You can join the conversation on the projects below, or propose your own cleanup project!
Help Files & FAQ's
Sample Cemetery Pages
Here are two examples of WeRelate Cemetery pages:
Featured Cemetery Page
Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Horton, Osceola, Iowa
Past featured cemetery pages (most recent to oldest):
~~Nominate a well done WeRelate cemetery page~~
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California
- Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas (Community Cemetery)
- Salem Lutheran Cemetery, Wayne, Ohio (Religious Cemetery)
- National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii (Military Cemetery)
- Camp Chase Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio (Civil War Cemetery)
- Lizemores Cemetery, Lizemores, Clay, West Virginia
Cemeteries by Category Location
The following WeRelate page categories identify cemeteries worldwide, listed by continent:
- Asia & South Pacific
- North America
- South America
To add a cemetery location or category to this list, please edit this portal box. Then return to the Cemetery Portal.
Cemeteries by Category Type
External Cemetery Sites
The following list identifies external sites highlighting information relating to cemeteries:
To add an external cemetery link to this list, please edit this portal box. Then return to the Cemetery Portal.