Cemeteries and Genealogy: Episode 101

By Family Tree Editors

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Learn all about what cemetery records you can find and how they can benefit your genealogy research in this month’s podcast.

Ep. 101: October 2016

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In this episode:

News from the Blogosphere with Diane Haddad

Diane talks about going to the cemetery and the things you can learn about your ancestors from their cemetery records.

Top Tips: Key Clues in Cemetery Research

In this segment, we talk key clues in cemetery records from the Cemetery Records Workbook in the Oct/Nov 2016 Family Tree Magazine issue by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. Sharon talks about:

  • What we should be looking for when it comes to cemeteries and their records
  • Which sites to turn to first
  • Strategies to try if you don’t have luck finding your ancestor’s burial place

Best Websites: FamilySearch

Jennifer Davis from the Records Division at Family Search gives us the scoop on cemetery and death records at Family Search. She provides an overview of the types of death and burial records we can find in their online database and advice on how to effectively run a search to find them. Finally, she explains Family Search’s partnership with memorial websites such as Find A Grave and Billion Graves, and how to work with their content on the Family Search site.

Family Tree University Crash Course

Vanessa Wieland shares tips from Family Tree University’s 2-week self-paced course: Doing Cemetery Research.

The Publisher’s Desk with Allison Dolan

Allison’s Cemetery Research Dos and Don’ts:

  • Do check for online databases of cemetery records. See if the cemetery has posted burial records online.
  • Don’t assume that the tombstone is all there is. The cemetery might have additional burial records it will allow you to access, and those records could contain information and clues that complement the tombstones.
  • Do find out the cemetery’s hours, rules, etc. before visiting in person. It would be a shame to show up and not be able to do what you came for.
  • Don’t apply any substances other than water to a tombstone to make it more readable. When I got started, I heard a lot people recommend using shaving cream to bring out the words, but preservationists do not recommend this. Instead take a digital photo and then use the photo editing software to adjust the contrast so you can make out the transcription. If the lighting isn’t good for the photograph, try using a mirror to reflect sunlight onto the stone.
  • Do take photos of the entire plot and any surrounding stones you think could have a connection to your family, to create a permanent record.

Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems and Genealogy: Family History Made Easy podcasts in iTunes and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!