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  • Introduction to Genealogy

  • What Is Open Source Genealogy

  • The Importance of Open Source Genealogy

  • Family Tree Organizing Tips

  • 12 Essential Genealogy Supplies

  • Genealogy Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

  • How Far Back Can I Trace My Genealogy?

  • Using Cemetery Records in Genealogy Research

  • Genealogy Research Through Living Family Members

  • Tips for Managing Your Genealogy Archive

  • Resolving Conflicting Genealogy Records

  • DNA Testing and Genealogy Research
  • Using Cemetery Records in Genealogy Research

    While casually driving by a cemetery with neatly aligned rows of tombstones the average person would probably never guess that there is a wealth of information contained within those gates at the entrance.  The family genealogists, however, should really consider using cemetery research as they search for clues about proceeding generations.  Those rows of stones and the records in the cemetery are worth hours of research and volumes in archives.

    It is satisfying to do a rubbing of the actual tombstone of a relative.  It gives you a physical ‘artifact’ of their place in your heritage.  But beyond that you will also gain clues about other family members by paying attention to the headstone.  Often there are inscriptions such as, “Mother of …..” or “Husband to ….”  Sometimes you’ll uncover the names of relatives you didn’t know existed.

    While at the cemetery, look around at the headstones surrounding your presumed relative for more clues.  You might find more names to research, or differing surnames that are in fact relatives.  At that point you should have a meeting with the sexton of the cemetery.

    The sexton’s records will not only tell you who is buried where, but who paid for the lot, whether it was purchased as a single, double or family plot, who was in charge of the internment and who in fact is buried alongside your relative.  Names will pop up which lead you to confirm or deny previous research, or lead you down an entirely different path.  All of those things are valuable pieces to your genealogical puzzle.

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