How to access free to use burial and cemetery records for family history


02 May 2023
Genealogist Alison Spring shares her top websites for finding free to access burial and cemetery records.

The two main players are FindaGrave and BillionGraves, but there are other, smaller websites which have more local relevance. Finding these can be done using a simple internet search with keywords such as “cemetery” or “gravestones”, combined with the name of your geographical area of interest. 

Some online examples of headstone and burial record websites with a more specific focus are 

  • Belfast City Council - burial records for several Belfast cemeteries, dating from 1869 
  • Ross & Cromarty Roots – graveyards and kirkyards in most of the large Scottish county of Ross and Cromarty (or Ross-shire) 
  • Cemetery Scribes - Jewish cemeteries in the UK and other parts of the world 

Family history societies in your ancestral area will be able to advise you about any indexes they have put together, and if you are a member you should have access to these, online or at the society’s offices. Some societies offer look-ups for their members if the graveyard index they have is only available on their premises. 

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Extracted from an in-depth article on free to use family history resources, published in the June 2023 issue of Family tree. Get your copy here.

About the author

Alison Spring is a professional genealogist and passionate economiser in all things genealogical and you can keep up with her weekly suggestions for family history money-saving tactics on her blog.