Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Check Again

Trying to locate the burial place of a family member can sometimes be difficult. For one reason or another, whether the location given in the obituary is wrong, you just don't have any real clue as to where he may be, or some other reason. 

Well, based on personal experience, here are a few tips as to how you might find them.

One way you may find someone's grave is by calling the cemeteries where that person's relatives are buried. There's a possible chance that they might have been buried with them or at least near them. Another reason to call the cemetery office if you can't find the person you're looking for is because that person's name might not even be on the headstone. 

My great-grandfather, Fred McRae, had a half-sister and three half-brothers. I knew the half-sister was buried with him and I at least knew one of the half-brothers was buried in the same cemetery as them. But as for the other two, I didn't have a clue. Fred's headstone has four names written on it - his, his half-sister's, the family border's, and a grandson's. When I called the cemetery to ask about the grave, he told me that there were actually nine people buried in that plot - including the three half-brothers I was looking for. 

If you do have a good idea as to where they are buried but are told they're not there when you call the cemetery office, either call again in a couple days or visit the cemetery office in person. I recommend doing this because last week, I called Pine Hill Cemetery in West Bridgewater, Mass looking to see if a family member I'd been trying to find, John A. McRae, was buried there (I assumed he could be there since he died rather young, had no spouse or children that I know of, and his parents and sister are buried there as well). I gave them his name and after they put me on hold to look, they came back and told me he wasn't there. And that was that. 

But then yesterday, I visited the same cemetery in person to find the graves of a few other people. I went to the office and asked for the location of the graves. As the cemetery worker was looking through the files, she pulled out the card that listed all the McRaes buried in Pine Hill. I took a glance at it and noticed it had the names of the two people I was looking for, Walter L. McRae and Laura Belle McRae (John A. McRae's parents), as well as two others, Gracie Elinor McRae (a name that I have never heard of) and John Alton McRae. Curious, I asked if John Alton McRae was buried with Walter and Laura. The lady took a look at the card and told me he was! Bingo! John was buried in Pine Hill Cemetery after all!

Please note that results may vary when using these tips. Not everyone will find who they are looking for. But something still might turn up regardless. Hey, you never know with genealogy. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent advice. Most people never bother consulting the cemetery office or municipal records.