Find a Grave
Last updated on 3 June 2017
Find a Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Ancestry.com, the world's largest for-profit genealogy company.
Find A Grave logo.png
The site was created in 1995 by Salt Lake City resident Jim Tipton to support his hobby of visiting the burial sites of celebrities. He later added an online forum. Find a Grave was launched as a commercial entity in 1998, first as a trade name and then incorporated in 2000.
The site later expanded to include graves of non-celebrities, in order to allow online visitors to pay respect to their deceased relatives or friends.
In 2013, Tipton sold Find a Grave to Ancestry.com, saying that the genealogy company had "been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history." In a September 30, 2013, press release, Ancestry.com officials said they would "launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, [and] introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements."
As of May 2017
, Find a Grave contained over 160 million burial records and 75 million photos.
In March 2017, a beta website for a redesigned Find a Grave was launched, www.gravestage.com.
Content and features
The website contains listings of cemeteries and graves from around the world. American cemeteries are organized by state and county, and many cemetery records contain Google Maps (with GPS coordinates supplied by contributors) and photographs of the cemeteries and gravesites. Individual grave records may contain dates and places of birth and death, biographical information, cemetery and plot information, photographs (of the grave marker, the individual, etc.), and contributor information.
Interment listings are added by individuals, genealogical societies, and other institutions such as the International Wargraves Photography Project.
Contributors must register as members to submit listings, called memorials, on the site. The submitter becomes the manager of the listing but may transfer management. Only the current manager of a listing may edit it, although any member may use the site's features to send correction requests to the listing's manager. Managers may add links to other listings of deceased spouses, parents, and siblings for genealogical purposes.
Any member may also add photographs and notations to individual listings; notations may include images of flowers, flags, religious or other symbols, and often include a message of sympathy or condolence. Members may post requests for photos of a specific grave; these requests will be automatically sent to other members who have registered their location as being near that grave.
Find a Grave also maintains lists of memorials of famous persons by their "claim to fame", such as Medal of Honor recipients, religious figures, and educators. Find a Grave exercises editorial control over these listings.
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- ^ "Find A Grave Contributor: Jim Tipton". Find a Grave. 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- ^ Maynard, Meleah (February 16, 2000). "Grave Matters: Minnesota's dead are only a click away". City Pages. Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota: citypages.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- ^ "Entity No. 2442925-0151". Utah Secretary of State. 1998. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ "Entity No. 4729413-0143". Utah Secretary of State. 2000. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ "Division of Corporations Entity File No. 3168328". Delaware Department of State. 2000. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ a b "Ancestry.com Acquires Find A Grave". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- ^ "Find A Grave". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- ^ "The New and Improved Find A Grave Shown at #RootsTech". The Ancestry Insider. March 23, 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- ^ "FAQ". Find A Grave.
- ^ Loudon, Bennett J. (August 30, 2011). "Civil War history carved in stone in Pittsford". Democrat and Chronicle. Gannett. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- ^ Moody, Sharon Tate (January 24, 2010). "Find A Grave can shorten the search". The Tampa Tribune. TBO.com (Tampa Bay Online). Retrieved December 28, 2011.
The entries with tombstone photographs obviously are reliable, but if the entry is based only on a paper record of the interment (without a photograph), it's easy to mistype the date, so you're bound to find errors.
- ^ "Member Record number 46770518". Find A Grave.
- ^ "Find A Grave FAQ: 'How do I submit a photo request?'". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- ^ "Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor Recipients". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- ^ "Claim to Fame: Religious figures". Find a Grave. October 11, 1954. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- ^ "Claim to Fame: Educators". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- ^ "Famous Bio Guidelines". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- Colker, David (August 26, 1997). "Web site answers grave concerns about stars". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved September 28, 2011.(subscription required)
- Johnstone, Nick (July 14, 2004). "Why I love ... findagrave.com". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Cobbs, Chris (July 12, 2001). "Web site attracts millions of grave-seekers". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Gammage, Jeff (August 1, 2005). "Find VIPs (and others) who R.I.P. through online cemetery". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Media Networ. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Dehler, Tamie (October 13, 2007). "Genealogy: 'Find a Grave' tremendous on many different levels". Tribune-Star. Terre Haute, Indiana: Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- King, Peter (October 2, 2009). "Tip: Find a Grave has info you're dying to know". Newsday. Melville, New York: Cablevision. Retrieved September 28, 2011.(registration required)
- Silverman, Lauren (March 14, 2010). "Tracking Down Relatives, Visiting Graves Virtually". NPR. Washington, D.C.: National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
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