Find a grave

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Find a grave
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Online - Database
languages English, German, Spanish, French / Québécois, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish
editorial staff Jim Tipton
Registration Optional
On-line 1995 (currently active)

Find a Grave (or Find A Grave ) is an online database for cemeteries and graves that enables genealogically interested users to record graves of famous people or civilians or to locate existing entries. Find a Grave is a trademark of genealogy and DNA testing provider .


The website was founded by Jim Tipton in 1995 because he could not find a page on the Internet that was devoted to his hobby, visiting the graves of famous people. Over time and increasing demand, the site has been expanded several times. In addition to the Famous People Search, there is now the option of looking for the graves of civilians. In 2019 there were over 180 million entries. Approximately 1.5 million entries are added every month.

The website contains a list of cemeteries and graves around the world. American cemeteries are classified by state, county, and parish. A division down to the level of the district and the municipality also exists for the German-speaking countries and a number of other states. Some of the following data is available for registered graves: names, date and place of birth as well as date and place of death, information on the biography of the deceased, information on the cemetery and the location of the grave as well as photos. If the birth and death dates are available, the site automatically calculates the age of the person when they die. As a rule, the information comes directly from the stones that were photographed, in rare cases from other databases. Finally, there is some information about the person who wrote the post.

The search can be carried out both location-based and person-related. So, among other things, it is possible to find out which person is buried in which city. Those contributing to the project can exchange ideas with one another on Find a Grave themselves or on a separate forum page that is also offered free of charge. The information given in the grave entries can be mutually processed. So it is e.g. B. possible to link graves of related people. Corrections to the name and location of cemeteries must be posted on the forum page. Similar to Wikipedia , the website lives from the content that these voluntary helpers enter, so it is user-generated content .

The website can be used free of charge, and it is financed through the insertion of advertising banners . The site is also designed as an advertising medium for Ancestry's paid genealogical services. Unregistered users can search the database, but registration is required to enter new data. Registered users can leave messages on grave entries or assess whether this person can be considered prominent. The administrators ultimately decide on these and other questions - sometimes very independently.

The Old Calton Cemetery in Edinburgh , resting place of David Hume , is documented on Find A Grave.


Because of the great popularity of genealogy in the United States and other Anglo-Saxon countries, the vast majority of entries are limited to North America, Australia, England, Scotland, and Wales. Entries in the rest of Europe mostly come from tourists from these countries or are entered by the descendants of emigrants at random. The former is problematic in that taking photos in cemeteries in certain countries, e.g. B. in Italy, is expressly prohibited. In addition, the authors' familiarity with the local geography and language is often very low, which explains the many false statements and numerous multiple cemeteries. Find a Grave's editorial quality assurance is practiced almost exclusively in the area of ​​the biographies of prominent people and in the addition of main images of cemeteries.

Find a Grave tries to weight the genealogical aspect of the site more heavily today. So it is e.g. For example, it is no longer possible to enter people by their first name only or to enter dead pets. The high number of persons entered multiple times should be reduced by means of an additional built-in - bypassable - function when entering their names. The displayed advertising banners can also be perceived as annoying. However, for a small one-time fee, the advertisement can be removed from a single entry. In addition, individual Internet browsers enable the site to be used without advertising.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Joy Neighbors: The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide: How to Find, Record, and Preserve Your Ancestors' Graves, F + W Media, Inc., 2017, p. 69 [1]
  2. Boulder Genealogical Society Quarterly 2018 Edition, Boulder Genealogical Society,, 2018, p. 2 [2]
  3. World's largest gravesite collection. Over 170 million memorials created by the community since 1995. Retrieved November 9, 2018 .