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19 January 2014

There Never Was a Stone

If you cannot find a tombstone for your ancestor in that cemetery where you know they are buried, ask yourself how certain you are of their burial in that cemetery. Then if you are absolutely positive the ancestor was buried there, consider:
  • there may never have been a stone for financial or other reasons
  • there may have only been a wooden marker which has since deteriorated.
Not everyone has a tombstone.


  1. We went to find the grave of my great grandfather in the cemetery at Trenton, Missouri. I had found the cemetery listing online and my mom had said they sent money for a stone when he had died. We found the sextant and he showed us the area of the 8 plots my great grandfather had bought and he said they were sure most had been used. So with a little searching in the local library I found six family members there for sure and one more no proof of where he was buried, so we ordered stones for all 7, and are hoping to get to see them in the next year or so.

    1. If you found the sextant, then I'm sure he led you to the right place.

  2. Excellent point. My grandmother never put a stone on her father's grave. And the markers in the old Catholic cemetery in Arichat, Nova Scotia were wooden crosses that have all rotted away.

  3. I knew my grandfather died in Chicago. What I didn't know is where he was buried. I knew there was a family burial plot from the 1800's in the cemetery in Rochelle, IL but his name was not listed on the obelisk even though everyone else in the family was. I went to the church and seaching through their burial records found his name listed. He had a sister who died after him and her name was engraved on the stone, but his never was. He was not popular in the family from what I gather and for whatever reason the family had not bothered to list him. I decided nearly 70 years later I would do so. I felt is was the right thing to do. No one has haunted me yet! ;)

  4. Also remind people not every person had an obituary

  5. I went looking for my Great Great Grandparents in a cemetery which had them listed and could not find a stone for them either. I was able to verify with burial records from the cemetery exactly where they were buried and it was apparent to me it was likely a financial issue. Since I was in a fiancial position that allowed to to put the stone on...I did! So glad that years from now one someone else goes looking from the Crites' they will find them!

  6. With the help of the Sheffield Indexers, I was able to find my gggrandfather last summer. The family history was that his tombstone read "died in a fit after a visitation by God". I was looking forward to taking a photo of the stone. Not only was there no stone - there never had been a stone. Moreover, there are four other people buried in the same plot, none of whom are, to my knowledge, relatives. The person who apparently paid for the plot died the day AFTER my relative, and his heirs paid for its upkeep for decades. Just another mystery to poke at.

  7. How does one inform FindaGrave of individuals who are buried in a cemetery, but without a stone? I know of 2 such family members. Does the Canadian government provide stones for veterans as is done by the U.S.?

  8. There is also the possibility that the coffin has been disinterred and relocated to another cemetery. My g-g-grandfather's obituary listed the cemetery he was listed in. I contacted the local Historical Society and they said that there was no gravestone. On a research trip, I was shocked to find my g-g-grandfather buried next to his wife in Topeka - 129 miles from where he was originally buried. Luckily the cemetery was able to locate records for my g-g-grandparents, including a copy of a letter asking for payment of fees to transport my g-g-grandfather's body from the train to the cemetery. Apparently my g-g-grandmother loved her husband so much that when she relocated after his death, she brought him with her. She was buried next to him even though she had two other husbands after his death.