How to Find Where Someone is Buried

You can take a few different avenues to investigate the location of a person’s grave, whether you are looking for the final resting place of a loved one or a famous figure. 

Because of advancements in technology, locating this information is much more straightforward than ever before. Therefore, the first thing you should do is look for an obituary online. 

The location of the deceased person’s grave or other final resting place is frequently included in the obituaries that are published online by funeral homes. 

You can try searching online databases if you cannot locate an obituary. 

There are now a lot of cemeteries that have their websites, and on those websites, you can search for the deceased person’s name. 

You also choose to get in touch with the funeral home that was responsible for handling the arrangements. So let’s look at each of these in turn, shall we?

How to Find Where Someone is Buried

Research the cemetery where the person is buried

The people laid to rest in a cemetery often leave behind a wealth of information about their lives and the lives of others. 

There are a few different approaches that you can take to obtain additional information regarding a specific cemetery if you are interested in doing so. 

To begin, you can go to the cemetery and search for exciting monuments and headstones there. 

There is also the possibility of searching for references to the cemetery in outdated newspapers or other records. You could also talk to local historians or people who have relatives buried in the cemetery. Both of these groups could be of assistance. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire additional knowledge regarding the local cemetery and the individuals laid to rest there.

Ask family and friends for help locating the burial site

You can further improve your chances of success by soliciting family and friends’ assistance. For example, they might have overheard your relative mentioning the cemetery’s name or seeing it written down or displayed on a map. 

If you are still having problems, you might want to try getting in touch with the local historical society or the funeral home in the area. There is a possibility that the staff can provide you with information regarding the burial site’s location. 

Depending on the circumstances, they may even be able to put you in touch with someone who can assist you in locating the grave. 

In addition, many cemeteries have records that you can look up on their websites. So if you are looking for someone buried in another state or even another country, this can be a beneficial resource.

Search online databases of cemeteries

There are a few online databases that can assist you in locating the location of the burial site if you are still having difficulty doing so. is a website that enables users to conduct cemetery record searches for cemeteries located in any part of the world. is yet another alternative; it contains a database with millions of different grave records. 

You could also try searching on Google using the cemetery’s name and the city and state in which it is located. 

Finding the cemetery’s contact information through this method is likely to be very successful. 

Several resources can assist you in your search for the burial location of a person, even though doing so is not always possible.

Contact the cemetery directly to ask for help locating the burial site

If you are looking for the location of a burial spot, one of the most helpful resources that you can use is the cemetery that you are currently in. 

The workers there will be able to provide you with a map of the cemetery. If they have the necessary information, they will also be able to possibly tell you the precise location of the grave of the person you are looking for. 

Under certain conditions, they may even be able to send you a copy of the death certificate through the mail. 

This can help you in your search, and it is always worthwhile to attempt to get in touch with the cemetery on your own whenever you have the opportunity to do so. 

You can frequently find a list of contacts for cemeteries on the website, which is operated by the company Find A Grave.

Visit the cemetery in person to look for clues about where the person is

You could also examine the headstones to see if there is a name or any other information that could be useful to you. 

You can also tour the cemetery to see if any other hints might be helpful, such as a family plot or a particular flower that the deceased person favored. 

You can always ask for assistance from the staff at the cemetery if they are there, even if you are unsure of how to get started or what to do first. 

They might be able to provide you with some useful guidance or point you in the right direction, for example. It is essential to keep in mind that the individual whose grave you are searching may not have a headstone in some instances. (  

This is especially true if the deceased was laid to rest in a pauper’s cemetery or the deceased’s family could not pay for a burial plot.

Try using GPS to pinpoint the location of the burial site

Many people are surprised to learn that GPS can be used for more than just finding your way from one place to another. 

Genealogists and other history enthusiasts looking for the location of a burial site can find GPS to be a beneficial tool in their search. 

It is often possible to pinpoint the location of an unmarked grave by entering the GPS coordinates of known Gravesites into a search engine like Google Maps. 

When piecing together the history of a family or a community, this piece of information can be extremely helpful in completing the puzzle. 

Additionally, GPS can be utilized to relocate graves inaccessible due to natural disasters or human development.

Use a metal detector to help find the burial site if it is unmarked

When looking for an unmarked burial ground, a metal detector can be helpful. Because metal detectors are sensitive to even relatively small metal objects, they are ideally suited for locating buried projectiles or metal grave markers. 

This is because metal detectors can detect even very small metal objects. In addition, metal detectors can be used to locate graves that have been disguised or concealed from public view. This is another use for these devices. 

When looking for an unmarked site, it is vital to take your time and search the surrounding area to increase the likelihood of finding the specific location you are looking for. 

Patience and perseverance are the most valuable characteristics when using a metal detector to search for an unmarked burial site.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the death certificate doesn’t list the burial location?

If the death certificate does not list the burial location, there are a few avenues you can explore. First, check with the funeral home that handled the arrangements. 

They should have records of where the body was interred. If the funeral home has since gone out of business or if they are unable to help, you can try contacting the local cemetery. 

They may have records of who is buried in each plot. Finally, you can search online databases or visit the county courthouse to look up death records. 

What are some tips for finding a lost gravesite?

If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do to try to locate the lost gravesite. First, check with the funeral home or crematorium where the arrangements were made. They should have records of the burial or interment. 

If that doesn’t yield any results, try searching online cemetery databases. Many cemeteries now maintain an online record of their burials, which can be searched by name or date. 

Finally, if all else fails, contact the county clerk’s office. They should have records of all burials that have taken place in the county.

Can I order a death certificate anyway if I can’t find the burial site?

Many people assume that they need to know the location of a burial site to obtain a death certificate. However, this is not the case. Death certificates can be ordered regardless of whether or not the burial site is known. 

The death certificate will list the date and cause of death and other important information about the deceased. 

In some cases, the death certificate may also provide clues about the burial site’s location. For example, if the death certificate lists a funeral home or cemetery, these may be good places.


Now that you know how to find where someone is buried, your next task is to locate the burial site. Although doing so may be challenging and frustrating at times, it is not impossible if one is persistent. 

After you have located the burial location, you will be able to place an order for a death certificate and obtain additional details about the person who passed away. 

This process is one that many people find rewarding as it allows them to connect with their past and gain more knowledge about their family’s history.

bryan rucker
Written by Brian Jackson

Brian is an expert in genealogy and family history tracing. He has traced his own family history for several generations and continues to trace as far back as he can. He writes guides to share his experience. Read more of Brian's articles.