Finding a Lost Loved One

Posted on June 6, 2017 by Martin Oaks under Community, Memorial
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Jimmy Don Martin

Hardly a week goes by that we here at Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory do not receive a call about the location of a lost loved one. Most often this involves trying to find the cemetery where the deceased was buried.

So How Do You Go About Locating A Deceased Ancestor’s Final Resting Place?

It varies from case to case, but our suggestion is you start by going to the vital statistics site on the web. You must know the county in which the deceased passed away in. If you are an immediate family member, you are entitled to receive a copy of the death certificate; otherwise the record is not available for potentially 25 years.

Once you have the death certificate, you should then be able to locate the funeral home which handled your loved ones case, or even the name of the cemetery.

Funeral homes are very good about helping in this search, and they frequently have records which will answer all of your questions. If not, most funeral homes will go out of their way to help you take another avenue.

If this process turns out to be a blind alley, it is our experience that finding the obituary usually is the next best alternative. The obituary will probably have the name of the funeral home, if not the name of the actual cemetery. We have discovered that a family does future generations quite a favor by saving obituaries, particularly if they are laminated. You never know when some future generation may have an interest in researching her or his family tree. The obituary is the most powerful tool that can be used in this search.

Other Methods Of Finding Loved Ones

Other methods include talking directly with other family members, trying social media, genealogy websites, cemetery websites, or the Find a Grave website.

If you have not heard of the Find a Grave website, check it out at

Jim Tipton created this site in 1995 – he did so because he could not locate a clearinghouse of graves of famous people. Jim discovered that there were many people interested in knowing where celebrities were interred.

Today, Find a Grave has expanded way beyond its original mission: you can still search for celebrities by name, location, claim to fame, etc., but the site now contains over 160 million grave records. Frequently, just searching for the graves of your ancestors can be as simple as going to this website. We highly recommend it.

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