Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living at Onoway, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 - March 2014, I provided part-time support for This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Cemetery Research in Alberta and Beyond

Here are some resources I have used for cemetery research. Check nearby plots for other family members. The people in the next plot may be family members or in-laws with a different surname. Many large cemeteries have their own websites that can be especially useful. The more general sites are helpful if you do not know what cemetery someone is buried in.

When photographing grave stones, make sure the inscriptions are legible. They are more important than the design of the monument. Check the ground level of the monuments for obscured writing. Check for small secondary markers. Check the sexton records (cemetery books) for additional information. Remember that not all graves have markers. If you have a GPS, you can use it to record the location. Consider photographing the inscriptions and uploading  them to or as a way of helping others, and maybe connecting with others who are researching the same families. 

Cemetery Finding Aids
Cemetery Finding Aids may help you find a tombstone inscription that gives the year of birth or the names of other family members.
Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid
Find a Grave is international in scope, and is one of the most frequented web sites by genealogists.
Billion Graves This is a new international site that is gaining a lot of support.
David Obee's sites: and allows searches of cemeteries in different provinces. is the Alberta page.
The “Master Name List” at the Provincial Archives of Alberta (and at AGS) lists burials in central Alberta.

These are a mixed bag. They usually only list deaths since 2000. Some only have obits for the current month! But if you find an obit, it may have three generations of information! You will usually find them using a search engine. A few sites I have used are:
Edmonton Journal Obituaries (since January 2002 )
Saskatchwan Obituaries
Winnipeg Free Press Obituaries
Portage Daily Graphic Obituaries
British Columbia Newspaper Obituaries

Plan ahead. Good tips for your cemetery visit can be found many places on the internet, such as 


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