I hope to go to California next month..... <snip>I hope you will post some
pointers >on how to get info from Cemeterys when you can go to the
cemetery or wherever the
records are kept in the city where the cemetery is. Going thru every
tombstone in >Sonoma County would take the remainder of my life.... Sure
can use some help.
Sunny, you have to work from the documents you can get your hands
on, step by step.
What you do is go to Sonoma County, if that's where the death was,
and get a copy of the death certificate from the county registrar's office.
If the cost of the certificate is too much for you, (Sacramento Co., for
example, refuses to give you simple xerox copies---only certified copies
for $12 a hit) ask to look at a computer screen with a microfilm roll on it
of the certificate, and copy the information into a notebook.
Many times the death certificate will have who the mortuary was for
that burial. They will often have records of where the person is buried.
If it's a new burial, it will have the doctor's name on it, and you call
them, and they may be able to tell you. And sometimes the certificate will
tell you where they're buried.
County historical societies often publish books listing who is
buried in which cemetery.
If you're really lucky, there will be a cemetery office, but that's
not often true, especially in smaller cemeteries. And sometimes there
aren't any records there, or if there are, no one has put them in any
order, or not all burials are included in them.
A local newspaper will often have an obituary or an announcement of
a wake or ceremony at a certain church; you can often get into newspaper
archives, or find microfilm of them in the library or a college library
nearby. Or a local library will have scrapbooks or files of obituaries.
If you know that your ancestor was a member of a certain church,
that church may have records of funerals conducted there.
In Carlsbad, New Mexico, where my mother's and grandmother's family
is from, the mortuary burned down. The local newspaper does not keep any
back issues, and the paper isn't archived anywhere. The local library
occasionally cut out obituaries, but they were pasted fairly haphazardly in
a scrapbook, and were not at all up to date. The only thing I could do was
go out to the main cemetery and hunt down some cemetery workers and ask
them if they'd ever seen my grandfather's grave. They had a lined notebook
where they wrote down recent burials, but it wasn't alphabetized, and my
grandfather died in 1959, so that was no help. But they were in the
cemetery every day, mowing the grass and taking care of the trees, and they
knew right where he lay.
Just keep asking for ideas; keep asking for help. Someone knows...
Be sure to let us know what you find.