Want to ask a question? Click here

How can I find out where my ancestors are buried?

Q. My relatives were buried from St. Thomas in the 1890s but we can’t find their graves). How can I find information about them?

A. If you are looking for family members who have passed away and may not know how to go about finding where their final resting place is, here are some helpful resources:


Findagrave.com —  This user friendly website allows you to narrow your search from country to state and even county. Or you can do a people search and type in the person’s first and last name and all people in the database with that name come up. It’s likely with a little research, you may come across the person you are looking for.

Ancestry.com — This well-known website allows you to trace your family roots and often tells where family members were interred as their final resting place.

Archives.com —  This is the website dedicated to obtaining marriage and death certificates. In more recent years, death certificates often gives the place of burial.


Your library — Many libraries have specific rooms dedicated to the region.  Both New Hanover and Pender’s main libraries have records that house obituaries from local newspapers as well as many funeral homes past records. For example, the North Carolina Room at the New Hanover County Library Main Branch, 201 Chestnut St., has many books available on the known and recorded graveyards in New Hanover and Pender counties.

Churches — Many churches keep a detailed record of their parishioners’ past and present. If your family member attended a church in the area, that church may have a record of when they passed away, if their funeral was held at the church and where their final resting place is.

Register of Deeds — Local county governments are where you can obtain death certificates with burial location. However, most only have records going back to a certain time frame in years.

Historical Society — Many places have local historical societies that have done detailed genealogical research on the families of the past. Speaking to someone at one of these organizations may be able to guide you to the location of the person you are searching for.

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society

Southport Historical Society

Pender County Museum and Historical Society


What is the history of Calvary Memorial Cemetery?

When was the entrance to Oakdale Cemetery moved to its present location?

What is Oakdale Cemetery?

User-contributed question by:
Timothy Kearns

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: