There are many reasons you might wish to find a grave if you don’t know its precise location. Maybe you’re trying to find the grave of a distant family member. Perhaps you’re looking for the grave of a historical figure as part of a school project.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Information Will You Need Before You Try to Find a Grave in Arizona?
- Arizona-Specific Resources to Help You Find a Grave
- Steps for Finding a Grave in Arizona for Free
Regardless of what your reason for seeking a particular grave may be, it’s important to understand that the proper method for finding a grave can vary depending on the state in which you’re looking. For example, you might be trying to find a grave in Arizona.
Keep reading if so. This guide will explain the various ways you may go about conducting your search for an Arizona gravesite.
What Information Will You Need Before You Try to Find a Grave in Arizona?
Finding a grave in Arizona (or any other state) tends to be much easier than it would otherwise be if you gather certain information and documentation ahead of time. To improve your chances of easily finding someone’s grave, try to collect the following information first:
Basic identifying information
Naturally, you will need to know the name of the individual whose grave you are searching for. Although it is often possible to find a grave without knowing the dates of someone’s birth and death, it’s also helpful to have this information on hand.
Finding a grave in Arizona will also be a simpler process if you know which town or city the person whose grave you‘re searching for passed away in. If you don’t know the exact town where someone died, you may nevertheless still have an easier time finding their grave if you are aware of the general region (such as a county) where they died.
That said, even if someone died in a certain region, their family may have chosen to bury them closer to their home. Consider this when thinking about where the cemetery that’s home to the grave for which you’re searching may be located.
It’s also worth noting that you may already know the specific cemetery in which someone is buried, but you simply don’t know where their particular grave is within that cemetery. Later, this guide will cover how to find the location of a grave when you know of the cemetery that is home to it. Additionally, you can check our guide on how to find a grave in a cemetery for more information on this topic.
Information regarding the deceased’s involvement in certain groups
As this guide has touched on, the process of finding someone’s grave often involves narrowing down your search. Before you find the specific location of someone’s grave in Arizona, you might first need to determine which specific cemetery their loved ones buried them in.
Depending on the circumstances, you might have more luck accurately identifying the cemetery in which a grave is located if the grave you’re searching for is that of someone who belonged to a demographic or group of people who have cemeteries reserved for them.
For example, if the grave for which you’re looking is that of a veteran, it may be located in a veterans cemetery. Or, if the deceased was very religious, their grave might be in a cemetery for members of their religion.
Keep this in mind when starting your search. While it will not always be the case that a grave is located in a cemetery for individuals who belonged to specific groups or demographics, it’s possible that knowing which groups someone belonged to can potentially help you more easily find their grave.
You may be able to locate someone’s grave in Arizona with little difficulty if they were a relative or otherwise had a connection to your family. For example, if you’re searching for the grave of a distant relative, you might have access to personal correspondence or other such documents. If you do, these documents may provide you with information regarding where they are likely to have been buried.
Arizona-Specific Resources to Help You Find a Grave
The internet had made finding a grave much less challenging than it once was. Resources and tools that can help you find a grave in Arizona include the following:
Find a Grave
Find a Grave is not technically Arizona-specific. However, because it can be so helpful to those who are searching for graves, it earns a spot on this list.
With Find a Grave, you can provide information about a deceased person (such as their name, the year they were born, the year they died, and the region in which they died) to track down their grave. If you have this type of information on hand, this tool may help you find a grave very quickly.
Libraries & historical societies
Are you looking for the grave of a historical figure? Or, are you looking for the grave of someone who passed away a relatively long time ago?
If you are, and you have a general sense of the part of Arizona where someone died, consider searching for historical societies in that area. Their records may indicate where the person is buried.
Libraries can also be useful in these circumstances. If you can’t get help from any historical societies, check whether the local libraries in an area where you believe someone’s grave is located have any records that can be useful in your search.
Various cities and towns (such as Mesa) throughout Arizona allow citizens to search for graves via their official websites. If you believe you know which city a person’s grave is located in, check the city’s website to see if it offers such a tool for finding graves.
Arizona Gravestones is essentially an ongoing history project in which participants submit photographs of graves. The website for Arizona Gravestones can theoretically help you find the grave you are seeking. This tool is often helpful if you are searching for the grave of someone who died a long time ago.
Steps for Finding a Grave in Arizona for Free
There are a number of ways to find a grave in Arizona without spending any money. Thus, the steps in the process can vary depending on your chosen method. The steps you might take to find the location of someone’s grave in Arizona include the following:
1. Search for their obituary online
It’s not always necessary to conduct extensive research to find the location of someone’s grave. You might be able to find out where someone is buried by Googling their name plus the word “obituary.” If you find someone’s obituary online, it will likely mention the cemetery where they were buried. If this is the case, you can skip to the last step in this process to find the specific location of someone’s grave within that particular cemetery.
You can also Google someone’s name plus “gravesite” or “burial site” if you’re searching for the grave of someone who was a historical or noteworthy figure. If someone was reasonably famous or well-known for any reason, it’s possible you can find information regarding the location of their grave on various websites.
2. Use the resources covered here
If the above method does not work, there is still a good chance you can find the location of someone’s grave by using one of the resources covered in the previous section of this blog. That said, the first resource or tool you use might not necessarily provide the information you’re looking for.
Don’t give up on your search if you don’t find helpful results immediately. The fact that one tool doesn’t yield results does not mean that another one can’t be helpful.
3. Search for a grave via the cemetery’s website or contact the cemetery directly
At this point in your search, you may have an idea of which specific cemetery the grave you’re searching for is located. If not, you may have a list of candidates.
Google the name of the cemetery (or cemeteries) in which you believe you can find a grave. If they have websites, they might also have search tools that allow you to search for the location of a particular grave. Websites that have such tools also tend to have downloadables PDF maps to help users find graves.
If a cemetery doesn’t have a website or their website doesn’t have a tool that allows you to search for a grave, you can still probably find the contact information for those who own or manage the cemetery by Googling its name. Thus, you can reach out to the owners directly to ask for information about a grave’s location.
It’s likely they will accommodate your request. However, you may need to provide a reason for making such a request to indicate why you are looking for a certain grave.
At this stage, you should also consider what you’ll do when visiting a grave to ensure you make the most of the opportunity. For example, you may now want to start thinking about what to leave at a grave.
Finding a Grave in Arizona: Methods to Consider
Once more, there are several ways you may go about tracking down the location of someone’s grave in Arizona. For more information on similar topics, check out our guide on how to find out if someone died.