How to Find a Grave in Florida for Free: Step-by-Step

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The Sunshine State is a popular retirement spot, so it’s no surprise that it’s also home to a competitive funeral industry. This makes Florida one of the less expensive places to bury a loved one. Additionally, its large geographic area means there are many cemeteries spread out throughout the state. With this in mind, how do you find a grave in Florida for free?

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It’s never been easier to uncover genealogy information about your family. Thanks to the large quantities of information available for free online, you don’t need any special skills or know-how to get started. That being said, how do you get started? Depending on how much (or little) you know about the individual grave you’re seeking, you might have to follow different steps. 

This guide is here to help. Beyond knowing how to find out if someone died, this guide will share how to find a grave in Florida for free with clear instructions. Regardless of your relationship with the deceased or your reason for starting this search, it’s easy to get started. 

What Information Will You Need Before You Try to Find a Grave in Florida?

Before you begin looking for a grave in Florida, it’s helpful to have as much information as possible. Though recordkeeping changed throughout the years, some things remain the same. It’s helpful to have all of the following at a minimum:

  • Their full name
  • Their maiden name (if applicable)
  • Place of death (county or city)
  • Date of death
  • Birthdate

The information above is a great first step. At a minimum, you need to know their name. If they had a common name, having additional information will help narrow your search. If possible, try to also have the following:

  • Funeral home
  • Cemetery name
  • Death certificate

Though not required, the information above greatly improves your chances of finding the right grave quickly and easily. Luckily, search tools have never been easier to find. No matter your relationship to your ancestor, you should be able to find their grave using this guide. 

Florida-Specific Resources to Help You Find a Grave

Because we live in the digital age, most records have been made digital. This means you no longer need to contact the department of vital records in your chosen state to begin a search. As long as you have access to a computer, you can start genealogical research. These tools are designed specifically for Florida searches, so start here. 

Find a Grave

Find a Grave is one of the most trusted places to find graves across the country. While they specialize in high-profile graves, you can also find everyday graves. Their Florida search page is organized by county, making it possible to explore graves by location. This is a great first-step tool.

Family Search

Another powerful tool is Family Search. This online resource is a free ancestry website, helping people of all backgrounds uncover their family stories. At Family Search, it’s possible to explore well-known and lesser-known resources, links, and guides. With a comprehensive search tool, this can also be a great place to start if you’re looking for a grave in Florida. 

Interment

Interment has a variety of resources about graves across the county, including Florida. You can start a search by name or county, but the more information you have, the easier it is to complete your search. Interment is a trusted place to find information on graves, final resting places, and more. 

The Ancestor Hunt

The Ancestor Hunt is a free genealogy tool designed to help family researchers of all experience levels. This comprehensive resource shares Florida-specific links and tools for all to use. Accessible entirely for free, this is an efficient way to start your hunt for information. 

Veteran Grave Search

If you’re seeking a veteran grave, you might have more luck searching directly through the Department of Veteran Affairs. This search tool compiles documents and records from all veteran gravesites across the country, including the state of Florida. While you’ll need personal information to begin the search, this is highly effective for veteran graves. 

Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness

On Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness, you’ll find all types of genealogy-related records for Florida. This includes birth records, public death certificates, marriage licenses, and more. This is a great way to uncover more information about your ancestor, helping you find their grave for free. 

Memorial Planning

Formerly Burial Planning, Memorial Planning is a way to pre-plan and pre-arrange funerals. Though it’s primarily a memorial planning tool, it also has a comprehensive list of cemeteries throughout the state of Florida. Easy to search, you can use this as a resource specific to cemetery contact information. 

Steps for Finding a Grave in Florida for Free

If you’re ready to find a grave in Florida for free, there’s no time like the present to get started. This doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but it might require a bit of patience. There are often many different steps you have to take, so follow the guide below to begin. 

1. Collect key information

Before you begin your search for a grave in Florida, you need information about the deceased. This should include their full name and place of death, as well as a general idea of the year they passed away. If you don’t have this information, it’s a good idea to request a death certificate in Florida to learn more. 

Another great source of information is family Bibles, records, albums, birth certificates, and even just talking to loved ones. There are a number of free genealogy tools online that serve as an effective starting point as well. The more information you have, the easier it becomes to start your search. 

2. Search cemetery records

Once you have the full name and place of death, you’re ready to start your search. You can do this with a simple online search or by using one of the resource tools above. Sometimes this process is as simple as searching their name and place of death. However, if they have a common name, you might need further identifying information to narrow the search. 

If you know the place of death, you can often search records for specific cemeteries in that location. For example, if there are three potential cemeteries in Duval County, you can search these for records of your loved one’s grave. It takes a bit of time, but you should be able to locate this grave with relative ease. 

3. Contact cemeteries or funeral homes

What happens if you don’t have any luck with the step above? Depending on when your ancestor passed, there might not be clear records at the time. Modern recordkeeping is a relatively new concept, and older documents might not be easy to find digitally. In this case, it’s helpful to contact local cemeteries, funeral homes, and vital record offices. 

When you call, ask for any possible records related to the individual you’re looking for. If you know the year they passed, the local county record office can help you find the right resources. Similarly, local Florida libraries have a lot of older records you might not find online. 

4. Locate the grave spot

Next, when you do locate the cemetery, it’s time to find the specific grave. It’s not always easy to know how to find a grave in a cemetery, especially if you don’t visit graves often. Most graves use some kind of organization system that includes a plot number. This number can be found on the specific gravestone, and you’ll also often find a map of the cemetery plots online. 

When in doubt, contact the cemetery directly. They usually have a crew on-site who can help you find the specific grave you’re looking for. In addition, there are typically signs and descriptions used to help loved ones find the right graves. 

5. Plan your visit

Last but not least, plan your visit to the grave. Visiting the grave of an ancestor is an act of remembrance and compassion. It’s a way to feel connected to your family story and your past. You might wish to leave something at the grave as a sign of respect, but this is up to you. 

For ideas about what to leave at a grave, consider flowers, candles, wreaths, and flags. However, always check the cemetery’s rules about what is and isn’t allowed. Many have limitations on what you can leave long-term. Taking memorial items to the grave is a highly meaningful experience, so consider what makes sense for you.

Find the Right Grave in Florida

If you’re on the search for a grave in Florida, it’s not always clear where to begin. Thanks to this guide, it’s possible to start your search for a Florida grave at no cost. There has never been a better time to find exactly what you’re looking for, no matter your genealogy experience level. 

Finding a grave for someone who passed is an act of kindness and compassion. Everyone wants to be remembered. Taking the time to do just that is a way to practice remembrance in your everyday life.

If you're a Florida resident and ready to start preparing your own end-of-life planning documents, Cake has Advance Care Planning forms you can download. To help ease your planning, we have all the documents you need in one place.

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