How to Find a Grave in Nevada for Free: Step-By-Step

Updated

Driving from cemetery to cemetery and walking from plot to plot, while it may be a relaxing way to spend your time, isn’t the best way to find a grave in Nevada or anywhere else. It can be disruptive to others who are visiting their loved ones, and, of course, you may not even be in the right area to begin with. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

There are better ways to find a grave in Nevada that shouldn’t take up too much of your time, so you can spend more of it visiting your loved ones rather than looking for them.  

Learn about locating a grave in Nevada for free with these step-by-step instructions, resources, and tips. It might also be helpful to learn how to find out if someone died.

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

If you’re trying to find a grave in Nevada, your best course of action will depend on what details you start your search with. But what information do you need, exactly?

To find a grave in Nevada—or anywhere, really—it’s helpful to know a few biographical details about the person or family you’re looking for. Grave indexing efforts in Nevada and beyond didn’t begin as digital projects; however, much of this information migrated to the internet. In fact, many states have online indexes that can aid you in your search. 

Nevada is featured in a larger genealogical database known as Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. According to the site, the majority of Nevada cemetery records can be found on microfilm. And the trick to being successful with Nevada cemetery records is to have an idea of which county might have the records you want. It’s not impossible to find records otherwise, but having this information helps. 

For your initial search on this site, however, the biographical details required for the Nevada Cemetery Records Research Guide are simply the person’s full name. If you’re unsure of the spelling, you can always make an educated guess and keep trying. 

You can find exact spellings and other details by digging into death certificates, obituaries, and death notices. Therefore, you may also be interested in how to get a death certificate in Nevada.


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Nevada-Specific Resources to Help You Find a Grave

Though generic online databases might have information on Nevada, it’s best to localize your online search as much as you can, especially at first. Additionally, local resources and library databases will likely be free and even have professionals you can contact directly to offer personal help.

This section provides a few Nevada-specific resources to check out, as well as some additional databases to help you confirm your details or continue your search. 

Nevada cemetery records on Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

This resource is also mentioned in the previous section, as it seems to be the premier site for finding graves in Nevada. In addition to helping you locate a grave, this resource may also help you determine: 

  • The person’s full legal name
  • The person’s maiden name
  • The person’s date and location of death
  • The names of surviving family members 
  • Other deceased family member names
  • The person’s original state or location of birth

This site also notes that people are commonly buried in the state they were born in, not the one where they resided and died. However, this also depends on the date of the death. It’s more common to move individuals to different areas to be buried than it was long ago.

Nevada family history centers and family history libraries

Though not an online database, the following resource from the Truckee Meadows Community College has a compilation of links for completing genealogical research, such as finding graves, in Nevada.

Additional resources

In addition to the Nevada-specific resources mentioned in this section, it might not hurt to check out some broader databases. Of course, these resources may require a membership or a fee, so keep that in mind.  

A few general resources to check out include Ancestry.com, which actually partners with another service called Find A Grave

Family Search is a broad genealogical search engine, but it features plenty of supplemental links for finding out all kinds of data in Nevada, especially grave locations.  

You can also check out BillionGraves to hopefully find the grave you’re looking for in Nevada and beyond.


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Steps for Finding a Grave in Nevada for Free

You may think your best course of action is to “just start looking” at Nevada cemeteries or even online resources. To make your search efforts for finding a grave a bit easier, however, you should consider breaking them up into logical steps.

Granted, the best course of action for you may look a bit different depending on how old the grave is, where you currently live, and how much solid information you’re starting out with.

1. Ask friends or family

You might be reluctant to ask for help to locate the grave in question. Or you might think that if you don’t know where the grave is, no one else in your family will know, either. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask, if even all you do is poke around on social media or send a few texts. 

Anything that can help you narrow down the location should be considered helpful. For example, if one of your relatives has lived in a particular part of Nevada for a long time, or has neighbors that do, this is a good place to start.  

2. Find free resources

The free resources for finding a grave in Nevada are worth digging into first. While there are some paid services that may seem tempting, the free resources can likely get you close to the cemetery you’re looking for, if not the grave itself. 

Additionally, if the idea of sifting through thousands of microfilms sounds counterproductive to you, you can likely set up an appointment with a library professional to help you. 

3. Make a list of the best options

Hopefully, during your search, you’ll come across some promising leads. Keep careful track of the cemeteries and contacts you plan to get in touch with. 

Even if you have a shred of evidence pointing you in a certain direction, it may make all the difference in finding your loved one’s grave.  

On that note, keeping track of leads that seem inconclusive at first may come in handy. In fact, they may help you locate other people of interest. 

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4. Verify cemetery hours or rules

Finding one or more potential cemeteries where your loved one or person of interest is located is a huge task to check off your list. However, before you actually visit, it’s important to verify with these sites about their hours or any special rules, such as what you’re allowed to leave at a grave. 

Not only should you respect special cemetery policies (if any), but it’s also important to respect those buried nearby and their families. If you weren’t aware, there’s such a thing as headstone etiquette as well as grave flower etiquette.

5. Contact the county or nearby funeral homes

Once you have a few leads, you may benefit from contacting the county clerk’s office or nearby funeral homes. It’s likely that these offices can help you verify your information or help you clear up any last-minute questions prior to your first visit. Not to mention, contacting these offices is also a free way to learn more about your loved ones or the area where they’re buried. 

6. Visit the grave or graves

For the final step, you should, of course, visit the grave you’ve been looking for. You might feel anxious, relieved, or even a bit sad once you find it, especially if you’ve been searching for a while. All of these are valid feelings.

In addition, you may also be wondering what to leave at a grave, especially if you’ve never visited one before. While it’s not necessary (and perhaps not allowed) to leave flowers, notes, or a gift, it’s always important to remember the significance of cemeteries and the families of those involved. 

You should always feel welcome to visit the grave of someone you feel connected to, especially if you’re there for the right reasons. After all, graves serve as an important physical reminder of our loved ones, and it’s only natural to feel drawn to them. During your visit, you may choose to sit or stand quietly or prepare a poem, prayer, or speech. 

Use Data to Your Advantage

Hopefully you’re able to find some interesting leads about where your loved one or loved ones are buried before stepping foot in the wrong cemetery. 

Truly the best (and least disruptive) way to dig up biographical or genealogical information is through online databases. 

Of course, depending on your situation, you may have to get creative and use resources online as well as your nearby community to find the grave you’re looking for in Nevada.  

You may also be interested in related resources, such as how to bury a loved one if you can’t afford it or how to clean a gravestone.   

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