How can you find out the ownership of a cemetery?


Quick Answer

Cemetery records may be readily available or may require research to locate, as Saving Graves claims. Contacting local property owners or requesting information from local groups may help locate the cemetery owner.

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Full Answer

The cemetery owner must be contacted before beginning restoration work on older graves, as Saving Graves reports. Local property owners may know more about the history of the cemetery and may help with contacting the owners. Locating the owners of older cemeteries may be more challenging and require assistance from local libraries, courthouse records, historical societies and funeral homes. Some older graves may no longer have gravestones but may be listed on maps of the original cemetery plots.

Brokers selling cemetery plots may be another resource for locating cemetery owners or individuals interested in selling unwanted plots, as U.S. Funerals Online claims. Cemeteries may also be sold and ownership of land containing graves may transfer without granting family members visitation access, as the Chicora Foundation states. Potential visitors to graves on private land must obtain permission from the owner before visiting and may need to submit a written request with detailed information about how they plan to visit and care for the grave. Grave maintenance may be the responsibility of the family and not necessarily conducted by the property owner.

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