How to Find a Grave in Pennsylvania

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How to Find a Grave in Pennsylvania

A situation may arise that will call for you to visit a cemetery to see for yourself the inscription on a tomb. You might feel an emotional need to visit a grave of a friend or family member at other times. This can prove an impossible mission is you are not aware of its location. If it’s in Pennsylvania, these ideas on how to find a grave in Pennsylvania can prove useful.

Whatever your need might be for seeking that grave information, the important part is being able to find it. The ideas discussed below are aimed at just that.

Before embarking on your search for that grave information in Pennsylvania, there are certain details that you need to have with you on the deceased that would make your lookup process simple. In fact, gathering all information like full name, nicknames, date of birth, relatives, titles, education background are examples.

Tombstones usually have significant details such as date of birth and names spouses or parents. It is common practice for family members to be buried next to each other in cemeteries making it easy to find clues on other branches of a family tree. These are examples of extra details that may come up as a result of a grave search.

Challenges on Finding a Grave in Pennsylvania

You will need to find the person’s given name. Birth records in Pennsylvania began being registered in 1906. Local jurisdictions (where the birth occurred) may be able to assist you find the birth records. If the record is not available from public records, you might need to try a lookup from baptism records from local churches (where the birth occurred).

It is common practice to use nicknames instead of family given names. It is possible that the person might have used theirs, if they had it, or a middle name instead of their first name. Some families even repeated a name among the family members even within the same generation. In such a situation, a date of birth and death can be a difference maker. Events such as marriages and divorces may prove as another challenge as name changing occurs a lot in them.

When researching grave locations, one must keep in mind that stone masons, family members and type setters can make errors in dates and name spellings when engraving tombstones. It is also possible that cemeteries may be going on another name now as churches change names. It would make your search meaningful to keep these scenarios in mind as they can greatly influence the outcome of your search.

Resources to Help You Find a Grave in Pennsylvania

There are numerous websites that can help you in locating a grave in Pennsylvania. You can search with a name or use a state and county of death to filter your lookup of a certain grave. This is where the details on the deceased come in handy.

Find a Grave

Find a Grave would not only assist you in locating a grave in Pennsylvania but all over the world. They have the world’s largest gravesite collection. Searches can be performed using full name (first name, middle name, last name), year born (exact year), year died (exact year) and cemetery location.

There is also the ‘More Options ‘choice whereby you can search Memorial Types, nicknames, maiden names, titles and others. It would also be helpful to consider the search tips on offer on the site.

Pennsylvania State Library

The Pennsylvania State Library has information that would make your search for a grave in Pennsylvania a breeze. The information is straight forward and easy to follow.

There are also links to numerous websites that have information on graves found in Pennsylvania. examples of these sources are Cemetery Records Online, Pennsylvania Obituary Links, Online Searchable Death Indexes for the USA, Pennsylvania Necrology Scrapbook and more.


Ancestry offers free and premium searches on its site. The site has a user friendly interface and can link you up to other sources of information on graves found in Pennsylvania. An example would be the Find a Grave Index.

The site is extremely helpful in assisting you find information on family members. There are family trees that are set up on the site where you might be able to learn more on the person whose grave you are looking for.

With first name, middle name, last name, date of birth, date of death, and any other significant event on the person’s life, you can conduct a grave lookup from ancestry.

Billion Graves

Billion Graves is another solution online to finding information on graves in Pennsylvania. The site collects some of its information by requesting volunteers to help by collecting headstone images from cemeteries which they would transcribe.

This makes the sites database to grow on a regular basis. Searches on Billion Graves can be conducted using the search box found on the site with a family name or a given name.

These methods on how to find a grave in Pennsylvania are some of the solutions out there you can use. Try them out and keep in mind all the challenges that come with trying to find information on graves.