Find a grave
Find A Grave is a commercial website that allows the public to access and add to an online database of cemetery records.
The site was created in 1995 by Salt Lake City resident Jim Tipton, who sought a site to cater to his hobby of visiting the burial sites of celebrities. He later added an online forum. It was launched as a commercial entity in 1998, first as a DBA and then incorporated in 2000.
The site later expanded to allow non-famous graves in order to have online visitors pay respect to their deceased relatives or friends.
On September 30, 2013, Ancestry.com announced its acquisition of the company. Tipton said of the purchase that Ancestry.com had, "... been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history ..." Ancestry.com planned to bolster the resources dedicated to Find a Grave to "... launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements."
As of June 2015, the site contained over 132 million burial records and 75 million photos worldwide.
Content and features
The website contains listings of cemeteries and graves from around the world. American cemeteries are organized by state and county, and many cemetery records contain Google Maps (with GPS coordinates supplied by contributors) and photographs of the cemeteries. Individual grave records contain some or all of the following data fields: dates and places of birth and death, biographical information, cemetery and plot information, photographs (grave marker, the individual, etc.), and contributor information.
Interment listings are provided by individuals, genealogical societies, and the International Wargraves Photography Project.
Contributors must register as members to submit listings, which are called memorials on the site. Upon submitting a listing, that member becomes the manager of the listing, but may transfer management. Only the current manager of a listing may edit the listing. Members and non-members may send correction requests regarding listings. Members and non-members can submit notations, which consist of images or pictures or flowers, flags, religious symbols, etc., which are posted on the individual listings, usually including a message of sympathy or condolence. Managers of listings may connect them via hyperlink to listings of deceased spouses and parents for genealogical purposes. Members may also request photos of graves, which other members may then fulfill.
Find A Grave also maintains links to memorials of famous persons such as Medal of Honor recipients, religious figures, educators and miscellaneous other celebrities. Find A Grave exercises editorial control over these listings.