November Genealogy Blog Party: National Cemeteries Grave Locator

Elizabeth O’Neal’s November Blog Party theme is very appropriate for this month – Veterans and Military.

Here is a tip for locating family members and ancestors who might be buried in a U.S. national cemetery.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, under the National Cemetery Administration, has a searchable database – the National Graveside Locator – to help the public locate graves of those buried in our national cemeteries.

I’ve used this database to locate not only more recent family members, but also to find Civil War (Union) soldiers.

My husband’s 2X great grandfather, John Stufflebean, died during the war at a hospital in Nashville on  10 June 1864. He had no gravestone in his hometown in Missouri.

On a whim, I decided to try the National Graveside Locator (and knew to check Stufflebean spelling variations):

John Stufflebeam was buried in Nashville at what became the Nashville National Cemetery. The locator gives the section and grave site number. There is even a map that denotes the cemetery sections:

For genealogical purposes, the National Graveside Locator can search all national cemeteries for people of the same surname. If your surname is unusual and you’d like to identify distant cousins who served in the military, this is a great option.

It will also identify  spouses who have been buried with their service person from 1 January 2000 to the present day.

Lastly, given that many families no longer choose to have an obituary printed and the Social Security Death Index is restricted in terms of those who have died in the past few years, the grave locator database can help identify more recently deceased family members.

One last comment – Many people tend to lump Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day together as holidays with one purpose. However, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

Veteran’s Day is a day to honor and thank all those who have served. Ceremonies and public events will no doubt be curtailed this year because of the pandemic, but if you happen to be out and about and see someone with a veteran’s cap, be sure to acknowledge their service.

Freedom isn’t free.





4 thoughts on “November Genealogy Blog Party: National Cemeteries Grave Locator”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.