Do you need to get information from California cemetery records? If so, this is a task that is relatively easy, and it will not cost you a whole lot of money. Yes, there probably will be a fee, but it will be minimal, to cover administrative costs at the cemetery. California cemetery records contain a wealth of information about your ancestors from the state, and they can lead you to even more ancestors that you may not have even known about. If you are trying to create a family tree, this is an excellent way to gather a lot of the information you are going to need for your research.

California Cemetery and gravestone inscriptions are a rich source of information for family historians. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations
Be Prepared for a Lot of Work

When you are putting together a family tree using California cemetery records and other documents, you can expect to put a lot of work into your project. But, unlike other jobs, this is not really going to seem like work. Once you begin digging into the California cemetery records, you will probably find that the information is so fascinating that your project is not work, but a labor of love that is fun to work on.

Using California cemetery records is a good way to learn a lot about your ancestors. Of course, these are not the only records you are going to be using, but California cemetery records are an excellent place to start.

What Can You Learn?

California cemetery records hold a lot of important information that is going to be vital to your research. For example, if you want to know how an ancestor died, you can usually find out from California cemetery records. This is important to know, and you may even find that there is a family history of a certain health issue. Learning this from cemetery records may not only help your research, but it could end up saving your life, or the life of one of your loved ones. Other things you can learn from California cemetery records include the name of the attending physician at the time of death, names of the deceased’s family members, location of death, and more.

Research In California Cemetery Records

Printed secondary sources of transcribed cemeteries exist for most California counties. The California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) has collected hundreds of such records. Transcripts are housed both at the national DAR (see page 13) and with some local chapters and libraries. They are also available on microfilm through the FHL and the Sutro Library in San Francisco . A complete set of the DAR records (more than 180 volumes) is also in the California Room of the California State Library. Included in this collection are census, newspaper, cemetery, court, Bible, and family records.

Most cemeteries previously located in San Francisco were “moved” out of the city in the 1930s to South San Francisco and Coloma in San Mateo County, for example.

Bakersfield National Cemetery, Arvin Arvin Avalon Cemetery Avalon – Doodles Weaver Oak Hill Cemetery Ballard – John Forsythe Bangor Cemetery, Bangor Bangor San Gorgonio Memorial Park Banning Mountain View Cemetery (Beaumont) Beaumont Stewart Sunnyslope Cemetery Beaumont Big Pine Cemetery, Big Pine Big Pine East Line Street Cemetery, Bishop Bishop Palo Verde Cemetery Blythe Gan Shalom Cemetery, Briones Briones Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation Burbank Green Valley Cemetery, Cameron Park Cameron Park Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Carmel – Junípero Serra Forest Lawn Cemetery – Cathedral City Cathedral City – Alice Faye Desert Memorial Park Cathedral City – Frank Sinatra Artesia Cemetery Cerritos Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery Chatsworth – Adele Astaire Sylvan Cemetery Citrus Heights Colusa Cemetery, Colusa Clousa Coachella Valley Public Cemetery Coachella Valley – Frank Capra College City Cemetery, College City College City Greek Orthodox Memorial Park Colma Greenlawn Cemetery Colma Hoy Sun Memorial Cemetery Colma Italian Cemetery Colma Japanese Cemetery Colma Olivet Memorial Park Colma Russian Sectarian Cemetery Colma Salem Memorial Park and Garden Colma Serbian Cemetery Colma Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery Colton Memory Gardens Cemetery, Concord Concord Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Contra Costa Contra Costa Corcoran Memorial Park, Corcoran Corcoran Corona Sunnyslope Cemetery Corona Forest Lawn – Covina Hills Covina IOOF Cemetery, Crescent City Crescent City Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Crescent City Crescent City Holy Cross Cemetery Culver City – Bing Crosby Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery Culver City – Jack Benny Forest Lawn – Cypress Cypress Saint Josephs Catholic Cemetery, Del Norte County Del Norte County Smith Mountain Cemetery Dinuba Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Dixon Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Mausoleum (first new combined cathedral and burial place in the US in over 30 years) Downtown Los Angeles – Gregory Peck Dublin Pioneer Cemetery, Dublin Dublin Home of Peace Cemetery East Los Angeles – Curly Howard and Shemp Howard (from Three Stooges) Calvary Cemetery East Los Angeles – King Baggot Singing Hills Memorial Park El Cajon Evergreen Cemetery, El Centro – Ira Aten, Joseph Treshil El Centro Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery, El Dorado Hills El Dorado Hills Saint Bernards Cemetery, Eureka – Carole and Judi Sund Eureka Lone Tree Cemetery, Hayward – William Dutton Hayward, Pete Knight, Bob Sweikert Fairview Fiddletown Cemetery, Fiddletown Fiddletown Chung Wah Cemetery Folsom Fredericksburg Cemetery, Fredericksburg Fredericksburg Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Fremont Fremont Centerville Pioneer Cemetery (also known as Centerville Presbyterian Cemetery), Fremont Fremont

Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Cemetery, Fremont

 
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Fremont Holy Ghost Cemetery, Fremont Fremont Irvington Memorial Cemetery, also known as Fremont Memorial Park, Fremont Fremont Mission San Jose Cemetery, Fremont Fremont Saint Josephs Cemetery, Fremont Fremont Belmont Memorial Park, Fresno – Walter Huston Fresno County Gavilan Hills Memorial Park and Catholic Cemetery Gilroy Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery Glendale – Joan Blondell Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery Glendale – Leo G. Carroll Goleta Cemetery Goleta Gridley-Biggs Cemetery, Gridley Gridley Redwood Memorial Gardens – Randy Shilts Guerneville Hanford Cemetery, Hanford Hanford Chapel of the Chimes, Hayward – Spade Cooley, Daniel Sakai Hayward Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Hayward – Tony Lema, Fran Ryan Hayward Mount Eden Cemetery, Hayward Hayward Mount Saint Joseph Cemetery (aka All Saints or Portuguese Cemetery), Hayward Hayward Oak Mound Cemetery Healdsburg Hollywood Forever Cemetery Hollywood – Don Adams Sherman Indian High School Cemetery Home Gardens[6] Cypress Lawn Memorial Park – Gertrude Atherton Hubert Howe Bancroft Inglewood Park Cemetery Inglewood – Edgar Bergen Ione Public Cemetery, Ione Ione Jackson City Cemetery, Jackson City Jackson City Janesville Cemetery, Janesville Janesville Holy Cross Cemetery – Pat Brown Joe DiMaggio Sunset View Cemetery, Kensington Kensington Elsinore Valley Cemetery Lake Elsinore Chico Cemetery, Chico – Ted W. Lawson Lawson Lemoore Cemetery, Lemoore Lemoore IOOF Memory Gardens Cemetery, Livermore Livermore Oak Knoll Pioneer Memorial Park, former cemetery, now a park (all gravestones removed), Livermore Livermore Roselawn Cemetery, also known as Masonic Cemetery, Livermore Livermore Saint Michael’s Cemetery, Livermore Livermore Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery Lompoc Mount Whitney Cemetery, Lone Pine Lone Pine Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Long Beach) in Long Beach All Souls Cemetery Long Beach – Frank Zamboni Gate of Heaven Cemetery Los Altos – Iris Chang Chapel of the Pines Crematory Los Angeles Chinese Cemetery Los Angeles Evergreen Cemetery Los Angeles Home of Peace Cemetery Los Angeles Odd Fellows Cemetery Los Angeles Woodlawn Cemetery Los Angeles Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery Los Angeles – Bette Davis Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery Los Angeles – George Alexander Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery Los Angeles – Lee J. Cobb Lower Lake Cemetery, Lower Lake Lower Lake Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery, Martinez Martinez Pacheco Cemetery & Crematory, Martinez Martinez St. Catherine of Siena Cemetery, Martinez Martinez Golden Hill Memorial Park Mateo Conejo Mountain Funeral Home Memorial Park and Crematory Fernwood Cemetery Mill Valley Eden Memorial Park Cemetery Mission Hills San Fernando Mission Cemetery Mission Hills – William Bendix Acacia Memorial Park Modesto – James Carson Needham Resurrection Cemetery Montebello Laurel Cemetery Murrieta Napa Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary Napa Tulocay Cemetery Napa Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery North Hollywood – Bea Benaderet Cathedral of Christ the Light Mausoleum, Oakland Oakland Chapel of Memories Columbarium, Oakland Oakland Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland – John Lee Hooker, Joseph R. Knowland Oakland Evergreen Cemetery, Oakland – Huey P. Newton, Earl “Fatha” Hines, memorial to the Jonestown victims Oakland Home of Peace Cemetery, Oakland Oakland Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland – Henry J. Kaiser, Julia Morgan, Elizabeth Short Oakland Saint Mary Cemetery, Oakland – Juan Bautista Alvarado, John Walter Ehle, George Hyde,[4] Slip Madigan Oakland Graves Cemetery, Orland Orland IOOF Cemetery, Orland Orland Orland Masonic Cemetery, Orland Orland Cherokee Cemetery, Oroville Oroville Jane Augustine Patencio Cemetery Palm Springs Welwood Murray Cemetery Palm Springs Alta Mesa Memorial Park Palo Alto – Tennessee Ernie Ford Perris Valley Cemetery Perris Pine Grove Cemetery, Pine Grove Pine Grove Placerville Union Cemetery, Placerville Placerville Saint Patrick Cemetery, Placerville Placerville Westwood Hills Memorial Park, Placerville Placerville Oakmont Memorial Park, Pleasant Hill Pleasant Hill Pleasanton Memorial Gardens Cemetery, also known as IOOF Cemetery, Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery, Pleasanton Pleasanton Saint Augustines Cemetery, Pleasanton Pleasanton Plymouth Memorial Cemetery, Plymouth Plymouth Union Cemetery Redwood City Rolling Hills Memorial Park, Richmond Richmond Crestlawn Memorial Park Riverside Riverside National Cemetery Riverside Olivewood Cemetery Riverside – Dorothy Burgess Evergreen Cemetery Riverside – many of the founders of Riverside including Frank Augustus Miller Sacramento Historic City Cemetery (aka Old City Cemetery) Sacramento Sunset Lawn Chapel of the Chimes Sacramento – Danny Nardico Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery Saint Helena Saint Helena Public Cemetery Saint Helena Public Peoples Cemetery, San Andreas – Diana Adams San Andreas Golden Gate National Cemetery San Bruno El Campo Santo Cemetery San Diego Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery San Diego Greenwood Memorial Park San Diego Holy Cross Cemetery San Diego Miramar National Cemetery San Diego Mount Hope Cemetery San Diego Grace Cathedral Columbarium San Francisco Hoy Sun Ning Yung Cemetery San Francisco Neptune Society Columbarium San Francisco San Francisco National Cemetery San Francisco World War II West Coast Memorial San Francisco San Jacinto Valley Cemetery San Jacinto Calvary Catholic Cemetery San Jose Oak Hill Memorial Park San Jose – Brooke Hart Los Gatos Memorial Park San Jose – William Hewlett Mount Calvary Cemetery, San Leandro San Leandro San Lorenzo Pioneer Memorial Park, also known as San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery, San Lorenzo San Lorenzo Eternal Home Cemetery San Mateo St. John’s Cemetery San Mateo Tung Sen Cemetery San Mateo Skylawn Memorial Park San Mateo – Wilbur Bestwick St. Joseph Cemetery, San Pablo San Pablo Mount Tamalpais Cemetery San Rafael – Bessie Barriscale Santa Barbara Cemetery Santa Barbara – Ronald Coleman Mission City Memorial Park Santa Clara – Harry Love Santa Clara Mission Cemetery Santa Clara – Peter Burnett Evergreen Cemetery Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Memorial Park Santa Cruz Pioneer Cemetery Santa Cruz – Charley Parkhurst Oakwood Memorial Park Santa Cruz – William Vincent Lucas Santa Maria Cemetery Santa Maria Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery Santa Monica – Charles Bickford San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery Santa Nella Saint Francis Solano Cemetery Santa Rosa Santa Rosa Memorial Park Santa Rosa Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Santa Rosa Madronia Cemetery Saratoga – Mark Bingham Hills of Eternity Cemetery – Wyatt Earp Saveliy Kramarov Sawtelle Veterans Home Sawtelle Smith River Cemetery, Smith River Smith River El Camino Memorial Park Sorrento Valley Happy Homestead Cemetery, South Lake Tahoe South Lake Tahoe Stanford Mausoleum Stanford University – Leland Stanford Stockton State Hospital Cemetery Stockton – William Troy Susanville Cemetery, Susanville – John Edward Raker Susanville Sutter Cemetery Sutter – Dolly Gray Sutter Creek Catholic Cemetery, Sutter Creek Sutter Creek Sutter Creek City Cemetery, Sutter Creek Sutter Creek San Fernando Pioneer Memorial Cemetery Sylmar Temecula Public Cemetery Temecula Martinez Cemetery Thermal Toro Cemetery Thermal Tulare Cemetery,Tulare Tulare Ivy Lawn Memorial Park Ventura – Saint Francis Dam disaster mass grave Los Angeles National Cemetery West Los Angeles Westwood Cemetery, Westwood Westwood Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery Westwood – Eddie Albert Rose Hills Memorial Park Whittier (the largest cemetery in the United States) – Alvin Ailey Wildomar Cemetery Wildomar Willows Cemetery, Willows Willows Yorba Hacienda Yorba Linda Veterans Memorial Grove Cemetery Yountville Chinese Cemetery Yreka Smartville Cemetery Yuba Holy Sun Memorial Cemetery  

California Tombstone Inscription Project (usgwtombstones.org)

  • California Obituary Project (usgwarchives.net)
  • California Cemetery Inscription Sources (search.ancestry.com) This database contains the cemetery inscription sources for the state of California. Organized by county and cemetery name, it provides the researcher an invaluable tool in finding headstone inscriptions when travel to the cemetery is not possible.
  • Web: California, Find A Grave Index, 1775-2011 (search.ancestry.com) This database contains an index to cemetery and final disposition details posted on Find a Grave. Find a Grave provides users a virtual cemetery experience, with images of grave markers from around the world, as well as photos, biographies, and other details uploaded by volunteers.
  • Epodunk – California Cemeteries (epodunk.com)
  • California, Mortuary and Cemetery Records, 1801-1932 (search.ancestry.com) This is a collection of Northern California burial and death records from 1800-1900. The records come from four different books that cover both Northern California in general and San Francisco, El Dorado, and Tehama County cemeteries.
  • Find a Grave – California Cemeteries (findagrave.com)
  • California Cemeteries at Internment.net (interment.net)
  • The California Political Graveyard (politicalgraveyard.com)
  • California Cemetery Books (amazon.com)
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