Pennsylvania Cemetery Records Research Guide

If you have tried to use other types of records aside from Pennsylvania cemetery records for your genealogy chart, you may find it a bit of a challenge. That is because some vital records in some states are not considered public records. So, while you cannot access or use Pennsylvania adoption records, you should be able to find Pennsylvania cemetery records for your project. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations

Here are a few things you should know about Pennsylvania cemetery records though:

  • Your best bet may be finding Pennsylvania cemetery records from 1906 on. This is when the state began its statewide record keeping efforts.
  • You can get a good deal of important information from these types of records. For instance from Pennsylvania cemetery records you should be able to get a person's name, when and where he or she was born and the name of at least his or her spouse, if the person was married.
  • If you can obtain Pennsylvania death records, you may even be able to find out the names of the parents as well.
  • Those who seek Pennsylvania cemetery records in person can usually find out more if they visit the final resting place in person. This is because you will find nearby plots of other family members so you can have additional information and clues to help learn more.

What Else You Should Know

Pennsylvania cemetery records may not be as efficient as things such as death records but can often have the same data. Death records often act as a primary source, which means the details have been documented and sometimes even confirmed by an eyewitness. Pennsylvania cemetery records are still useful because you can expect to find many of the same important details.

The trick is finding out which county in Pennsylvania your records may be in. You still may be able to find your Pennsylvania cemetery records without this information, but it may take a little more work. The idea is to start with as much as you can but also just learn to be patient with it. Eventually your Pennsylvania cemetery records or other vital records will help you complete the family tree puzzle you are working on.

Research In Pennsylvania Cemetery Records

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, and Historical Society of Pennsylvania each have cemetery record collections. So do several other historical societies and local libraries across the state. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) collection of cemetery records can be found at the Pennsylvania State Library. There are also several funeral director records from Philadelphia available at both the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania is also currently in the process of creating an index to the cemetery records that they have collected from around the commonwealth. Many records can also be found in Mechling Books, Closson Press, and similar publications.

Famous People Buried in Pennsylvania Cemeteries

County Name / Date / Cemetery Description
Adams 1st New Jersey Brigade Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
This monument, dedicated on June 30, 1888, stands in the area on Wiekert Hill where the 1st New Jersey Brigade (1st Brigade, 1st Division, VI Corps) was stationed after arriving on the field on July 2, 1863, and during the third day of the Battle
Adams 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
The 23rd Pennsylvania Monument is located on Culp's Hill, Slocum Avenue at The Gettysburg National Military Park.
It is a tribute to all the men of the 23rd Pennsylvania.
Adams 4th United States Artillery, Battery K Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
This monument marks the area where Battery K, 4th United States Artillery, commanded by 1st Lieutenant Francis W.
Seeley, was positioned when the Union III Corps was extended to Emmitsburg Road around 4PM on July 2, 1863.
Adams 57th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
This memorial monument, dedicated on July 2, 1888, marks the line where the 57th Pennsylvania Infantry fought against the Confederate attacks on the Second day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 2, 1863).
Adams 5th New Hampshire Infantry Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
This monument, dedicated in June 1886, marks the spot where brigade commander Colonel Edward Cross (of the 5th New Hampshire) was mortally wounded during the Second Day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 2,1863).
Adams 84th New York Infantry Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
The 84th New York Volunteer Infantry (also called "the Red Legged Devils" because of the red pants of their uniforms), under the command of Colonel Edward B.
Fowler, had a fine and courageous fighting record.
Adams Confederate States Soldiers & Sailors Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
The Confederate States Soldiers & Sailors Monument at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, honoring those who served the Confederate military from the States of Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland.
Adams Irish Brigade Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
Dedicated July 2, 1888.
Members of the 63rd, 69th and 88th New York Infantry Regiments are honored by this Monument.
They were migrates from Ireland who came to US, to escape political repression and the potato famine.
Adams Pennsylvania Monument
Gettysburg National Military Park
Dedicated on September 27, 1910, the Pennsylvania Monument was erected as a memorial to the Pennsylvania officers and enlisted men who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.
The largest among hundreds of monuments at Gettysburg National Military Park in Adams County, Pennsylvania, the monument is an imposing structure that stands 110 feet tall complete with a spiral staircase that leads to an observation deck.
Allegheny Foster, Stephen
7/4/1826 - 1/13/1864
Allegheny Cemetery
He was America's first great songwriter.
Allegheny Gertsch, John Gary
9/29/1944 - 7/19/1969
Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery
Viet Nam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served in the United States Army during the war in Viet Nam as a Staff Sergeant in Company E, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.
Allegheny Heinz, Henry John
10/11/1844 - 5/14/1919
Homewood Cemetery
Henry John Heinz, Ketchup Magnate.
At 8 years old he began peddling surplus home-grown vegetables to neighbors; by 1860 he was making three wagon deliveries of his vegetables a week to Pittsburgh grocers.
Allegheny Oliver, Charles
1/13/1905 - 8/30/1920
Richland Cemetery
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He was a Brevet Captain in the Union Army.
Bucks Buck, Pearl S.
6/26/1892 - 3/6/1973
Green Hills Farm Grounds
Author, humanitarian, philanthropiSt. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.
Butler McGonagle, Wilson
1/11/1905 - 9/15/1912
Summit United Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served as a Private in the Union Army in Company B, 30th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Cambria Johnstown Flood Victims Gravesite
Grandview Cemetery
A section called the 'Unknown Plot' contains the bodies of 777 flood victims who could not be identified.
The State Flood Commission purchased the plot for burying the unknowns and bought markers for each grave and a monument that cost $6,500.
It was dedicated on May 31, 1892, exactly three years after the flood.
Carbon Albright, Charles
12/13/1830 - 9/28/1880
Mauch Chunk Cemetery
Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, US Congressman.
He commanded three different Pennsylvania infantry units during the Civil War.
Carbon Thorpe (Wa-Tho-Huk), Jim
5/22/1888 - 3/28/1953
Jim Thorpe Memorial
Indian Sports Athlete.
Jim Thorpe was a Sac and Fox Indian, born in a cabin on the North Canadian River near Prague, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
Chester Croce, Jim
1/10/1943 - 9/20/1973
Haym Saloman Memorial Park
He began his professional music career playing in bands while he was a student at Villanova University in 1964.
Chester McKernan, Bernard
11/1817 - 3/15/1897
Black Rock Cemetery
British Army Soldier.
Last surviving member of the “Charge of the Light Brigade”, which was made famous by the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Dauphin Hershey, Milton Snavely
9/13/1857 - 10/13/1945
Hershey Cemetery
Chocolate Magnate.
Milton left the 4th grade at age 13, he worked as an apprentice for a newspaper but was later fired.
Erie Gridley, Charles Vernon
11/24/1844 - 6/5/1898
Lakeside Cemetery
US Naval Officer.
During the Spanish-American War he served as commander of Admiral George Dewey's flagship "USS Olympia".
Erie Young, William
1835 -
Erie Cemetery
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He was born in New York.
He entered the Union Navy at New York, New York.
Mifflin Rankin, William
1/9/1905 - 2/2/1916
Saint Marks Cemetery
Indian Campaigns Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He was a Farrier in the United States Army.
Northampton Mansfield, Jayne
4/19/1933 - 6/29/1967
Fairview Cemetery
Born Vera Jayne Palmer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, her family moved to Dallas, Texas, after the death of her father to a heart attack and the remarriage of her mother.
Philadelphia Barrymore (Blythe), John Sidney
2/15/1882 - 5/29/1942
Mount Vernon Cemetery
He made his stage debut at the age of 18 in one of his father's productions, but he really wanted to be an artist.
Philadelphia Franklin, Benjamin
1/17/1706 - 4/17/1790
Christ Church Burial Ground
Declaration of Independence Signer, Continental Congressman, US Diplomat, Printer and Inventor.
Published the "Pennsylvania Gazette" and "Poor Richard's Almanac".
Philadelphia Frazier, Joe 'Smokin' Joe'
1/12/1944 - 11/7/2011
Ivy Hill Cemetery
Hall of Fame Professional Boxer.
Olympic Gold Medalist.
Philadelphia Leppien, George Francis
1836 - 5/3/1863
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Civil War Union Army Officer.
Served in the Civil War as Captain and commander of  the 1st Maine Light  Artillery, Battery F.
Philadelphia Patterson, Francis Engle
3/7/1821 - 11/22/1862
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Civil War Union Brigadier General.
Entered the US Army during the Mexican War as a 2d Lieutenant in the 1st  United States Artillery, and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant before the end of the war.
Philadelphia Ross, Betsy (Elizabeth Griscom)
1/1/1752 - 1/30/1836
Betsy Ross House
Revolutionary War Figure.
Born Elizabeth Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she has gained legendary status for her role as a seamstress in the creation of the Flag of the United States.
Philadelphia Rush, Richard Henry
1/14/1825 - 10/17/1893
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Civil War Union Army Officer.
After graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1846 (26th out of 59), he served in the Mexican War as a Lieutenant in the 2nd United States Artillery.
Philadelphia Souder, Emily Bliss
1814 - 12/22/1886
Woodlands Cemetery
Civil War Figure, Author.
Volunteer Civil War Nurse at the battle of Gettysburg.
Philadelphia Thompson, William
- 9/12/1872
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
Served in the Civil War in the Union Navy as a Signal Quartermaster on board the USS Mohican.
He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during action of the main squadron of ships against heavily defended Forts Beauregard and Walker on Hilton Head, South Carolina on November 7, 1861.
Schuylkill Messerschmidt, Harold O.
4/6/1905 - 9/17/1944
Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served as a Sergeant in the United States Army in Company L, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
Somerset Beamer, Todd Morgan
11/24/1968 - 9/11/2001
Flight 93 National Memorial
September 11th United Flight 93 Passenger.
A high school athlete in baseball, basketball and soccer, he attended Fresno State University and Wheaton College.
Somerset Bingham, Mark K.
5/22/1970 - 9/11/2001
Flight 93 National Memorial
United Flight 93 Passenger.
He was a rugby player who helped his University of California at Berkeley team earn two national titles.
Union McCormick, Harry Elwood  "Moose"
2/28/1881 - 7/9/1962
Lewisburg Cemetery
Major League Baseball Player.
Outfielder for the New York Giants and then traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1904.
Westmoreland Gallagher, Thomas Foster
1/17/1822 - 11/4/1883
New Alexandria Union Cemetery
Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General.
A mercantile businessman in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, he was prominent in the pre-War Militia of Pennsylvania, showing an unusual talent for handling troops, so that from Lieutenant he rapidly rose to the rank of General.
Westmoreland Rogers, Fred
3/20/1928 - 2/27/2003
Unity Cemetery
Educator, Television Show HoSt. He hosted the educational children's program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" from 1968 to 2000.

Pennsylvania Cemeteries

Cemetery Name Cemetery City
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery Annville
Chestnut Ridge and Schellsburg Union Church and Cemetery Bedford County
God's Acre Bethlehem
National Cemetery of the Alleghenies Bridgeville
Eden Cemetery Collingdale
Easton Cemetery Easton
Erie Cemetery Erie
Trinity Cemetery Erie
Gettysburg National Cemetery Gettysburg
East Harrisburg Cemetery Harrisburg
Harrisburg Cemetery Harrisburg
Vine St. Cemetery Hazleton
Oakland Cemetery Indiana
Grandview Cemetery Johnstown
Cedar Lawn Cemetery Lancaster
Monongahela Cemetery Monongahela City
Slate Hill Cemetery Morrisville
Washington Crossing National Cemetery Newtown
Fairview Cemetery Pen Argyl
Providence Quaker Cemetery and Chapel Perryopolis
Cedar Hill Cemetery Philadelphia
Christ Church Burial Ground Philadelphia
Greenwood Cemetery Philadelphia
Har Nebo Cemetery Philadelphia
Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia
Magnolia Cemetery Philadelphia
Mikveh Israel Cemetery Philadelphia
Mount Moriah Cemetery Philadelphia
Mount Peace Cemetery Philadelphia
Odd Fellows Cemetery Philadelphia
Allegheny Cemetery Pittsburgh
Greenwood Cemetery Pittsburgh
St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery Pittsburgh
St. Paul's Union Church and Cemetery Ringtown
Homewood Cemetery Squirrel Hill
Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church and Cemetery Stroudsburg
Weatherly Cemetery Weatherly
Resurrection Cemetery Wescosville
Lobb's Cemetery and Yohogania County Courthouse Site West Elizabeth
Wildwood Cemetery Williamsport

Pennsylvania Cemeteries & Graveyards Links

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