During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.
Where do I find a missing cemetery? Grandfather missing after 1880. Cinti Ohio.
Is it your grandfather's burial place that is lost, or do you know the name of a cemetery and can't find it in the place where you think it should be? It is difficult to answer this question. If your grandfather went missing after 1880, we may not be dealing with a missing cemetery. The loss of the 1890 census makes it difficult to locate people in the twenty-year period from 1880 to 1900. Check city directories, death records, church records, land and court records, for the area where you believe he lived. If he left the area, the search becomes even more difficult, but there are an increasing number of statewide and local death record indexes online. A very good website to check is deathindexes.com.
If you know your ancestor's death and you have a cemetery name, but you can't find the cemetery, then indeed, it would appear the cemetery, not your grandfather, is missing. The cemetery may have changed its name. Check compiled cemetery transcription books for the county where your ancestor died. There may be a published cemetery directory for the county compiled by a local historical or genealogical society. Check with the Registry of Deeds or a local funeral home in the county, to see if there is another name for the cemetery. Some rural cemeteries have, in fact, gone missing. Although it is illegal, sometimes these cemeteries are plowed over and the stones buried to make room for more farm land. While such activity is illegal, it happens occasionally to small family cemeteries.