Cheryl Rothwell is our guest writer for this article. She is the Logan County, IL coordinator for Illinois Gen Web site. She also hosts the genealogy blog “Ancestor Hunting”. I wish to thank her for her article contribution.
Symbols on tombstones have you confused? There are many sites with information on the symbols found on tombstones. Like everything else in genealogy, the information should be doublechecked but here are some places to start:
Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Records
Cemetery Art & Symbolism
Here's a encyclopedic site with all sorts of information on subjects like tombstones, illnesses, occupations, etc.: GENEALOGY ENCYCLOPEDIA
California Death Index: 1940-1997
Illinois Death Records, 1916-1950, some pre 1916
Kentucky Death Index: 1911-2000
Maine Death Index: 1960-1997
Texas Death Index: 1964-1998
Social Security Death Index
If you don't find it in a basic search move up to the advanced search. Try using only the first letter of the given name. If you enter "Robert Smith" and for some reason the death record was entered as "R. D. Smith" it won't find it using Robert.
How to Find a Place
Once you find it -- and this includes cemeteries, towns, schools, etc. -- you can click on a link and get a map of the location.
Find a Grave
Graves of the rich and famous -- or infamous -- and a few others.
If the cemetery listing is online there is a link to it. In this database you search by location and then by cemetery.
In this database you search by location and then by surname.
Obituary Daily Times
There are some great newspapers archives -- which of course include obituaries -- on Heritage Quest, part of ProQuest, a subscription database which may well be available through your local library. If it is not ask for it. Your library may also have a subscription to the Ancestry databases. Do not overlook these resources which become free when you get them at your local library.
Remember, the internet is fluid and URLs do change. I have tried to pick the most stable locations for this information but that doesn't always work.