Over the weekend I went a couple adventures with my sister and her husband, both of whom have caught the spirit of Elijah and are obsessed with family history. There’s no problem with that, especially when they tell me the stories and share their findings with me. So, over the weekend we went on an adventure to five different cemeteries searching for the gravesites of our ancestors from two generations ago to seven generations ago. We went to the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Springville City Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, Spanish Fork City Cemetery, Vine Bluff Cemetery in Nephi, and the Brigham Young family cemetery. Since we were in Utah cemeteries, we found many gravesites of important Mormon leaders and pioneers including 13 presidents of the LDS Church, wild-west lawman Porter Rockwell, architect Truman Angell, artist John Hafen, poetess Eliza R. Snow, and songwriters W.W. Phelps and William Clayton.
In Utah, it isn’t that difficult to find out where your ancestors are buried. There is a database on the Utah State website for all of the cemeteries in the state. That site also tells you where in the cemetery they are for Salt Lake City cemeteries. Many of the other cemeteries, especially if city operated, have websites with databases to find where people are buried. From what my brother-in-law told me, some other states have similar burial databases but in many places it would be on a county or city website.
It is fun to search out your ancestors and wander through old cemeteries. I really liked having to hunt down some of our ancestors when we didn’t know exactly how the cemetery was laid out because I got to see really cool headstones like the ones below. Unfortunately, many of the really old headstones are very weathered because they are sandstone. The Salt Lake City Cemetery has has maps available at their office of the cemetery and where famous people are buried. The Vine Bluff Cemetery had a nice directory at it as well, so it was easy to find right where we needed to go. We did have plot numbers for some of the other cemeteries but there were no visible numbers or signs telling us what sections or plats we were at.
Have fun finding your family and take pictures for family records. To make it more fun, learn stories about the people you are searching for or go with someone who knows some so you can really get to know who you found. Check out my Adventure Patches Map on Google Maps to find out where these cemeteries are.
Now go and have your own genealogical adventure.