Frequently Asked Questions
CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project is a free directory of known Canadian cemeteries, their names, locations, histories and where research materials can be located. Cemeteries, besides being a lasting memorial, are a valuable research tool for genealogists and family history buffs. We aim to help by bringing as much information about Canadian cemeteries to this project as possible.
Entirely! No part of CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project requires payment. Take note of our site design and colour scheme – once they change you have left our project.
Photos allow those interested to view cemeteries & headstones they may be unable to visit in person. Photos can also preserve an image of a headstone for the future. Many stones degenerate over time and become unreadable. Others are vandalized or do not stand the test of time.
Everyone involved in this project is a volunteer, including those who maintain the website. While we strive to respond to all messages within a reasonable amount of time, we work on the project during our free time (just as you visit this website during yours). This may mean there is a delay in replying to e-mails, adding information, or getting a cemetery photographed.
Please be patient when contacting us and give us a chance to answer your first message before sending a second (multiple requests do not get a quicker response). Give us a minimum of seven days for a reply (a bit longer during the summer months & holiday season). If you’ve not heard back after eight days, a second message would be welcome.
If your message was sent within the past 7 days, please be patient (see response time above). If it’s been more than 7 days, there are two possibilities:
- Your message wasn’t received. It happens, e-mail goes astray.
- Your message didn’t require a response. As volunteers we have to prioritize our free time in order to keep this site running. This means we may not respond to questions that are already answered on the website, and we don’t respond to research requests or queries (see the next question…)
No. If what you seek is available it will be on the website where you can access it yourself. Some cemeteries have lookup volunteers willing to visit and send photos via private email, please contact them directly. Project coordinators cannot do this on your behalf.
Locate the photo in question and fill out the error form on the same page as the photo. It is not our intention to disrespect anyone and will honour valid requests for removal.
It retired and was removed from the internet by its owner. We have adopted their photographs and they will be integrated into our project as they are indexed.
Each cemetery listed on our website has its own cemetery page. Each cemetery page contains all known (to us) information about that cemetery, as well as submission forms specific to that cemetery if you have information to share.
The cemetery page can be found by doing a search, then clicking on the cemetery name.
Name / Photo Pages
Each name in our name index has its own name page (also referred to as photo page if a headstone photo is available). The name/photo page is where you can view information about the person in question, any photos that may be available, and make corrections to that name.
Here is where you can see what volunteer positions are available, and what is involved. This project is a 100% volunteer effort, new volunteers are always needed and always welcome.
Updates and announcements regarding the cemetery project are made available in three places:
2. On our update blog
3. On our Facebook Page
We’re attempting to locate and map every known Canadian cemetery. Help is needed!
Using this website:
Start with searching our name indexes. If that yields no result search the cemeteries by locality and choose one in the area where you think the person in question was buried and take note of links offered under ‘genealogy resources’…
Using other resources
Many genealogy societies in Canada have transcribed their local cemeteries and made the transcripts available for purchase or loan. If a transcript is known to exist for a cemetery it will be linked on this website on the cemetery page under ‘online resources’ or ‘offline resources’. To find a genealogy society start with CanadaGenWeb or Cyndi’s List. Death registrations and newspaper death notices are additional sources that may indicate place of burial.
ALL information we currently have on each cemetery is on the website. As new information comes in it too is added to the website. If the information you seek is not yet on the website we (yet) don’t have it. Please keep checking back.
There are two possible reasons:
1. The cemetery isn’t under the name you think. Instead of looking for the cemetery name, try searching the locality where the cemetery is located.
2. We don’t have that cemetery our database. While we do have over 21,000 known Canadian cemeteries we don’t yet have them all.
Over time some cemeteries have had multiple names. As they are all important we include all the names we’re aware of.
The first name shown is the current or official name (e.g. Graham), any others that follow are local or past names.
We include all known names of a cemetery to increase the odds you will be able to locate the cemetery under any name it may have.
We do not assign cemeteries nor decide when one will be photographed. That choice is left entirely up to volunteers, what they wish to photograph, and when they have time to tackle the project.
If the cemetery you’re seeking is not yet photographed consider either a) volunteering to do it yourself, or b) volunteering to photograph a cemetery near you (there are international projects if you live outside Canada). The help you provide may encourage someone else to step up and volunteer.
Each photograph submitted is done so voluntarily at the discretion of the photographer. Some photographers are able to photograph entire cemeteries while others photograph as much as they can, or submit photos that are personal to their research.
If cemetery contact information is known, it will be on the cemetery page. Otherwise, we cannot provide contact information. You will need to use Canada 411, a search engine like Google, or call a local funeral home, memorial stone company, or the local municipality. We are a volunteer genealogy project and do not represent any cemetery.
If it’s one you created yourself, yes please! Locate the cemetery and use the submission forms available on the cemetery page.
If you own the photo and the photo has additional information or is more legible than the one currently online, yes please!
To submit your photo(s) please locate the photo you wish to replace and use the ‘replace photo’ form available on that page. This will ensure we replace the correct photo.
To ensure that the information is applied to the correct cemetery or person. To (try to) avoid confusion we have assigned a unique ID code to each cemetery and person. The forms available on each cemetery and person page have the ID code and we request this information on all our submission forms. It helps us out tremendously when there’s no confusion about what information should be added where!
Yes! If possible please scan or have them printed to CD or flash drive and send digital copies. If you’re unable to do so you can send the print photos, but please be aware that we cannot reimburse for the cost of shipping nor return the photos.
Yes, but it is only provided to those submitting materials by post. Volunteers who need a mailing address can request it from the coordinator they are corresponding with.
We don’t update the website each time a submission is received. Instead, we maximize our volunteer time by collating all submissions into our regular updates. Your submission could then appear within 1-2 updates unless it requires extra work (such as indexing). In that case it would appear in the next update after the extra work has been completed.
1. Take note of the information located on the cemetery page. There will be a notation indicating whether “some headstones” or “every headstone” are included in the index.
“Some headstones” indicates that not every headstone is included in the index and the one missing is among those not included.
If the notation indicates “every headstone” was photographed:
– Look at the year the photographer visited, if the name in question was added after their visit it won’t be in the index.
– Not all burials have headstones, if a stone isn’t available it may not be included in the index.
– Is the stone hidden? If the cemetery was visited in winter or if the cemetery is in a flood zone it’s possible the stone wasn’t visible at the time of the visit. The same goes for foliage and bushes – many times grass, bushes & trees grow around a stone obscuring it from view.
– Oversights happen. Most cemeteries are not laid out in easy to follow rows and it’s quite easy to get turned around and miss a stone or two.
2. Not all entries have photos. If the area underneath the name is blank, there is no photo. If you see a graphic like this it means there should be a photo but there is an error preventing it from appearing (if you see this graphic, please use the error form on that page to report it).
We’re happy to include missing names if you are 100% certain that person was buried in the cemetery in question. We’re also happy to include a headstone photo if you can provide one. To let us know of a missing name or to share your photo, locate the cemetery and use the submission forms available on the cemetery page.
We cannot fulfill requests for photos of specific stones. Please check the ‘genealogy resources’ part of the cemetery page, if a lookup volunteer is available they may be able to fulfill your request.
If the name of a relative appears on a stone, and it can be presumed they are deceased and not buried elsewhere in that cemetery, that name will be included in the index along with a relationship identifier:
- child of = Child of person named on stone (not indicative of age)
- erector = Name of person who erected the stone
- parent = Parent of person named on stone
- sibling = Brother or sister of person named on stone
- spouse = Husband or wife of person named on stone
This means the person is either named on more than one headstone or there is more than one photograph available. Women are also indexed under both their married and maiden names if both are known to us.
Some ages and birth years are estimates based on the information provided on the stone.
For example, a stone may have only a date of death and age at death. A birth year would be estimated by subtracting the age from the year of death.
What you see on the website is the extent of the information we currently have, we have nothing further we can send you nor can we conduct research on your behalf.
If a lookup volunteer is available their name and contact information will be visible on the cemetery page, you can contact them directly with your request. If no lookup volunteer is available, then no lookup requests are available for that cemetery at this time (check back later as a volunteer may come forward in the future).
No. Please respect the photographers who generously shared their photos by allowing them to choose where and when their photos will appear (don’t presume on their behalf). Requests to photographers are not forwarded, if they wish to post elsewhere they’ll do so without prodding.
No. Doing so violates both our policy (see the question directly above) and Find a Grave’s community rules.
If you didn’t take the photo, don’t own the photo, or don’t have prior permission from the photographer, you don’t have the right to post the photo(s) anywhere.
Photos can be used in personal research (that includes online family trees*) provided the photographer is credited as the source, and the photo is used AS IS without removing any copyright tags that may be present.
*Family trees, not other cemetery websites!