As all genealogists know, searching for a relative’s gravestone can be a long and frustrating process without a map or an index of the graveyard. I have spent my share of time walking around graveyards in the heat of summer searching for a name without any clue of where it might be. For instance, the stone below took me a few hours and many complaints from my parents, who I had dragged along on the expedition, to find. But find it I did.
The gravestone of Matilda Carlson Erickson, 1862-1927, in Forest Home Cemetery in Newberry, Luce County, MI.
Recently, we received copies of five CDs from Duane Hargis and the Alger County Genealogical Society that would have made this search much easier. They give indexes for all of the cemeteries in Luce, Schoolcraft, and Alger Counties, and for some cemeteries in Mackinac and Marquette Counties. There are master indexes for each county and indexes for each individual cemetery as well as maps for many of the cemeteries. There is then a Word document that gives a transcription of each grave with a plot location. For Alger County, they even included grave sites on the side of the road!
An example of what the index looks like for the example discussed above. As you can see, this is a much faster method of finding a grave than walking around aimlessly.
This is an incredible resource for genealogists tracing relatives in the Upper Peninsula, and we are thrilled to have it. For a list of the transcribed cemeteries, check out our Genealogical Resources webpage.
Want to look up a name in the index? Stop in or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Annika Peterson