Genealogy Friday: 9 Essential Items for Cemetery Walking

posted in: Cemetery | 0
Dog Treats may come in handy
Dog Treats may come in handy






The other day I was walking an old family cemetery, that is in a residential community.   The dog living next door quickly let me know I was not welcome.  Thankfully I was finishing up and able to leave before the dog harmed me.  However, it made me think of some items needed when walking cemeteries.


  1. Camera—a good camera is always essential for taking pictures of the grave{s} you are seeking
  2. Doogie Treats—we often don’t know when we may run into unwanted or unexpected visitors.  Having a treat to distract the animal is always a good idea.
  3. Cellphone—this may be a no brainer, but today we live in a dangerous society.  This is a great reason for two reasons.  The first is as protection if you were to run into unfortunate trouble.  The second would be if you have an iPhone, for Map Questing capabilities.
  4. Water and a cloth—this is a great way to clean off dirty tombstone and be able to read them better.  You can decide if paper towels or a cotton cloth would work best for you.
    You can make a tombstone rubbing with a sheet of paper and some chalk
    You can make a tombstone rubbing with a sheet of paper and some chalk
  5. Hand Shovel—often cemeteries are grown up and you may want to clean around your loved one’s grave.
  6. Paper and Chalk to create a grave rubbing of the grave.  Most cemeteries prefer that you not leave chalk or shaving cream residue on the grave.
  7. A Map of the Cemetery—if the cemetery is a large cemetery you may need to stop at the office to get directions to the grave.  This is a great time to inquire about the cemetery policies.
  8. Gloves—if you want to keep your hands clean while cleaning graves, gloves is a great idea.  You may also want to think about other protective gear, such as a hat, if you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time in the cemetery.
  9. Walking shoes—walking shoes is a great idea for dealing with the uneven ground, rocks, hills and other obstacles you may encounter.

I often see comments from other family historians about frustrations with the cemetery.  Before you begin your journey through the cemetery, you probably will want to check with the cemetery office to inquire about their policies and rules.  If nothing else, this may prevent any frustrations or hassles in the future.



Leave a Response: What items do you take on your cemetery visits?

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