Newfoundland Cemetery Resources
The page provides information about various cemetery resources for Newfoundland, and it offers suggestions about what might be done next in your research. No individual source including StonePics is perfect, and those available should be used in conjunction with each other. For example, you might use the StonePics database to determine the year and location of a headstone to help locate the death and/or burial record in the archives.
The Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
The society has a fine collection of cemetery transcripts, much of which includes drawings of the headstones. There are several important advantages to using this collection:
- Many of the transcripts were recorded years ago when the stones were more readable than they were when photographed by StonePics.
- There are records for stones that fell over and became buried long before the StonePics photographers visited the cemeteries.
- There are transcripts from many cemeteries on outer islands that may never be visited by StonePics.
Newfoundland's Grand Banks Genealogy Site has the largest and most comprehensive website on the internet for Newfoundland genealogy. It includes a large collection of individual cemetery transcripts, the advantages of which are:
The disadvantage is that some cemeteries have a high percentage of transcript errors. The transcripts came from many sources, and their quality depends heavily on the individual transcribers who performed the work.
- They well organized, well maintained, and available for immediate use!
- All information is free.
The Rooms, Provincial Archives (St. John's, Newfoundland and
Labrador, Canada) has a large collection of church burial records. They provide the most comprehensive list of names of people who were buried in cemeteries regardless of whether or not the individual had a headstone erected. Two disadvantages of burial records are:
The archive also contains government death records (Vital Statistics) beginning with the year 1891. Two great advantages of these are records:
- They don't include people who were lost at sea and are not actually buried in the cemetery,
- Some of the records no longer exist.
The disadvantage is that the process of finding an individual record is cumbersome.
- They tend to provide a lot of genealogy information,
- They include all religions,
- They are comprehensive for the years available.
StonePics has a large collection of headstone photographs representing about 99% of the headstones in Newfoundland. The StonePics database provides an excellent method of locating stones and cemeteries.
Some advantages of StonePics:
Some disadvantages of StonePics:
- Represents all religious denominations and years of burial,
- Includes monuments and memorials,
- Transcript errors that exist in the database can generally be resolved by looking at the photos.
- Does not include many of the remotely located cemeteries,
- Does not include names of people buried in a cemetery without a marker.
Newspapers and church bulletins for Newfoundland are a source worth checking. Old newspapers that survived long enough to be microfilmed can generally be expected to have very little in the form of an obituary as we know them today. Unless the person was very well known or the circumstances of death were extraordinary, an old newspaper obituary is unlikely to include much more than a name and date of death. A church bulletin might have a whole paragraph. The United Church has an archive in St. John's. The Salvation Army records for Canada are kept in the church archive in Toronto.
Foreign Death Certificates - If a family member died in another country, then look for a death certificate there. Many young Newfoundlanders went to Boston and New York to work in construction around the year 1900. Old death certificates in the Boston area include mother's maiden name and her place of birth!