Check Out Our Genealogy Blog »

What to Do if your Relative's Memorial is Already on Find A Grave

What to Do if Your Relative's Memorial is Already on Find A Grave  Find more genealogy blogs at can be very emotional when their has been a death in their family. This is understandable, of course, and something that almost everyone has experienced. Genealogists may want to create a memorial for their loved one on Find A Grave. What can you do if you discover that someone else has already posted a memorial for that relative?

Heather Collins is a genealogist who writes for the Young and Savvy Genealogists blog. She wrote a very eye-opening post titled “Does this couple in Missouri own your relatives on Find a Grave, too?” It is about what happened when she decided to post a memorial of her father-in-law on Find A Grave.

She discovered that strangers, people who were not related to her father-in-law at all, had created a memorial page for him. It included a photo of the deceased that the strangers took from a newspaper. It also included information from the father-in-law’s obituary (that had been published in a newspaper). This memorial was created only a few days after the funeral.

To get the full story, you should take a moment to read the article written by Heather Collins. She describes all of the emotions that she, and her husband, felt after discovering the memorial that had been hastily posted by people who were not family members.

Her experience is something genealogists should keep in mind before they create online memorials for people that they are not related to and had never met. It is possible that a genealogist would do that with the best of intentions – to record important information on behalf of the deceased person’s family who might not be able to do so themselves. At the same time, doing so could cause emotional harm to the living relatives of the person who the memorial is about.

What can you do if you discover that your relative’s memorial has already been posted at Find a Grave?There is more than one option open to genealogists who find themselves in that situation. There is a helpful FAQ at Find a Grave that has further details.

One option is to simply let the memorial be. This may be a good solution for genealogists who are not very internet-savvy and who are unconcerned that a stranger has created the memorial. Find A Grave points out that it is possible to correct errors in memorial data (even by a person who did not create the page).

Another option is to attempt to get that memorial transferred to you. Transfer requests will only be allowed for direct relatives of the deceased (within four generations). A memorial can be transferred to the deceased person’s siblings, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Transfers are not required for people who are not a direct relative within four generations.

Image by Michael Coppens on Flickr.

Related Articles at

* A Memorial Album

* Fold3 has Created a Military Honor Wall

* Find A Grave

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.