A Look at the New Find A Grave Website

A Look at the New Find A Grave Website

Here’s a quick look at the new Find A Grave website and how to search it for your ancestors' gravestone photos and burial information.

Find A Grave, the free burial database now owned by Ancestry.com, has switched over to its new look. (But you still can click a link to go back to the old site, at least for the time being.)

Here’s a before (left)-and-after:

New Find A Grave


The switchover is to the dismay of some longtime, dedicated users, according to comments on Find A Grave’s Facebook page.  This March 2017 post from the Ancestry Insider gives the reason behind the changes, as explained by Find A Grave manager Peter Drinkwater.

The vintage 1990s code needed modernizing for better security and site maintenance, as well as compatibility with modern devices. Ancestry also wanted to make the site available in other languages.

I’m not a member of Find A Grave. I mainly use it when searching for burial information, usually via a link in search results on another genealogy website.

Coming at things from that perspective, here’s a quick look at the new Find A Grave and how to search it.

Search Burials on the New Find A Grave

1. Search for a memorial here. A surname is required, but you can leave off the first and middle names.

For birth and death, a year range isn’t available. But you can narrow results by typing the year before the earliest possible birth year and selecting After from the dropdown menu. (Or enter the year after the latest possible birth year and choose Before.)

Enter the cemetery location if you know it, and select the best-fitting place from the type-ahead menu that appears.

Find A Grave Search

2. Click More Search Options to search on a partial last name, include nicknames or maiden names, look for burials added in the past one, seven, 30 or 90 days, and more.

3. These links let Find A Grave members submit memorials, add or transcribe gravestone photos, or access the Forums.

4. Click here to watch tutorials or submit feedback about the site.

Your Find A Grave Search Results

5. Click an X by a term to remove it from your search (much quicker than returning to the search screen). If I remove the death in 1923, for example, the results will change to include all Seegers born after 1850 and buried in Ohio.

6. Click on a name to see details on that person.

Find A Grave Search

Viewing a Find A Grave Memorial

7. On a Find A Grave memorial page, you could see the following information (not every memorial includes every item):

  • the cemetery name and location
  • a gravestone photo
  • information from the gravestone
  • GPS coordinates
  • the memorial ID (which you’ll want to include with source information in your family tree)
  • biographical information (which this memorial doesn’t include)
  • links to view other Find A Grave memorials with this surname in the same cemetery, county, state, country or anywhere.

Find A Grave Memorial Page

8. You can save the memorial to a person in your Ancestry family tree or to Virtual Cemetery (which requires a Find A Grave account), copy it for pasting into a document, or to print it with the photo and source citation. (The printing option also lets you save the memorial page as a PDF, depending on your printer.)

If you have a Find A Grave account, you can suggest corrections and additions to the memorial owner.

9. Find A Grave members also can add or request gravestone photos.

Learn about websites and other resources to help with your cemetery research in The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide: How to Find, Record and Preserve Your Ancestors’ Graves (Family Tree Books).

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  1. Judging by the comments. The new website isn’t a hit.
    In fact it seems like a unbelievably bad failure.
    I can already see the next magazine cover
    “Worst Website Redesign of 2017”
    -25 reasons why
    It would be a big seller.

  2. The issue I have with the “new” site is searching capabilities. If you are narrowing down on, e.g. McCown surname in Arkansas for example, it is difficult to do. If you are narrowing down to a cemetery in a county in Texas, it is difficult to do. Also the quality of photos seem to be smaller in the transferred memorials. I have invested a lot of time and $ sponsoring memorials of family and favorite friends over the years. If links are done, it is/was a quality site. Granted things need security and upgrading, but keep good searching options open.

  3. The new site is too cluttered, and should be easier for transition from the old site to the new site. I find the new site more difficult to manipulate. Still have not figured out why you could not have kept the old format instead of have to make it look like a desiigner frilled site, with little if any benefit to the user.

  4. I have used the so-called new FaG Internet website.
    THe new website is not as good, user friendly, as the original FaG website. Another example of what happens when IT personnel state that they can improve the site. The same thing happened to the original Family Tree Maker program. Programmers made it too complicated, so myself
    and others went to Roots Magic. Too many so-called intelligent
    website developers screw-it-up. If it is not broken, don’t screw with it.

  5. I would like to create a memorial for my brother, who passed away 4, 29, 2018. I HAVE CREATED SEVERAL MEMORIALS ON YOU OLD SYSTEM, BUT CAN NOT WORK THE NEW SYSTEM. I’M VERY CONFUSED


    • Hi Norma,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. We have no affiliation with Find a Grave, so unfortunately I won’t be able to help you with your memorial. You’ll need to reach out to them directly.