There is a project underway in Utah called the Utah Cemetery Project. It is meant as a means of recording certain information about each cemetery in the state. That information includes: Cemetery Name, Ownership, Number of Burials, Age of Cemetery, Location of Cemetery.
To date, the project has inventoried more than 286 cemeteries across the state. Thousands of people who are buried in cemeteries throughout the state are listed in an online database. The Utah State Archives and the FHL each contain helpful cemetery records and resources, but they are incomplete. The “Cemetery Records at the Utah State Archives” is available to researchers online. As for the FHL records, they can be searched according to county and then town within that county. The FHL also has a listing by Jaussi and Chaston of cemetery sexton and funeral home records on file.
Presently the Utah cemetery records system is in the process of being worked on. As with many states, trying to preserve the Utah cemetery records is a continuous project but one that is important to preserving history. While using these Utah cemetery records can be very useful for working on genealogy projects, they are also crucial to maintaining the rich history of a state. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations
Creating a database for Utah cemetery records is important but can take a great deal of time. If you are planning on using only an online search to track down the records you want, then you should be aware of the fact that this can bring you the best results or make it more complicated. As people work to update the systems to be current, there is still much to be done. Not to mention these Utah cemetery records are often times as useful for genealogy charts as other types of vital records if not more so.
How It Works
You can use Utah cemetery records on your own to find what you need. However, there may be times when you run into issues that can cause problems. Trying to conduct the search online is the easiest approach but may not always provide you with the results you wanted. Of course, sometimes it is as simple as having a name spelled wrong or not having the right county. Utah cemetery records can be helpful but only if you have the data correct to use.
When you look for Utah cemetery records, keep in mind that having the county is one of the more important details you need for success. You can try doing a statewide search or using national cemeteries for your Utah cemetery records, but otherwise it comes down to having the right county.
Keep in mind the county a person lived in may not be the county they were laid out for their final resting place. In fact, some people are returned to their original hometown in another state for their burial. Utah cemetery records can still be an extremely useful tool to use for your genealogy and family tree work.
Research In Utah Cemetery Records
The Utah Cemetery Project attempted to survey all cemeteries in the State of Utah, recording name, location, and ownership information as well as the age of the cemetery and number of burials. Over 286 cemeteries have been inventoried. A computer database contains the names and burial locations of thousands buried in Utah’s cemeteries. An online database is available to researchers at <http://history.utah.gov/Library/burials.html>. Good, although by no means complete, sources for cemetery records can be found at the FHL and the Utah State Archives.
In the FHL catalog check: Utah/
[County]/[Town]/Cemetery listings first, then individual counties. The Utah State Archives has created an online research guide, “Cemetery Records at the Utah State Archives” <http://archives.utah.gov/referenc/referen.htm>. Jaussi and Chaston also list a number of sources for death records from funeral homes and cemetery sexton’s records in the FHL.
Famous People Buried in Utah Cemeteries
Name / Date / Cemetery
Smith, Joseph Fielding 11/13/1838 – 11/19/1918 Salt Lake City Cemetery
Joseph F. led The Church of Jesus Christ of Lattter-day Saints into the first two decades of the twentieth century and was the first President of the Church to be born by LDS parents, a son of Hyrum Smith and Mary Fielding Smith and a nephew of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Singleton, Elmer 6/26/1918 – 1/5/1996 Plain City Cemetery
Major League Baseball Player. The right-hander pitched sporadically for the Boston Braves (1945-46), Pittsburgh Pirates (1947-48), Washington Senators (1950) and Chicago Cubs (1957-59). When he was 18-8 for Seattle of Pacific Coast League in 1956, the Cubs traded third baseman Don Hoak, pitcher Warren Hacker and outfielder Pete Whisenant on Nov. 13, 1956 to the Cincinnati Reds for Singleton and third baseman Ray Jablonski.
Young, Brigham 6/1/1801 – 8/29/1877 Salt Lake City Cemetery
Religious Leader. Second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormons. He is revered today by his followers for his wisdom and leadership in the building of the Mormon Church in Utah. He is controversial for his belief in plural marriage and his role in the late 1850s in a dispute with the Federal Government.
Rockwell, Orrin Porter 1813 – 1878 Salt Lake City Cemetery
Bodyguard to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. On Christmas, 1843, he was given a blessing by Joseph Smith. Smith said that as long as he never cut his hair ‘…no bullet or blade can harm thee..’
Stewart, Ora Pate 8/23/1910 – 2/10/1990 Provo City Cemetery
Author/composer, honored by four different U.S. Presidents; Laurette of Performing Arts; Composer of the Year in 1982.
Nofsinger, Terry 7/13/1938 – 10/2/2007 Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
Professional Football Player. Born William Terry Nofsinger in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a quarterback for seven seasons (1961 to 1967) in the National Football League, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. After playing at Utah during his college years, Nofsinger was drafted in the seventeenth round by the Steelers where he served as backup to future hall of fame quarterback Bobby Layne.
Old Ephraim – 8/22/1923 Cache National Forest
Utah Folk Grizzly Bear. The legend of this rogue animal began after it was deemed the grizzly bear was extinct in the state of Utah eliminated by hunters both for sport and a nuisance. In the early part of the 1900’s, this bear was already legendary because of his rampaging in a wide area between Utah and Idaho, especially the Cache Forest region of Utah.
Peek, Kim 11/11/1951 – 12/19/2009 Holladay Memorial Park
Kim Peek was an American prodigious savant known as a megasavant. He had a photographic or eidetic memory, but also social developmental disabilities, possibly resulting from congenital brain abnormalities. He was the inspiration for the character of Raymond Babbitt, played by Dustin Hoffman, in the movie Rain Man. He was not autistic and likely had FG syndrome.
Friberg, Arnold 12/21/1913 – 7/1/2010 Salt Lake City Cemetery
Painter. A realist who specialized in historical and religious subjects, he is probably best remembered for his 1975 portrait of George Washington, “The Prayer at Valley Forge”. Raised in Arizona from age three, he was employed as a sign painter in his teens and then trained at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Moving to New York City in 1940, he studied at the Grand Central School of Art, where his fellow students included Norman Rockwell.
Fullmer, Don 2/21/1939 – 1/28/2012 South Jordan Cemetery
Professional Boxer. A top contender of the Middleweight Division during the 1960s, he matched skills with a bounty full of the greatest fighters of his era. The younger brother of Gene and Jay Fullmer, accomplished fighters in their own right, his association with boxing could be traced back to when he was five and fought an amateur bout.
Harmon, Carlyle 1/17/1905 – 3/24/1997 Provo City Cemetery
Invented disposable diapers
Farnsworth, Philo Taylor 8/19/1906 – 3/11/1971 Provo City Cemetery
Inventor. He is best remembered for his contributions to television, radar, and the nuclear industry. Born in Beaver, Utah, he became interested in science and technology at age 12, when his father moved the family to Rigby, Idaho, where the family worked a farm. Young Philo’s interest in electronics started with a long distance telephone call to a relative, and was further peaked by the discovery of a large box of technology magazines in the attic of the family’s new home.
Utah Cemeteries(search.ancestry.com) This database contains information for more than 500 cemeteries in Utah. Details included cemetery name, address, directions, cemetery owner, contact information, number of burials, date established and more.
Utah Cemetery Inventory(search.ancestry.com) This database is an inventory of many of the cemeteries in Utah. There are currently 250 cemeteries included in the work, encompassing more than 350,000 burial records. Researchers may find information about birth and death dates for their ancestors who were buried in Utah.