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Genealogy and Family History

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond: resources and services for genealogists


Cemetery records and monumental inscriptions are a very valuable source of genealogical information as they frequently include dates of birth and death as well as the names of spouses, children and other family members.

Monumental inscriptions refers to information inscribed on headstones at burial sites.

Cemetery records refers to registers of burial, which often contain more detailed information than found on headstones. Registers of burial are maintained by both churches and privately owned cemeteries.

Some persons were buried without a headstone or the inscription has become illegible. The headstone may also have been removed or destroyed. Their name may nonetheless be found in cemetery records.

When consulting published cemetery transcriptions or searching cemetery databases, it is not always clear whether they are derived from headstones or from burial registers.

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions


Resources at the Vancouver Public Library

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions in Print

Inscriptions on gravestones in many B.C. cemeteries have been transcribed and published by genealogical societies. The Vancouver Public Library collection includes a large number of cemetery transcriptions. These are located both on Level 6 and in Special Collections (Level 7) at the Central Library.

The best way to locate cemetery transcriptions at the Vancouver Public Library is to use the Library Catalogue. Try one of the following search strategies:

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions on CD-ROM

Vancouver Public Library has a number of Reference CD-ROMs containing cemetery records and monumental inscriptions. Please request on Level 6.

Online Resources

BillionGraves,  Canadian Headstones and Find A Grave cover many other British Columbia cemetaries.

A large amount of genealogical data from B.C. cemeteries has been posted online by local organizations. Standards, organization and features vary greatly from one source to another:


Abbotsford Genealogical Society: Abbottsford Cemeteries
Includes Aberdeen, Hazelwood, MacLure Road, Mount Lehman, Musselwhite,  and South Popular cemeteries.


Abbotsford Genealogical Society: Agassiz Cemeteries
Includes  Valley View and Kent Municipal (Old Cemetery) cemeteries.

British Columbia

British Columbia Cemetery Finding Aid
This database includes references to over 344,000 interments in the province. Each search result provides the name of the individual, the cemetery in which they are buried, the location, the region and a reference code. The reference code can be used to order further details from the organization – usually a genealogical society – that contributed the information to the database.

Burns Lake & Lakes District

Burns Lake & Lakes District
Information from cemeteries in Burns Lake, Cheslatta, Danskin, Endako, Francois Lake, Grassy Plains, Ootsa Lake, Skins Lake, Streatham, Tatalrose and Wistaria.


Abbotsford Genealogical Society: Chilliwack Cemeteries
Includes  Carmen United, Greendale, St. Mary’s, Vedder View Gardens and Yarrow Cemetery.


Courtenay Civic Cemetery

Fraser Valley

Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia: Genealogical Resources: Cemetery Lists
Includes Greendale, South Poplar and Yarrow cemeteries.


Horsefly Cemeteries
Includes Harpers Lease, the Roman Catholic Cemetery and the Horsefly Cemetery.


Pleasant Street Cemetery


Voices from the Grave: Langley’s Cemeteries
Searchable database of records from Fort Langley Cemetery and Murrayville Cemetery.

Okanagan, South

Cemeteries Site of the South Okanagan
Extensive website covering many South Okanagan communities.

Prince George

Prince George and Area Cemeteries
Transcriptions of Prince George local and surrounding areas cemeteries.


Transcriptions from the Historic Catholic Cemetery of Sacred Heart Catholic Parish.


Saltspring Island Cemetery Records
Databases of cemetery information for Ganges, St. Marks and Purdy-Cunningham Memorial Cemetery.


Old Trail Cemetery
Transcriptions from the South side of Old Trail Cemetery. Duplicate information found in Trail Cemeteries below.

Trail Cemeteries
Records of Old Trail Cemetery and Mountain View Cemetery in the City of Trail.


Burials at Mountain View includes an alphabetical list of interments.  The current site is City of Vancouver: Mountain View Cemetery . The British Columbia Genealogical Society holds additional material in their library that may include burials not listed on the web.

Vernon & District

Vernon & District Family History Society: Cemetery Listings
Covers all of the major and many of the smaller cemeteries in the Arrow Lakes, Central Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap, North Okanagan and Thompson-Nicola areas of British Columbia.


City of Victoria: Ross Bay Cemetery Search


Resources at the Vancouver Public Library

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions in Print

The Vancouver Public Library collection holds very few published compilations of monumental inscriptions from outside B.C. The best way to locate the few that are available at the Vancouver Public Library is to use the Library Catalogue. Try one of the following search strategies:

cemeteries [city/town] [province/territory] - e.g. cemeteries toronto ontario 
inscriptions [province/territory] [name of place] - e.g. inscriptions osgoode ontario 
[name of cemetery] [name of place] [province/territory] - e.g. st. michael's cemetery toronto ontario

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions on CD-ROM

The Vancouver Public Library collection includes a multi-disk set of genealogical information from Alberta cemeteries on CD-ROM titled AFHS Digital Library. Please request on Level 6.

Beyond the Vancouver Public Library
Genealogical information from Canadian cemeteries is widely available in print and on the Internet. A useful starting point to locating this information is Library and Archives Canada's Deaths, Cemeteries and Wills web page. BillionGravesCanadian Headstones and Find A Grave cover many Canadian cemeteries.


BillionGraves allows users to share headstone photographs they've collected from their local cemetery, transcribe information from uploaded headstone photos, search for ancestors' graves and access headstone records, photographs of headstones, and grave location information.

Find A Grave
Find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials, add 'virtual flowers' and a note to a loved one's grave, and more.