I wanted to showcase a cemetery that I believe is incredibly open to Genealogists. It has made it exceptionally easy to find graves and information about those who are buried here. One of my Grandsons is buried here. He was born and passed away in 1997. Once I discovered Find-A-Grave in about 2004 I have been photographing headstones and trying to help the family requesting the photo to fill in some blanks.
Mesa’s first small cemetery was established in 1883, following a smallpox epidemic that claimed the lives of 44 residents. As the community grew, more space was needed, and in 1891, the land was purchased along Center Street north of Brown Road for this purpose. To the north of the Cemetery office is a section dedicated to “those persons unknown buried during the Great Depression”. The area reflects on a bleak period of American history when even permanent memorials were a luxury. There are a few famous people buried here. Here are three of them.
Waylon Jennings – popular country/western singer and songwriter. Waylon Jennings grave is located on 9th Street. Park by the 1st garbage can south of B Street. Walk east 4 rows of graves to find his black granite monument.
John Lee – as Wild West entertainer “Powder River Jack”, he popularized the American folk song “Red River Valley”.
Ernesto Miranda – whose 1966 Supreme Court case resulted in the “Miranda Rule”, which requires that law enforcement officials inform individuals of their rights upon arrest.
On their website, you can access a complete list of those who are buried here. Granted the list was last updated about 3 years ago but the staff is ready to help you. Online there are 1159 pages of names! Here you will find last name, first name, date of death, the location of the grave, if there is a headstone, name of the mortuary that handled the funeral or arrangements, and the age at the time of death.
There is also a map of the cemetery that shows each section by numbered blocks. If you notice on the list of names under the location it gives a number like the following example from the last name on the list:
Alford Beatrice A 08/14/1949 0404-1-8 Yes Hausner
The number 0404-1-8 means the grave is located in Section #404 Box #1 Grave #8
The grave locale is highlighted on the following map and legend
The yellow highlighted square is section 404 which is located on 7th Street. There are round cement markers with the section number on it that is placed in the middle of it. Once you find this section you look at the block legend below and you can easily find the grave.
I am sure this isn’t the only cemetery that does this but in all my years of cemetery hunting, I have never found another one that provides this much information and location online!
Also in the State of Arizona, they have a wonderful website where you can find both birth and death certificates at http://genealogy.az.gov/. Births are from 1855-1944 and deaths are from 1870-1969.
Do you know of a cemetery that has information online? If so, please share it with me!
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.