Genealogical Research Services

January 1, 2019

Mount Auburn Cemetery maintains a unique and historically significant Archive containing burial records dating back to 1831 for over 100,000 individuals. Mount Auburn Cemetery is pleased to assist you with genealogy and research requests. Genealogical researchers do not have access to original materials.

Please note: Privacy laws and Cemetery policy restrict the examination of records that are less than 70 years old. Mount Auburn does make some exceptions for family members.


Mount Auburn’s Historical Collections department offers a variety of free and fee-based research services ranging from the verification of burial and/or cremation to more comprehensive searches in the Cemetery’s historic records and lot correspondence files. Research fees cover the time required to look for information; the fees do not guarantee that there will be information to share.

Read more about our research services

Verification of Burial/Cremation and Location

With the name of the deceased (first, middle, last) and approximate date of death, Mount Auburn will confirm an individual’s burial or cremation at the Cemetery. Verification will include the date of cremation or burial, the name as it appears in Cemetery’s records, and the age at the time of death as it was reported to Cemetery. In the case of burial at the Cemetery, the verification will also include the burial location.

Please note: you can also obtain this information by searching our online burial records.

Copy of Cemetery Map
Fee: $2

A printed map of the Cemetery will be marked with the lot or grave location and mailed to you via USPS. This is not a verification of burial or cremation or location of burial request – you must know the exact name, date, and lot number to obtain a marked map.

Mount Auburn’s lots are not numbered sequentially along roads and paths; they are numbered in the order sold, so finding a specific lot may be difficult without a marked map. Maps may also be purchased at the Cemetery for $1.

Copy of Cemetery Lot Card

The 9×12” Lot Diagram Card is one of the most comprehensive Cemetery records. It includes basic information such as lot size and location as well as information specific to those buried within a lot.

Please note: lot cards are only for family lots or tombs—and not for graves purchased in public or corporation lots.

Copy of Decedent Card
Fee: $5

Also known as the “roll call of the dead,” this is a small typed card generated by the Cemetery that includes, at a minimum, the name and age of the deceased, the person who authorized the burial or cremation, and the location of the burial. The card may also include the cause of death, the name of the undertaker (the funeral director), and the relationship of the authorizing person to the person who died.

Copy of Burial Records
Fee: $20

From one to many documents, burial records are handwritten or typed entries on printed forms, showing date and place of death, age at death, and (usually) cause of death. These records may also indicate where the person had been living before death.

Digital Photograph of Lot, Monument, or Marker
Feee: $25

Mount Auburn staff is equipped to take digital pictures of the lot, monument, crypt, or marker if requested. Images will be either emailed or printed in color and mailed. Photographs will show the current condition of the lot and, in most cases, allow inscriptions to be read. In some cases, however, inscriptions may be shaded or weathered so severely that they will be difficult or impossible to transcribe.

Search for and Copy of Historic Images or Inscriptions of Lot, Monument, or Marker
Fee: $30

For some lots, there are historic photographs or drawings, often made at the time the lot went into perpetual care, and if available, Mount Auburn can copy and provide these images.

Please note: historic photographs are generally not available for lots numbered higher than 6000.

Search of Files for Related Information
Fee: $45

Mount Auburn staff will search lot correspondence files that may contain letters to or from the persons being researched, some in the handwriting of the person or with a signature. Some files contain genealogical charts with the information as reported to the Cemetery. A few contain copies of the person’s obituary. Some may contain nothing of interest about the person, but there is no way of telling in advance. The fee is for looking.


Once you have confirmed that an individual or family is buried at Mount Auburn, you may request additional information about an individual or lot. The resulting research will be emailed or printed and mailed per your specifications.

Research requests may be made online, by mail, or in person. Please allow a minimum of three weeks for Mount Auburn to respond to your research request.

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To request research services online:

Both fee-based and free services can be requested through our online store. Fee-based services will require payment by credit card.

To request research services by email:

Research requests can be made by email, however, payment for fee-based services is required before the research is completed. To make a request by email, download and complete the Research Request Form below and email the completed form to

Please do not send your credit card information by email. To pay for your research request by credit card, please submit your research request via our store (see above).

To request research services by mail:

To make a research request by mail, please download and the Research Request Form below. The completed form and payment for any fee-based services can be sent to the mailing address included on the form.

To request research services in person:

If you are visiting the Cemetery, you may also pick up a Research Request Form from the Administrative Office or Visitors Center (located in Story Chapel).

While you may complete a research request in-person, the requested research will not be completed the same day.

To request Research Services by mail or email, please download and complete the Genealogical Research Request Form.


We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

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Can you tell me if an individual is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery?

Yes. Verification of burial and/or cremation, along with location within the Cemetery, is available at no charge.

Please complete a Request for Genealogical Information (a downloadable form is available above) or visit our store. Be sure to include the correct spelling of the individual’s full name and approximate date of death.

Do I need to know the date of death to find out if someone is buried at Mount Auburn?

No. Mount Auburn Cemetery’s records are organized alphabetically by individual last names. Often, names are repeated within families so it is likely that there are several individuals with the same names in our records. The full name and approximate date of death will, however, help to identify the correct individual.

I’m certain that my relative is buried at Mount Auburn but you say that there is no such record. What should I do?

Often, it is a good idea to check burials in the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Cambridge Cemetery, two other cemeteries located in Cambridge. See below for other genealogical resources.

Spelling errors do occur.

Can you send me a list of all the individuals buried at Mount Auburn with the same last name?

No. We do not provide this service at this time. We can, however, give you an approximate number of individuals buried here with the same last name.


In Massachusetts, birth, death, and marriage records are the responsibility of the Town Clerks in the cities and towns where they occurred. Since 1841, annual lists and reports have also been sent to the state (see below). Local historical societies and public libraries are also helpful sources of genealogical information.

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For births, deaths, and marriages of Cambridge residents and/or in Cambridge:

The City Clerk, Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 349-4260


For certified copies of certificates of birth and death that occurred in Boston, and marriage records of any couple who filed their intentions in Boston regardless of where the marriage took place, 1630-present:

City of Boston Registry Division
1 City Hall Square – Room 212
Boston, MA 02201
(617) 635-4175

For more information about burials and removals in/from Boston cemeteries:

Cemetery Division
Boston Parks Department
355 Walk Hill Street
Mattapan, MA 02126
(617) 635-7361


For registration books of births, marriages, and deaths for all Massachusetts cities and towns, 1841-1910:

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Massachusetts State Archives
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 727-2816

For copies of birth, marriage, death, and other records since 1910 in Massachusetts:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon Street, First Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125
(617) 740-2600

To inquire about the 86,000 individuals buried in 82 Boston-area Jewish cemeteries:

Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts
1320 Centre Street, Suite #306
Newton Centre, MA 02159
(617) 244-6509


The oldest genealogical society in the country is located in Boston with a research library of over 200,000 books, focusing on New England family and local history. They have Massachusetts vital records and indexes to 1900 on microfilm; and indexes for Massachusetts from 1901-1970s on microfilm.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-5740


The Mormon Church operates the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT, the largest genealogical library in the world. They have over 3,500 Family History Centers worldwide, including five in the greater Boston area:

LDS Family History Center
Weston: 150 Brown Street (781) 235-2164
Lynnfield: 400 Essex Street (781) 334-5586
Foxboro: 76 Main Street (508) 543-0298
Worcester: 67 Chester Street (508) 852-7000
Tyngsboro: Pond View Mall (978) 649-9233

Archives & Historical Collections > Researching the Collections > Genealogical Research Services

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