Burial and Cemetery Records
County Indigent Burial Records
Starting in 1885, Michigan law mandated that each county pay for the burial of soldiers and sailors of the Civil War, and the wives and widows of such sailors and soldiers, if their personal and real estate was below a certain amount (which changed over time.)
Genesee County, MI Indigent Burial
Record, Courtesy of the Sloan
Museum, Flint, Michigan.
Each Michigan County generally kept a register of these burials that showed the veteran’s military service, residence, date of death, and burial location. It was often the case that the veteran was buried in an unmarked grave because of financial reasons. These volumes are valuable sources for finding the last resting places of these soldiers. Occasionally, the county would pay for burial of the soldier / widow in another county or state.
Some of these books have been transcribed and published by local genealogical societies, very few have been put online:
The State Archives of Michigan has a number of these volumes in their collections, see their Circular No. 27 – Military Records III: Local for a listing. Finally, check with the local county clerk to see if these records still exist and are available for research.
Sons of Union Veterans Graves Registration Database
The Sons of Union Veterans, Department of Michigan Graves Registration Database lists the known final resting places of Michigan Civil War veterans and any Civil War veterans from other states buried in the State of Michigan. The database receives quarterly updates as more graves are located.
Additionally, the National Organization of the SUVCW has a Graves Registration Database of burial locations from across the country.
The Roll of Honor
Printed shortly after the end of the war, the 27 volumes of the Roll of Honor detail the names of over 200,000 Union soldiers who were buried in national cemeteries, soldiers' lots, and garrison cemeteries. It was published volume by volume as battlefield sites were surveyed, graves exhumed, and bodies identified and reburied. Information given includes the soldier's name, rank, regiment, company, date of death, and place of burial.
United States., Roll of honor. Names of soldiers who died in defence of the American union, interred in the national [and other] cemetaries. (Washington: Gov't. print. off., 1865-1871).
Index to the Roll of Honor
The Roll of Honor is a useful resource, but its arrangement by state and cemetery always made searching difficult. The Index to the Roll of Honor contain the names, in alphabetical order, of the almost 229,000 Union soldiers listed in the original 27 volumes.
The index is available at many genealogical libraries, such as the Library of Michigan, and some commercial online vendors, such as Ancestry.com.
Martha. Reamy, William. Reamy, and Mark. Hughes, Index to the Roll of honor (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1995).
The Unpublished Roll of Honor
From the Publisher: "This "Unpublished" Roll of Honor is based largely on materials Mr. Hughes discovered at the National Archives, including records of national cemeteries omitted from the original series, records of headstone requests (often for soldiers who were buried in private cemeteries), and records of post cemeteries that eluded the original compilers. All told, something like 8,500 men are listed here with (usually) their rank, company, and unit. The data is arranged by state and therein alphabetically by cemetery, and all names are conveniently listed in the index. Following the lead of the original Roll of Honor..., this work also includes the names of soldiers who were buried in post cemeteries on the western frontier, and it sometimes lists the names of civilians who were buried in post cemeteries--usually soldiers' wives or children."
Mark. Hughes, The Unpublished Roll of Honor (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1996).
US Veterans Administration Gravesite Locator
The Gravesite Locator contains the “burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.” While they state they do not have information available for burials prior to 1997, they do have listings for Civil War graves in National Cemeteries. Additionally, if the Civil War Veteran received a new headstone sometime after 1997, they will be listed in this database.
Michigan in the War
Created by Civil War enthusiast Don Harvey, Michigan in the War contains a wealth of information on Michigan regiments during the war and burial locations of Michigan Veterans.
At The Bentley Historical Library
Michigan Civil War Centennial Observance Commission., “Michigan Civil War Centennial Observance Commission, Graves Registration Committee register, 1966.,” 1966. Register of the graves of Michigan Civil War soldiers listed alphabetically by county.