Transferring Memorials

If you manage many Find a Grave® memorials, at some point you’ll receive a request from another member asking you to transfer management of one of those memorials to them. They may be a relative, a close family member or have some other connection to the person the memorial is for.

The goal of Find a Grave is to have the best and most correct burial and other information about the people memorialized on the site. We also want to be sensitive to family members. Our recently updated transfer guidelines try to balance these two goals. You’ll find the transfer guidelines and other information about transferring memorials on this help page.

When the time comes to pass management of a memorial along to another Find a Grave member, for whatever reason, you can transfer the memorial by clicking the down arrow next to the “Edit” button on the page, clicking “Transfer Management” and entering the Find a Grave ID of the other member. You’ll find their ID on their profile page.

60 comments

  1. This is such a positive change. The folks who create the memorial do such a service for all of us who are researching our families, but if we are related (and they are not), or if we knew the deceased personally (and they did not), we have a greater interest in making sure correct information is recorded.

    • I’m so grateful for this change. I can understand others posting older grave sites that haven’t been memorialized on Find A Grave, but to post them the day of death doesn’t give the family time to grieve and post it later themselves. Hopefully, 3 months will be long enough for most people.

      • Three months is not nearly enough for some people. There is so much grief in the beginning to deal with, and then all the funeral arrangements, people to call, so much paper work and phone calls to deal with that not many are thinking of entering their deaths on Find-A-Grave. When I did try it at 3 months, I was still dealing with so much of this but decided to give it a rest, and then find his death was already entered. The grief then was overwhelming all over again, as if it just happened.

      • I suggested before to make a “pre-need” memorial so others won’t “grab” it when the obit hits the paper. I made memorials for my parents and my husband so when the time came, I would be the creator, not some stranger.

      • in my experience you wouldn’t be erecting a memorial within 3 months of a burial, it needs time for a grave to settle.

  2. My bio shows I will transfer to anyone requesting a memorial that is not a family member of mine. I have asked for family members and often been refused. I do not understand Hoarders. For me this site is about helping others find their loved ones as this has done for me. I live in Los Angeles and the majority of my ancestors passed in Nova Scotia.

    • Hoarders were created when the Old FindaGrave gave “award” status for the ones that contributed the most!! That was an outrageous thing for them to do. So naturally, those that don’t have a life or no personal recognition would go through obits everyday and create as many as they could to be on that special list.

      • Interesting way to lookout it…I am grateful for all information that is collected.

      • I methodically photograph and memorialize whole cemeteries. I don’t consider myself a hoarder as I willingly transfer to anyone related. I just want to establish them for anyone searching for them that may not know where to start looking. I have had many messages of gratitude for ancestors they could not find.

      • I have done this also, Linda. I state in my profile that I am very willing to transfer (if I am not related) to any family member.

  3. I can’t remember asking for a transfer but have asked for some change with proof of a family member so I provide proof of that person. And as a result had a few turned over to me unasked. So many of my direct ancestors had large families and there are many cousins from them I often do not know, often have had some ask me how related just to be in touch possibly with some cousin they didn’t know. I have done the same and have found family members to add to the family history and hopefully help them along in reverse. .

  4. Door “find a grave” heb ik een graf van een familielid terug gevonden in Ontario Canada, dank u wel!!

  5. This is great news, I was so honored to be given transfers of all my grandparents, aunts and mom. With the newer guidelines I was able to also transfer a close family friend and a cousin by marriage as well. I loved and knew them and even tho there was no blood relation it’s still personal and important to me. I added more details to all of the memorials. I was so grateful and so appreciative of the men that created these memorials in the first place it was basically just three different men and over the last 15 years or so they must’ve done a ton in my area. The sweetest thing is they would leave flowers on birthdays etc. That is awesome I was so grateful that someone was remembering them before I even knew this website existed.

  6. I was surprised to have a couple of my memorials disappear. I searched and found them. I am no longer listed as the creator of the memorial but they are the ones I wrote up. I am happy to transfer to family members or close friend when asked. I was never contacted about either of these..I retain all my Find a Grave correspondence. I just wonder how that can happen with no knowledge of transfer by contributor.
    I have no problem with the transfers, I just would like to be aware it’s happening.

    • I believe the creator should still be the creator and should be notified.. The creator should be the one that transfers the memorials, and not automatically taken from them. I agree with you fully on this.

    • I created two memorials, for my wife’s cousin and also for a friend just to find out shortly after, someone had added bio info to the memorial. I was waiting till later to complete but was surprised to find this out, especially since I received no notice for “suggested edits”. I believe these changes will be the best of all.

  7. I, too, have had several transferred without my knowledge and I have even transferred memorials when they were only a cousin or friend and they are still without any additional info. I now ask for proof of relationship before I transfer but if it’s not done immediately I usually get an unnecessary 2nd email that accuses me of ignoring their request or they report me to Find a Grave. It is very disheartening that when Find a Grave started they were literally begging for volunteers to input as many memorials as possible and now keep changing the rules. I used to love Find a Grave – I spent my first 3 1/2 years inputting over 25,000 graves from the county were my family originated in hopes of helping so many others find their missing or lost ancestors. I feel as if all my hard work as been for naught! I wish that it was like it was before all the changes-I pay Ancestry every year hundreds of dollars to research and provide info on my memorials only to have it given away – I think the person that wants the transfer should have to pay the person who created it as that cost came out of our pockets. And by the way, I have been on Ancestry since it was created back in 1996 or 97- so have a few thousand dollars tied up in the info I am providing for free.

    • I really don’t understand your comment. I am new to this I just entered some pictures from request just as a way to give back for all the help we received doing our ancestry from this source. When I saw that it automatically made me the manager of the account I actually did not like that! I am adding these pictures as a way for families to get the information they need but also has a way to honor the dead. Whether I’ve done 10 or 25,000 that’s my choice to do that and my way of giving. But when you give something away you don’t own it anymore, so when you give of your time or your picture to be a Blessing to someone, I just don’t understand the resentment. Think of it this way, if you have a car that took you time and money to acquire but decided to give it away, are you going to go and ask that person to pay you later? Also are you going to tell them how to drive and what they do with that car later? That would be silly right? As far as for ancestry, are they profiting off all of this? Yes indirectly, but they charge a fee for putting it all the information they collect in one place to make it easy for us. That’s the service we pay for. When they include vital records and all of that they’re obviously not paying the clerk that entered that information in. I remember when our family historian Long before any of these services existed had to go from place to place to each different office to try to get records and that sort of thing. I for one am so thankful I don’t have to do that! Anyway I just really wanted to offer you a different perspective and to thank you for all of your time and energy because I may have benefited from one of the 25,000 graves you’ve done! I would just encourage anyone who has taken the time to do this to remember the blessing of helping someone else.

  8. Memorials are being transferred to be unasked. Just because I suggest an edit does not constitute a request for transfer.

  9. This is a long overdue change for the better. I try to manage memorials for my graduating high school class, but have been unable to as I was at the funeral, only to find out it is managed by someone who already has 100,000 + memorials and adheres to the strict transfer guidelines of Findagrave..

    • Donald
      Unfortunately these rules new rules do not address my concern….
      Why is there no provision for transferring memorials to people that actually knew the deceased over complete strangers?

  10. I think we should be notified when someone takes over management of a new memorial we posted. They may be another relative we can compare notes with.

  11. How do we stop people we don’t know from adding to memorials we create? I created a memorial for my parents and family. My Mother died in 1978 and my father eventually remarried. Twice, I have had to ask someone to remove the name of his second wife. I do not want her on the memorial that I created. The person who added her name the last time has created or added over 100,000 names to memorials. That is ridiculous.

  12. I think this is a very positive movement for Find a Grave. I have been denied my own aunt and uncle because that was not one of the criteria from someone who had 20,000 memorials or more. I even sponsered their memorial and still the creator would not let me manage it. Some contributors on here are rude, and want you to know it right off the bat; they tell you DO NOT EVEN ASK for a memorial if you don’t fit under the transfer guidelines,, and as we all know AUNTS, UNCLES, COUSINS were not on the list.. I am hoping now to ask again for my aunt and uncle memorial to see if they will be transferred to me now. Thank you for this.

    • I am also thankful the guidelines have been changed. However, it remains a defined guideline to be interpreted differently by each person. I believe ALL family members should be transferred, no matter the line! Especially for people who have GIANT families, like me. I rarely receive any of my family transfer requests; these people do not even answer my requests. I am so thankful for the few CARING individuals who have transferred to me! thank you all again!

  13. Thank you for these new guidelines. I was a “victim” of this in that my husband died in the spring, and when I was able to get through the initial grief and go to enter his name in the family cemetery, I found it was already entered by someone else, a very, very distant relation to him, with exact DNA as his, like the connection is over 200 years ago. He corresponded with this person years ago, but no one close to him. I was horrified and angry and reacted accordingly. Family members should not have to put up with this.

  14. It makes me sad when whomever is putting information on the site that has a headstone with husband and wife names that they are not connected or the wording listed such as “In Memory”. This is history that slips away until someone like myself takes the time to correct and link them. Everyone should attempt to enter all information on the headstones and link them to honour those who lived and died together.

  15. Back in the old days (before Ancestry) we used to “sponsor” memorials, i.e. bought them to remove the advertising from them. I have a few like this, and whilst I will transfer if I have proof, I do not like the way the site has progressed in recent times. It seems far too commercial and perhaps it is time I went. Alys

  16. Approximately 2 years ago my father passed away and much to my surprise someone had created a memorial just days after the funeral. The person was not related. It was only mildly annoying but insensitive to act so quickly. Thank you for the updated guidance.

  17. Too bad that Find A Grave administrators do not live up to these guidelines. I was managing a memorial for my niece and requested a newly created one be merged. Instead they merged it away from me to the obituary chaser who ignored my transfer requests. Administrators refused to back me up and intervene, based on premature burial information pertaining to the ashes that I still possess.

  18. I love this new policy. I wish it were retroactive. Transferring close relationships should not be a struggle.

  19. I asked to manage my parents memorials and was met with a vicious attack when I pointed out incorrect information. Someone had attached another wife for my father. I will guarantee you one was all he could handle. I researched the person attached and relayed the data and was told I was mistaken. I could find no way to protest to a higher authority. Now I cannot put any faith in what is posted. I do like the photos of the tombstones.

    • I’ve had a similar experience. Sadly it appears I am not alone. My experience has tempered my confidence in findagrave information being at all factual in my genealogical research.

  20. Lol, I like it when you ask for a change and the owner of the memorial declines your request, then they make the changes a short time later.

  21. Hi there!

    My only concern is that there is not enough grandparents for great-great-great-great parents and so on. Or great-great-great-uncles and aunts. I have already ran out of both. Each my grandparents had had 10 to 15 kids which is a lot of aunts and uncles I managed. I always transfer non relatives. Makes my life easier so I can focus on my family. I also have three step-grandfathers and great-grandfathers that I manage as well. Most of all my memorials are my cousins and family. How many cousins can you have? Well thank for your time.

    Ps. I have created virtual memorials with my connection to my families memorials so Findagrave can see my relationship before they transfer any my memorials to another member.

  22. When my sister was killed in an accident in 2020, I was heartbroken. It was a bit shocking that within hours of me writing her obituary, a stranger used the obituary I wrote to create a find-a-grave memorial for her. I had planned to do that, but in the midst of funeral planning I had not done so yet. To add insult to injury, the stranger who created the memorial has ignored my requests to take over management of my sister’s memorial page. With this change, I have made another request – hopefully this time it will work.

    • Bryan Larson: A sibling was always within guidelines. They should have transferred or even offered to delete theirs for your sake. When it’s a recent event, much more sensitivity must apply.

      It’s people who hurl names at people for not transferring the 7th cousin from 150 years ago, that never gets talked about publicly. Some managers would rather transfer to a nicer person to deal with for other members’ sakes. Or they might want to research that person or they might be in their own family tree also.

      Your sister should’ve been transferred to you to begin with though.

      Very sorry for your loss.

  23. I was glad to read about the updates. Personally, I have a “gladly will transfer” note on my bio + have started adding that same note to memorials that I maintain.

    Frankly, some of my memorials are added when I’m researching a direct line blood relative. If there are interesting articles or obituaries in a newspaper that I’ve found for my relative, I’ll check Find a Grave for memorials and will add if none exist.

    I also create memorials for the Army units of my father and of my grandfather + am always happy to transfer any of these to family relatives.

  24. I have a problem with people who are not related or does not know the deceased to add things that are incorrect. Two examples of this: Someone removed the obituary of a close relative that I put on and apparently rewrote the obituary and replaced mine. On another relatives memorial page where you can add relatives, children, siblings, etc. someone put a picture of one of the children of the deceased parents and put the child was deceased. I am thankful for all the time volunteers put into this. But I wish before someone adds to a memorial that they have the correct information. When I contacted the person who changed the obituary I put on the memorial wrote me back and their message was rude and said the obituary I put was wrong and theirs were correct.

  25. I get really ticked when someone changes the last name and adds a ‘sibling’ that isn’t related because they feel the name is right or close to it. I had to get Find A Grave to remove a supposed great uncle that wasn’t related in any way to my grandmother. When you have the family bible in hand and have all the great aunts and uncles dates of birth and death it astounds me how some people feel because they found someone with a similar name they are related. We need to be able to remove information posted by others on our memorials. I hate having death certificates, and numerous photos posted on my memorials where there are 2 children in a picture, but neither is identified. We need more control over what is posted on our memorials and not have things just uploaded by others. A way to delete photos that are uploaded is needed.

  26. Instead of opening a hornet’s nest with being able to transfer a new memorial away from a person without their knowledge, maybe Findagrave should go through all the deceased and inactive contributors’ memorials and make them available. If a deceased/inactive contributor has not made their wishes known as to who takes charge of their memorials, there is no way to make edits or add information except to wait the “automatic” 15 days for links to take effect or go through the admins to add obits or other information to the bio(s). For many of you who are saying you never got a reply or it took months/years to get a transfer, this may be the case. The original creator has died or is no longer active on the site so they don’t check. Some people get all excited when they start genealogy but over time, don’t keep up with it or lose interest.

    • Really there is no hornets nest until someone puts on a family entry who isn’t family. If they reply rudely or simply ignore the family request now it can be asked for by the family member. That’s what this new rule is answering to, people somehow don’t realize how it hurts and is so shocking to discover it already entered and then not able to do it themselves. Then add a rude comment or no reply hurts even more. It is mainly why I have put only family members on. People have written me for more information from time to time, so my earlier comment means that they know I am somehow related. If it is a parent or other as is being highlightec with this changeI will transfer although sometimes Great Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc. means I should transfer them if they had lots of children there is bound to be one of them who had big families as I mentioned in my so it turns out they are Great Grandparents to us all. As to the question of money spent and someone else taking advantage of that, an easier way, before the pandemic, a simple postage stamp and a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope gets more complete response with research to get information than memberships do in almost anything. And we have traveled long distances to visit areas of relatives. There is no reason the exspence should enter into any of this. Either ve nice or stay off.

      • I definitely sympathize with you on the rude comments from people who won’t transfer. I’ve run into my share. As the “former” guidelines suggest, you can’t manage ALL your family’s memorials. You may be a cousin and I also may be a cousin so how do they determine who is closer? I was just saying that there are plenty of “unmanaged” memorials left hanging out there because of deceased or inactive contributors that could be taken over by others.

  27. FAG is under the same ownership as nespapers.com and ancestry.com, both of which have no problem allowing obituaries to be added. How ironic.

    A few FACTS:

    (1) Once an obituary is published, it is not considered privileged or private information either, since it would be freely available to anyone who cares to pick up a newspaper and read it.

    (2) Living persons maintain civil and legal rights. Deceased individuals no longer have civil and legal rights.

    (3) Deceased individuals are not “owned” by family members.

    (4) Often the family member doing the genealogy research is someone in Europe where the deceased individual’s ancestors originated. “Family” is wide-spread and often never-ending.

    Volunteers for Find a Grave provide a valuable service, and as a photographer, I have spent many hours in unbearable cold or heat to search for and photograph graves. When I add an obituary for the deceased, it has been appreciated without exception. More respect needs to be given to the Find a Grave volunteers who create and/or add to Find a Grave profiles.

    Find a Grave has other problems that should be addressed. Locally, there is a Find a Grave volunteer who adds “REST IN PEACE (first/last names) to EVERY gravesite photo he adds. This includes the gravesite photos of individuals found guilty and convicted of violent crimes like murder, rape and pedophilia. This is EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE to the family and friends of the victims. No Find a Grave volunteer photographer should be adding personal comments to gravesite photos other than adding helpful information on the location of the grave. I have contacted FAG about this problem, but nothing has been done.

    As a 14 1/2 year Find a Grave volunteer, I am strongly considering walking away and provide my volunteer efforts elsewhere. When you start making unnecessary changes and “fixing” what is not broken, you create an unwelcome environment for your valuable volunteers. At the very least, Find a Grave should contact their membership for input before making changes. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

    Find a Grave Member #46923875

    • Just because it is legal does not make it right. A memorial was made for my mom the day after she died. Four full days before she was even in the grave. I appreciate the work you and others do memorializing old headstones in cemeteries and helping those researching their ancestry. However, this was very hurtful to me making a ‘memorial’ while I was still planning my mother’s funeral. I am thankful for these changes, I only wish it would be retroactive for deaths that occurred within in the past year.

  28. I am a contributor to Find a Grave for my church. I have spent many hours trying to maintain accurate records. I am glad to see the new guidelines. The only thing else I would like to see is that if a person is a major contributor to a cemetery that they be given information of when some one has been entered. Because not everyone looking for their relatives uses this great site. We need to be able to give what information we can we we are notified.
    I too have relatives that were entered almost immediately by someone else when they died. Most that I have contacted are willing to relinquish the management. I know I have given up management to some who requested that of me. I think it is important to the family. My only request is that I know where to tell those who contact our church for inquires.

  29. I have my own rule to not make a memorial for people who have died in the past 3 years, unless expressly requested by a relative. I do not feel that I “own” any of these memorials, but do wish to manage my close relatives.

  30. This was a long time coming. And very much needed. And appreciated.
    I had just mentioned this issue in my profile Bio the day Find a Grave decided to change policy.
    That due to an experience in requesting transfer of family members, I was made aware of the ‘restrictive guidelines’ of Find a Grave and the possessive collector who is not related, yet has the right to retain their ‘acquisitions’. I was very upset at the time, trying to understand why, when they were not related to the person, would they have the need to hold on to them. These ‘numbers’ were my family members.
    I am also aware that this is one of a few who I have come across as opposed to the many others who willing transfer to a family member on request.
    The person who goes out to rescue and record the many thousands of headstones and keep their existence from fading into oblivion has my full respect and gratitude. To all of you, a heartfelt thank you!
    The number-driven hoarders are also out there. And there needed to be a change of policy to stop the misuse and abuse of these obviously misguided people.
    I had thought the concept of a memorial is to connect and unite family. Bringing us together through a sense of belonging to a shared family history. For me, it’s bringing us all home, by giving them a place in our lives, and, in turn, giving our lives meaning.
    It may not solve all the issues, but it’s a start to more agreeable established policy for all sides.

    Mona Anderson’s reply mentioned inactive or deceased contributors, and one of the most aggravating hoarders must have been either because I was recently able to request family members who were kept by this person. He wouldn’t respond or even correct misinformation when suggested. I has seen that Find a Grave was now in charge of the account. So I suppose this would be the better alternative for Find a Grave to be observant about, rather than indiscriminately ‘cutting off heads’. As I said, a more agreeable policy for all sides.

  31. I occasionally run into a situation where the grave marker has the wrong dates (birth, death or even both). Sometimes the memorial manager will accept the right information. In other cases, they will not. I don’t even suggest edits to memorials unless I can document the change with primary sources. It may be shocking to some, but not all gravestones are accurate.

    My question to FindaGrave is this. Do you want accurate information on the memorials? Or do you want what’s on the gravemarker, even when it’s clearly wrong? I’ll do it either way, but my preference would be to have accurate information, even when it disagrees with the grave marker.

    I think, in those cases, it’s important to document WHY the marker is wrong, and it would be good, perhaps, to have a field that indicates that the grave marker doesn’t agree with primary source records.

    It’s been my experience that even primary sources are sometimes wrong, so there’s really no right or wrong way to do this. I’m just wondering what the goal of FindaGrave is.

  32. Absolutely NO ONE is “driven by numbers.” That’s a very mean thing that just won’t die on the internet. It’s bitterly said by people who didn’t get their way or who had a difference of opinion, or, who knows, just to be gossipy? Why do people persist in that ludicrous accusation. There is NO prize for “numbers.” It happens automatically. If anything, it shows just how hard they worked and how many people their work has helped.

    Default is management by the one who created the page. Isn’t that why a lot of misguided people make burial unknowns, because they want to be “first?” But the point of the site is to lead people to the burial location, or to inform them of the final disposition if there is no burial.

    The people who you are all making fun of actually helped build the database to a large extent. If every member only made 2 pages, or 500 burial unknown pages, it would not be much of a database today. So instead of making fun of them, or “bearing false witness” against them, why not thank them. Not getting your own way with them is no excuse for libel.

  33. My mother passed on May 23, 2021. A memorial was made the next day, four full days before she was even in the grave. It says these changed apply tor memorial created after January 2022 and families have 1 year to request management. I would request that it include memorials made that are still less than one year since the death of a loved one. I have sent a message and pray the creator if the memorial will release it to me

  34. The hate and discontent recently expressed towards contributors greatly saddens me.
    While there are always a few bad eggs, calling contributors grave robbers, thieves, pirates, busybodies, and vultures is simply unjustified. Intent is important and I seriously doubt anyone contributing their time and effort to establish memorials has any ill will toward relatives.
    Let’s not spoil it for everyone;
    if it is your relative, simply request a transfer or removal; if you do not receive an appropriate response contact Findagrave help.

    I create memorials as a tribute to those who have gone before us.
    I appreciate those who have added memorials of my ancestors. I also appreciate being able to find information on recently deceased persons without having to bother the family at such a sensitive time. Whenever I have lost a close family member, I have been too busy with other arrangements to worry about notifying everyone that may be interested in attending services; sometimes this information is difficult to find timely and I appreciate having Findagrave as a resource for this information. I personally do not see it any different than an obituary provided through any other media. Findagrave makes provisions for memorials to be edited, transferred and removed by family members.
    Unfortunately, I too have had occasion to encounter a member unresponsive to a transfer request , however, there is a process in place to contact Findagrave for help in these instances; I give them the benefit of the doubt that that may have been incapacitated in some manner or perhaps no longer even with us.
    I’ve also found instances where living persons have had memorials made from headstones that were pre-engraved with names and birthdates; in one instance, after I had created a memorial upon a friend’s death I discovered a pre-existing memorial that had not turned up in a search because It contained only her name no date of death (it was created before she passed). I requested the memorials to be merged and management was assigned to the other party despite the fact that it was created before her death and provided no information beyond her name and birth date.

    My concern?
    Why is there no provision for transferring memorials to people that actually knew the deceased over complete strangers?

  35. I am so thankful for the changes you are making and this resource to locate our family members’ gravesites. Thank you for all you do. Would there ever be a change to the transfer for a relative if it were a 2x great grandparent? I have relevant information for a 2x gr grandparent but was denied the transfer and the manager will not include the biographical info I have sent even though I provided documentation. It seems any relative should be able to manage/update/improve a memorial over a total stranger. Any thought on this?

  36. When I find a family member that has not even had a flower put on the grave I put one on it..If someone put one on my family I am so grateful.If someone is managing my relative does not anger me I am so thankful they take time to do it.They are a lot of history in this Find a Grave and I thank everyone who contribute to this site.Some people don’t have mangers for there love ones and there are many to manage.I am doing my Ancestors and find a lot of people in my family or anyone that is no family. if you see this put a memorial flower on there grave.I love what I do and it fills my heart with so much joy when I find a relative.I think the chance is a good idea for me.It does take longer to grive for some than other for it took years.

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