Grobonet – a short guide on how to find your ancestors’ graves in Poland
More often cemeteries decide to launch online initiatives. Online cemeteries, guides, and gravestone search engines have become more prominent in the last couple of years. Grobonet is an example of such a service. The Grobonet nationwide search engine, allows you to find the location of your ancestors’ graves. The browser gathers data from the Interactive Administrator of Cemeteries (IAC), as well as other sources, to pinpoint where given people are buried. The process has never been easier. With some basic information, the website will let you look through gravestones of different people until you find the one, you’re looking for.
When you visit the Grobonet website, you will be greeted with a short form:
You will need to fill at least one of the required boxes, entering a name, surname, district, or city where the person rests. For demonstration purposes, below is an
Once you complete the form, you will be shown a list of cemeteries with graves, that match your criteria. The numbers correspond to the number of people, with the name you input, who remain buried at that specific cemetery.
After selecting one location, photos and details of gravestones of late people will be shown. From these, you can find the ancestor, you were looking for.
Grobonet isn’t only used to find the cemetery your ancestors are buried in. You can find a map of the cemetery and the exact spot, where the grave is situated. Through the website, you can also leave virtual candles with custom signatures, request the grave to be taken care of (cleaned, brought flowers and candles), or donate to the tomb fee. Additional information, such as dates and the duration of the tomb fee, can also be seen.
It’s important to point out that the database isn’t complete. Grobonet doesn’t cover all cemeteries in Poland, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find your ancestor through the website. Just because it isn’t online, doesn’t mean the grave wasn’t preserved. Also, in Poland, old graves are often liquidated when they’re neglected and the fee is overdue (most last 25 years before needing to be renewed). Keep this in mind when finding the place of burial of a long-deceased relative. The website was initially found to make finding your ancestors easier. The effort put into maintaining and improving Grobonet, is for users to connect with their past and remember those who aren’t with us anymore.