Jim Tipton enjoyed walks through cemeteries and enjoyed reading the various headstones, especially celebrity gravestones. He began his own webpage to keep track of this hobby in 1995.
Find a Grave was launched as a commercial site in 1998, then incorporated in 2000.
In 2013, Tipton sold Find a Grave to Ancestry.com, stating the genealogy company had “been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years.
As of May 2020, Find a Grave contained over 180 million burial records and 80 million photos.
The website contains listings of cemeteries and graves from around the world, with both celebrities and regular people.
Though it does not ask permission from immediate family members before uploading the photos, it will remove and take down photos or a URL for a deceased loved one at the request of an immediate family member.
Find a Grave also maintains lists of memorials of famous persons by their “claim to fame”, such as Medal of Honor recipients, religious figures, and educators. Find a Grave exercises editorial control over these types of listings.
During the Covid lockdowns, many people found the webpage both interesting and helpful.
Find a Grave maintains a corporate office in Lehi, Utah.