The Arlington National Cemetery has launched a new online database that includes over 400,000 burial records. This massive new public database, called ANC Explorer, is now available online and as a mobile application. This search tool and mobile application allows family members and the public to locate a specific gravesite, view photos of a headstone or monument, and receive detailed driving and walking directions to these locations.
Cemetery officials built this database in an effort to verify the accuracy of their records brought into question in 2010 by reports of graves with no headstones, double burials, misidentified graves and other discrepancies. As part of the cemetery’s accountability project, the U.S. Army photographed 259,978 gravesites, urn niches and markers, and meticulously compared them to nearly 150 years of cemetery records and other historical documents. Katharine Kelley, the cemetery’s director of accountability, said that about 99.4 percent of the nearly 260,000 graves and other burial sites have been verified. The paper records have been archived and new burial procedures have been implemented to prevent burial errors in the future. Families can now view burial records and design tombstones online before a burial even happens.
ANC Explorer makes it easy for anyone with Internet access to find the exact location of a loved one’s burial place. You simply type in their name and a marker will appear on the digital map showing where the veteran was interred, the dates of their birth and death, and front and back images of their headstone. Additionally, the mobile app can be downloaded at the cemetery’s visitor center as well as from several locations throughout the cemetery. This application also provides information about the burial locations of famous military leaders, political figures, sports legends, and other notable gravesites. It also identifies the many monuments and memorials scattered throughout the cemetery. There is even a search function for memorial trees.
“ANC Explorer is another milestone in our transformation,” said Kathryn A. Condon, director of the Army National Military Cemeteries in a press release. “There isn’t another national cemetery that is as technologically advanced as Arlington — both in day-to-day operations and how it connects to its families and visitors.” In the future, ANC Explorer will offer features such as emergency and event notifications, restroom and water fountain locations, shuttle stops, and self-guided tours. There is also a feature on the website to provide feedback. Viewers may comment on the site and even on specific burial records if they have additional information, Condon said.
Visit the Free Public Records Directory, Genealogy Records Resources category page for easy access to the ANC Explorer and other cemetery record databases. There you can find links to burial records from Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, prisoner of war and missing in action database, the National Archives and Records Administration databases of military service records, Korean War casualties, as well as many other genealogical record resources at the state and local levels. The Free Public Records Directory also provides links and resources to many other public records including births, deaths, marriages, land records and deeds, property tax records, inmate records, crime data, and much more.