A Scavenger Hunt in the Cemeteries

Here is an idea for your local genealogy society or local historical society: a scavenger hunt.

John McVicar of Cambridge, Ontario, created an elaborate scavenger hunt of gravesites and monuments of famous people buried across Cambridge. He knew it would grab the interest of a few fellow genealogy and local history enthusiasts, but he didn’t think over 200 people would get involved.

It was so successful that McVicar has now pieced together two scavenger hunts: one in Cambridge and another one using cemeteries in Kitchener and Waterloo. Participants are asked to find the monuments or gravesites listed in the scavenger hunt guide and answer the accompanying questions.

You can read all about the scavenger hunt in an article by Anam Latif in the Waterloo Region Record at http://goo.gl/9QaAVS.

My thanks to newsletter reader Tim Ryeland for telling me about this scavenger hunt.


I’ve seen this before but there would have to be some clear guidelines. Otherwise, I can imagine injury and damage from some competitors who might be caught up in the race to be first with the completed list of clues.


Since the article doesn’t say anything about it. I wonder if the cemeteries are in on this. At WAY too many cemeteries genealogist are seen as a problem and this would exasperate that greatly.


    As a trustee of a cemetery district, I agree that sending scavenger hunters into a cemetery is a recipe for problems. Cemeteries are considered sacred places and there are usually families in any cemetery who are visiting their family plots and would not appreciate this idea and the cemetery would be totally liable for any injuries to participants or to grave markers.


I’ve been doing a scavenger hunt in our local cemetery with my genealogy classes for 5 years. They receive a sheet with 20 questions and the first person to complete the sheet correctly and bring it back to me receives a small prize. I have not asked for permission from my local cemetery, but I know the sexton well. I have not had any issues with damage to headstones or personal injury and my students love the challenge.


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