Cemeteries in Allen County, Indiana
Most of our cemeteries started out over 100 years ago as family plots on rural isolated farms or associated with long gone rural churches. Family members often moved away or lost connections with their family history so often know nothing of the past beyond their grandparents. Only a handful of the largest cemeteries have modern staffed offices with computerized records, phones, web sites, or even a mailing address. If they have a web site or are associated with a church an identified link will be found in the alphabetized tables on the tabs above. Fortunately most of our cemeteries are visible from the road, at a crossroad of 2 or more roads, or even satellite photos on Google maps shown on the Cemetery Locations tab above.
There are around 140 known cemetery locations in Allen County, some have multiple names so we have 190 known names. Their locations are shown on this Google map. A few locations are no longer known. Cemetery status is shown on the township pages.
Click Cemetery Name Tabs above to find information. Clicking Township takes you to that Township list of cemeteries. Larger cemeteries may have their own web site so the Status field is their link. DAR contains the Mary Penrose Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution links. Ph - means the DAR has photographs of the cemetery tombstones. Tr - is just the transcription of names on tombstones from the ACGSI readings in the 1980's, or 1932 if the cemetery was moved or lost. Find links to Find-A-Grave and whatever volunteered information is available there.
December 9, 2012 a newspaper article Forgotten Hoagland cemetery ‘disgrace’ Responsibility for upkeep uncertain by Jeff Wiehe of The Journal Gazette discusses the badly neglected Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Madison Township pointing out the uncertainty over who is responsible for cemetery maintenance. As the article points outState law mandates that township trustees – who are usually in charge of providing fire protection, relief for the poor and weed assessments among other duties – must care for such cemeteries.
Troy McDonald the Madison Township Trustee left a comment on our ACGSI Facebook page statingwe are now in the process of coming up with a plan as to how to address the clean-up of this cemetery.If you would like to help or have ideas please contact Troy McDonald at 260-639-6052.
The Allen County, Indiana web site for Township Trustees states:Cemetery Maintenance
According to IC Code 23-14 the trustee is to provide and maintain cemeteries located in the township. This includes those cemeteries which have been abandoned.
Further research finds the United Township Association of Indianaunder their Cemeteries heading in December 2012 statesIndiana law gives the responsibility for maintaining abandoned cemeteries in the state to the township trustee.It then lists three laws IC 23-14-64 Chapter 64. Conveyance of Cemetery Association Land to Townships, IC 23-14-68 Chapter 68. Care of Cemeteries by Townships, and IC 23-14-69 Chapter 69. Establishment of Public Cemeteries by Townships, all apparently passed in 1997, confirming the newspaper quote. The State of Indiana Cemetery & Burial Ground Mandates & Laws lists over a dozen statutes that apply. Indiana INPCRP (Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries Restoration Project) Review of Current Indiana Statutes regarding Cemeteries as of 2007 explains the practical aspects of the wording of the various cemetery laws as to who is responsible for cemetery maintenance and why it may not occur.
Veteran tombstones can be replaced free of charge by the government if requested by descendants according to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. They do not cover cost of placement in the cemetery. Local verteran groups like the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and others might provide the labor or know what groups would if asked.
It would make a nice local boy scout, girl scout, 4H, or other youth groups project to make cemetery cleanup and 4th of July veteran flag placement as history education and merit badge projects as done in some areas. The Indiana Pioneer Cemetery Restoration Project has a November 12, 2012 Girl Scouts example and their Girls Scouts in a Pioneer Cemetery photo album of these history appreciation projects on their Facebook page. Boy Scouts have done such cemetery maintenance on my ancestors Fallis Pioneer Cemetery near Dayton, Ohio for nearly 40 years.
The following quote from the Indiana DNR web site indicates you need to thoroughly research the law and best practices before attempting cemetery maintenance on your own.
Indiana Cemetery Questions and Answers from IN.gov Cemeteries FAQ
Compiled by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and ArchaeologyIf I want to clean up a cemetery I’m concerned about, may I go ahead and do so? No. Members of the public should not attempt to clean up or maintain cemeteries until they have clearly determined who the legal landowner is, and obtained that person’s permission to go onto the land. Unsolicited voluntary clean-up efforts might be viewed by the landowner as trespassing. In addition, there are proper ways, as well as harmful ways, to clean and repair stones, and anyone attempting to conduct such activities should be acquainted with the proper techniques.
The DNR - Department of Natural Resources has a Cemeteries web page with information and links to more cemetery information. The Indiana Pioneer Cemetery Restoration Project is a good source of information on Indiana pioneer cemeteries. They have an active INPCRP Facebook group page too.
In the ACGSI Members Only Section The December 2007 Allen County Lines newsletter on page 35 by Alyce J. Morow has an article "The Silent Cities" discussing the history of early burial grounds in Fort Wayne. Some early burial grounds are now covered by houses, buildings, parks, roads, and parking lots. Sometimes bodies and tombstones were moved, sometimes not. Many of the earliest small cemeteries were moved to larger cemeteries like Lindenwood or the Catholic Cemetery.
The Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution read most cemeteries in the 1930's, then the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI) updated and transcribed tombstone names into publications in the 1980's which they have been selling as fund raising for the society. Once the books are sold out they will not be reprinted. Instead they are available in the Members Only Section of the ACGSI web site. The NSDAR recently started the Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project using the ACGSI transcripts, Indiana DNR GPS coordinates, and volunteers photographing upwards of 150,000 tombstones in all Allen County cemeteries to be completed sometime in 2010. Those photographs are posted online and linked in the Tabs above as they come online.
Links to Cemetery Indexes and Other Web Sites
- 1994-2009 Allen County, Indiana Burial Permits at The Genealogy Center - burial locations - cremation
- Amish Carpenter Prepares Customers for Afterlife Indiana NewsCenter video by Eric Olson June 18, 2010.Meet Joe Schmucker, maker of fine handcrafted hardwood coffins. ... The Amish bury their own in plane pine coffins but at Grabill Caskets Joe Schmucker takes the finest hardwoods and sculpts them into things of beauty...This is his all cedar model. Schmucker does make a plain coffin, lined with denin not silk for no frills folks. But most of his caskets are works of art. And they sell for about 13-hundred bucks, one third the cost of a veneer casket.
- Using the search box at the top of any page will find burials in the 1980's cemetery books on the ACGSI site.
- The ACGSI Name Only Index to all county cemeteries lists page numbers in the 1980's cemetery books.
- The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center has an Indiana Resources page
- Best Practice Recommendations for Cleaning Government-Issued Marble Headstones by Mary Striegel On July 21, 2011
- Catholic Cemetery Searchable Index is at The Genealogy Center
- Cemetery ResponsibilitiesJust who is responsible for a cemetery’s upkeep?from A Grave Interest blog.
- Cleaning a Stone Grave Marker (2007-01) - National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and Best Practice Recommendations for Cleaning Government-Issued Marble Headstones and Comparative Study of Commercially Available Cleaners for Use on Federally-Issued Headstones
- Concordia Old Cemetery Searchable Index is at The Genealogy Center
- DAR is the Mary Penrose Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution tombstone transcriptions or photos. The DAR has a SEARCH box in the upper left corner of their cemetery pages.
- DNR Cemetery Preservation information
- Find-A-Grave Allen County, Indiana cemeteries is a column in the above Tabs labeled Find. It lists 152 cemeteries alphabetically with internment information and tombstone photos, sometimes has obituaries, church histories, or other additional information. Can also use the search box below:
- German Translations for tombstones on NSDAR web site
- Grave Book on Facebook has photos of different views of local cemeteries
- Historic Map Works 1898 Ogle Atlas map shows cemeteries, towns, and other landmarks no longer in existence
- History and Headstones: Celebrating Memorial Day from the The History Center blog May 22, 2012 posted by Nancy McCammon-Hansen
- How to Find A Cemetery/Burial List in Your County - The Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries Restoration Project
- Hunt For Cemeteries - Genealogy Center blog August 2011
- Indiana Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies blog and meeting information
- Indiana Genealogical Society has Free Allen County Cemetery readings in their Members-Only Section
- Indiana.gov SHAARD government site with maps, latitude, longitude and photos of some cemeteries. List of Allen County SHAARD Cemeteries.
- Indiana Historical Society Finding Indiana Records states:Indiana State Library Cemetery Locater Database: http://www.in.gov/library/databases.htm
Searchable by county, this database provides the names of every cemetery for which ISL has either tombstone inscriptions or location. The database does not include the names of people buried in the cemeteries. Note: In 1939, a joint WPA/American Legion project was initiated to identify the burial places of all veterans in Indiana. The project was conducted in 51 of Indiana's 92 counties. The ISL has the microfilmed Indiana Veterans' Graves Registration. The Indiana State Archives has the original card files.
- Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries Restoration Project - begun in October 1997 as an effort to generate public awareness about the neglected pioneer cemeteries of Indiana. Many volunteers have join this effort. Also have a Facebook page.
- IOOF Cemetery New Haven Searchable Index is at The Genealogy Center
- Lindenwood Cemetery Searchable Index is at The Genealogy Center
- Must Have Cemetery Books - list of 135 books on listopia where readers vote for their favorites
- Obituary Index at Allen County Public Library starts with 1841 newspapers to the present
- Prairie Grove Cemetery Searchable Index is at The Genealogy Center and ACGSI plat maps
- Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in Allen County at DAR
- Riverview Cemetery Searchable Index is at The Genealogy Center
- Allen INGenWeb Lookup page has volunteers willing to do lookups from the cemetery books, which are published and For Sale by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana. Books will not be reprinted, instead added to the Members Only Section of ACGIS.org
- CBS Video May 29, 2011 "The marble of our hero's headstones" from Vermont marble since early 1900's. Liberty, Indiana tombstone maker discusses marble vs. granite lasts over 1,000 years and tombstone prices in 1883.
- Tree grave stone markers - Woodman of America/World memorials - June 21, 2011 A Grave Interest blog
- Tough times in 2009 lead some to unfortunate decisions in newspaper article "Plot twist for raising cash."
- White Bronze - A Monument of Quality - "Cemetery wanderers throughout the U.S. and Canada can probably remember the first time they came across a white bronze monument. The oddness of the marker draws you in, fascinates you, and makes you want to learn more." from A Grave Interest blog.
|1||Adams||1825||1875 moved to I.O.O.F.|
|5||Wayne||No records no stones|
Amish - Cedar Creek Amish
|Cedar Creek||2005||Active - unmarked tombstones||Ph|
Amish - East Allen County Amish - Maumee Amish
|Maumee||2005||Active - unmarked tombstones||Ph|
|8||Milan||1984||Active - unmarked tombstones||Ph|
Amish - Roth Road Amish
|Springfield||1871||Active - unmarked tombstones||Ph||FG|
Amish - Spencerville Amish
|Springfield||1991||Active - unmarked tombstones||Ph|
|15||Marion||1836||Inactive - IGS Index||Ph||FG|
Branstrator Family - incorrectly listed in Lafayette Township
|Aboite||1837||Not in use||Ph||FG|
|22||Aboite||1841||Not in use||Ph||FG|
|23||St. Joseph||Alternate name|
|25||Wayne||1830s||Miami Indian Burial Site||Ph|
|26||Adams||1873||Active has Office
ACPL Name Search - Map
|27||Cedar Creek||No longer exists||Tr|
|31||Adams||1960||Active has Office||Ph||FG|
|32||Adams||1850||Inactive - records at New- ACPL Index||Ph||FG|
|33||Adams||No longer exists|
|36||Aboite||1953||Active has Office||Ph||FG|
|37||St. Joseph||1942||No longer exists - moved to Catholic Cemetery||Ph|
|41||Wayne||No longer exists|
|42||Wayne||Now County Jail|
|43||Eel River||1840||Early records destroyed - ACPL Index||Ph||FG|
Fort Wayne Jewish - see Orthodox
|52||St. Joseph||1901-1967||One stone||Ph||FG|
|57||St. Joseph||Alternate name||FG|
|58||Aboite||1932||Active has Office||Ph||FG|
|60||Marion||No records no stones|
|61||Aboite||1867||1895 moved to Lindenwood|
|67||St. Joseph||Active - office||Ph||FG|
|70||Cedar Creek||No longer exists||Tr|
|75||St. Joseph||ACPL Index 447 names
Location no tombstones
|77||Adams||1834||Active has Office - ACPL Index - over 6,000 DAR photos||Ph||FG|
|80||Eel River||Alternate name||Ph||FG|
|82||St. Joseph||1834||Alternate name||Ph|
|83||Monroe||1847, 1858||two stones||Tr|
|84||Adams||No longer exists|
|85||St. Joseph||Alternate name - moved|
|89||Cedar Creek||1844||New is across the street||Ph||FG|
Lindenwood - LARGEST in Allen County
|Wayne||1859||Active - Office - ACPL Index||Ph||FG|
|91||Pleasant||1851||Inactive - SHAARD Photo||Ph||FG|
Little Turtle Miami Indian Chief aka Lawton Place
|94||Wayne||All Burials Removed|
|98||Adams||1853||Active - ACPL Index||Ph||FG|
|99||Monroe||1858||Inactive - some moved to I.O.O.F. Monroeville||Ph||FG|
|108||Cedar Creek||1831||No longer in use - SHAARD Photo||Ph||FG|
|111||Monroe||1860||Not in use||Ph||FG|
|113||St. Joseph||1850||Active - ACPL Index||FG|
|114||Wayne||No longer exists||Tr|
Pierre Settlement aka Saint Michaels Roman Catholic
|116||Jefferson||1823||No longer exists||Tr||FG|
|119||Marion||1836||Active - ACPL Index -
|120||Wayne||1834||Active - ACPL Index - Maps||Ph||FG|
|121||Cedar Creek||1857, 1861||Not located, only two stones||Tr|
|122||St. Joseph||Alternate name|
|123||Eel River||1910||Active - ACPL Index||Ph||FG|
|129||Pleasant||1855||Active - ACPL Index||A-H
Saint John Lutheran Evangelical Lutheran - their third cemetery
|Wayne||1872||ACPL Index -
|135||Cedar Creek||1848||No longer in use||Ph||FG|
Saint Louis Besancon Roman Catholic - Old aka. New France
|140||St. Joseph||Alternate name||FG|
|147||Monroe||1871||Active - no records||Tr||FG|
|148||St. Joseph||Alternate name|
|153||Monroe||1843||Inactive - no records||Ph||FG|
Schwartz Family - Milan Center Amish
|162||Monroe||1855||Active - no records||Ph||FG|
|166||Cedar Creek||1873||Moved to back of Leo Memorial Park|
|168||Adams||1852||1979 one face down stone||Ph||FG|
|169||Adams||1842||No longer exists||Tr|
|171||Aboite||1834||Now is Bittersweet Moors housing||Tr|
|172||Aboite||No longer exists|
|175||Jefferson||No records no stones|
|176||Aboite||1833||Moved to Lindenwood|
|177||Cedar Creek||1833||Abandoned - SHAARD Photo||Ph||FG|
|181||Washington||1850||Inactive - private||Ph||FG|
|182||Eel River||1835||No longer in use||Ph||FG|
|183||Eel River||Alternate name||Ph||FG|
|184||Jefferson||1838||No longer in use||Ph||FG|
|190||Maumee||1840||many in German||Ph||FG|
All individuals indexed in the 1980's cemetery readings will appear in the results page using the search box at the top of any page or using the Name Only Index on the ACGSI site. The larger cemeteries like Lindenwood, Catholic, and others have separate cemetery indexes.
There are 20 townships in Allen County, Indiana. 190 known cemetery names, 127 cemetery locations, and some additional information may be listed. Cemeteries are organized by township. No cemeteries are known in Jackson Township. Indiana SHAARD - State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database allows guest access and provides detailed information such as GPS coordinates and maps on locations of Indiana Historical Structures including 145 cemeteries.
Mark Davis, owner of Stone Saver Cemetery Restoration gave a cemetery restoration presentation at the Allen County Public library in January 2009. He also gave a November 2011 "Hallowed Stones: Tombstone Restoration" program. Mark pointed out the possible damage to tombstones that can occur from chalk rubbings and other chemicals applied to old tombstones. I show on my personal web site that you can get much better tombstone photos by manipulating the angle of the sunlight based on the time of year and day the photos are taken. Mirrors and reflectors can be used when the sun does not provide the correct angle of lighting to create shadows as shown on Andrew W. Griffith's web page.
Grave Secrets is a 2009 newspaper article about local cemeteries.
The Second Correction Line passes through northern Allen County, Indiana which accounts for the offset of the northern townships and the tiny Scipio Township. It can be seen by zooming in on this 1866 General Land Office map in the Dave Ramsey Collection of antique maps.
Dick Eastman's Newsletter discusses converting addresses to Latitude and Longitude for easy GPS use.
Cemetery Preservation is a discussion by the Indiana DNR.
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana newspaper obituaries can be searched on the Obituary Index of the The Genealogy Center online databases from over 500,000 entries from the Allen County Public Library starting in 1841 through the present time. Researchers can find microfilm of all of the Fort Wayne newspapers in the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center.
Copies of specific obituaries may be ordered by emailing Genealogy@ACPL.Info with the complete citation as found in the index. Cost is $2.50 per obituary, billed at the time of mailing. Response time is typically 4-6 weeks. Your complete name and mailing address must be included with your request. Most of the newspapers through 1920 are also accessible online through the Allen County Public Library computers and by subscription through Ancestry.com's online Historical Newspaper Collection.
Recent obituaries are online at Fort Wayne Newspapers using Legacy.com for archiving their obituaries and some local funeral homes have web sites. The online newspapers go back to 2003, but a year after publication expect to pay $2.95 per obituary for access to archived obituaries.
Old time obituaires were often quite blunt about cause of death, but today they rarely include death details. We have come to rely on cause of death on government certificates recorded in the county courthouse since they became the law in most states starting in the 1880's. A number of recent studies indicate that as many as a third of today's death certificates list the most likely cause of death rather than the actual medical cause of death making their value questionable. Unless a medical autopsy was performed, knowing human nature in todays society, we must wonder how accurate death certificates have ever been.