Cemeteries of Allen County, Indiana by Township

The Allen County Obituary Index, 1837-2024 at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indianalists around 800,000 obituaries as of April 2024. The Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project by the local Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter NSDAR states: There are over 165,000 photos on this web site which they started taking in 2008 requiring several years to complete. They have transcriptions for over 219,000 people in over 147 known cemeteries. Their site on Rootsweb was archived in early 2024 so it is unknown if there will be any burial updates. Our pages provide information on the cemetery locations and cemetery history with links to other websites with tombstone photographs and burial information. New information is added to these pages as found when time permits.

Jump to: 1800s Military Cemetery, Burial Fashion, Caring and Cleaning Headstones, Cemetery Visits, DAR Cemetery Pages, Family Cemeteries, Indiana Cemetery Laws, Name Index, Other Cemetery Sources, Other Cemetery Information, Sexton Records, Plants in Cemeteries, Tombstone Information, Woodmen of the World

Click township to go to cemeteries.

Allen County, Indiana Township map Eel River Township Perry Township Cedar Creek Township Springfield Township Scipio Township Lake Township Washington Township St. Joseph Township Milan Township Maumee Township Jackson Township Jefferson Township Adams Township Wayne Township Aboite Township Lafayette Township Pleasant Township Marion Township Madison Township Monroe Township

Allen County has over 147 cemeteries in its twenty townships. Only Jackson Township has no known cemeteries.

Our Google map shows cemetery locations in each township page.

Zoom and Click pins to see Cemetery name

The Indiana Historic Buildings, Bridges, and Cemeteries Map at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a SHAARD GIS map showing 146 Allen County, Indiana cemeteries.

Active cemeteries still accepting burials usually have an office or sign near an entrance with a contact phone number. Most cemeteries originally had a sexton who kept the records for burials, maintained the cemetery, and lived close by. A local funeral home may know if original burial records exist for inactive cemeteries. Church graveyard records may be with the church if still active or its successor. Rural cemetery burial records are sometimes kept by a longtime local business nearby such as lawn tractor business or barber shop. Large cemeteries may have a dedicated paupers burial area such as at Lindenwood or the Catholic Cemetery often with no visible markers. The office would know if such areas exist. It is likely many were buried in nearby burial grounds without permanent markers.

The Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter NSDAR Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project made cemetery readings in 1932 that may contain information available no where else. In 1982 the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana updated the cemetery readings that revealed many tombstones from 1932 were missing. The results were published in Cemetery Township books available on their www.acgsi.org website and at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The NSDAR starting taking photographs in 2008 of every existing tombstone at over 147 cemeteries in twenty townships over several years and published them on their website stating: "there are over 165,000 photos on this web site. And transcriptions for over 219,000 people." "Member volunteers visited each cemetery and photographed each tombstone. The tombstones were then transcribed exactly as they were written. There is no other information on any person other than what is listed." They have a Master Name Index.

All known Indiana cemeteries have been surveyed by SHAARD Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD) and whatever information was found sometimes including history, maps, and photos is on their website.

SHAARD post by the INDNR

May 5, 2023 post by Indiana Department of Natural Resources  on Facebook:

MAY IS HISTORIC PRESERVATION MONTH: The Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD) allows users to search for information on known historic resources throughout Indiana. SHAARD includes data from the County Survey Program (Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory), the Indiana Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry, Indiana Historic Bridge Inventory, properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures, and a Historic Theater inventory [Indiana members]. The Indiana Historic Buildings, Bridges and Cemeteries map is the GIS map of SHAARD data.

To learn more about @INDIANA Indiana Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology, SHAARD, and the IHBBC Map, visit State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database and Structures Map (SHAARD)

October 23, 2023 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook:

Cemetery records are an essential source of information for genealogists and family historians looking to honor and remember their loved ones. To assist you in finding these records, we've compiled a list of helpful tips. We'd love to hear about your best tips and discoveries related to cemetery records in the comments below. Let's ensure that our ancestors' memories live on! #cemeteryrecords #genealogyresearch #monumentsandmemorials #thegenealogycenter

Name Index

ACGSI has an every-name index the Cemetery Index, Allen County, Indiana from their 1980s cemetery readings then updated by the local DAR 2008 project to photograph all tombstones for their pages.

Our Cemetery Name Index page lists every known cemetery name linked to DAR tombstone photos, Find A Grave pages, and when available newspaper articles and other information found online.

Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter NSDAR Cemetery Pages

Their Master Name Index with a Search box on each of their pages lists over 165,000 tombstone photos and transcriptions for over 219,000 people started in 2008, and finished in 2013 for their Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project.

The Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter NSDAR recorded most cemetery tombstones in 1932. For some older inactive and missing cemeteries those are the only known records.

In the 1980's the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana ( ACGSI) updated and transcribed the visible tombstone names into township publications. Several family cemeteries and many tombstones visible in 1932 were no longer found in the 1980s. The DAR used this updated 1980's ACGSI list along with their 1932 tombstone readings to locate all current tombstones for photographing.

1800s Military Cemetery

A military cemetery between what is now E. Main (formerly Old Fort Place), Clay, E. Berry and Lafayette Streets next to the 1794 Fort Wayne, demolished in 1800, is shown on a map on page 139 of the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

History of Allen County, Indiana, Publication date 1880, Publisher Kingman Brothers on Archive.org.

Page 101


There are other cemeteries connected with religious, social and benevolent institutions, whose histories have a direct connection with the institutions themselves, not being of a public character. Among these are the Ashduth Vesholom Congregation, Jewish ; the St. John's German Lutheran; and St. Paul's also German Lutheran.


Immediately south of Wayne’s fort, what is now Taber’s Addition, was the burial place connected with the garrison, but was, also, a general burial place Another place of burial was at the northwest corner of Columbia and Clinton streets and immediately to the westward thereof.

Another was located where the basin of the canal crosses Harrison street; this, however, was an Indian burial place. Mr. Price, in his History of Fort Wayne (p. 284), says of this place, “ and often had been seen, years ago, swinging from the bough of a tree, or in a hammock stretched between two trees, the infant of the Indian mother; or a few little log inclosures, where the bodies of adults sat upright, with all their former apparel wrapped about them, and their tunkets, tomahawks, etc., by their side, could be seen at any time for many years by the few pale-faces visiting or sojourning here.”

Another burial-place, used by the French and Indians, was located immediately east of the Methodist College and south of Wayne street, Rockhill street was run through this ground. [Brice, p. 316-317.]

Messrs. Barr & McCorkle, proprietors of Fort Wayne, in making their appropriation of lands for public purposes, set apart a tract four rods square as a free place of burial, and for church purposes. [Brice, p. 294.] This tract was located west of the present site of the Jail, and immediately north of Water street. “ In subsequent years, Judge Hanna having purchased all the Barr & McCorkle claims here, and the lots donated, as in the foregoing, being laid off by Mr. Hanna as a part of the place for general building purposes, the dead of the graveyard were, in 1837, removed at public expense or by loved friends, to the general cemetery west of Fort Wayne,” on Broadway. [Brice, p. 294.]

Alexander Ewing and wife, two of the very early settlers of Fort Wayne, were first buried on the north side of Water street, about where Ewing street crosses, his residence being located immediately west, on what is now Lot No. 1, of Ewing s Addition, west of Ewing street. They were subsequently removed, however, to the Ewing family vault, in the cemetery on Broadway.

Judge Archer was of Scotch-Irish descent, of the Protestant faith, a whig in politics, of intellectual and moral sturdiness, and many mourned his loss when he died at Fort Wayne in 1833. The Masons, to which order he belonged, buried him in the old grave yard where the county jail now stands. His remains and those of his wife, who was a native of one of the Carolinas, and some grandchildren were afterward removed to the Broadway cemetery, but now nothing remains to mark their resting place.

From page 35 of Volume 2 of the book Valley of the upper Maumee River, with historical account of Allen County and the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Publication date 1889 on Archive.org.

Cemeteries mentioned in The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date: 1917 on Archive.org.


(3) Me-te-a died in Fort Wayne in 1827. The late Louis Peltier made the casket in which the body was buried. Peltier, who was born within the walls of the old fort, in 1815, conceived brush to grain the coffin.' " the idea of his life work while assisting to remove the skeletons of the fort soldiers from the military cemetery which was situated in the region of the "junction of the present Berry and Clay streets. This was while Mr. Peltier still was in his teens, and was engaged in learning the carpenter and cabinet- making trade with James Wilcox, whose shop was also the first under-taking establishment in Fort Wayne. In the beginning the undertaker was also the coffinmaker. The first person whose body Louis Peltier made the burial casket was Chief Me-te-a, whose tragic death was the result of taking - poison while conversing with friends in the silversmith shop of "Father" Be- quette. From the January (1880) issue of "The Casket," an undertakers' Jour-nal Published at Rochester, N. Y., the following interesting additional Infor-mation is taken:

"The coffine was of poplar and, as staing material was scarce at that time, Dr. Cushman furnished Venetian red. 'To gain the dark colr', said Mr. Petier, 'we burned oat straw and then secured General Tipton's whitewash brush to grain the coffin.'"

Soon after the burial of Me-te-a, Dr. Lewis G. Thompson had the body ex-humed in order to make an examination of the remains. "A noise was heard." says the late John W. Dawson, "which the company thought to be Indians: and. as they knew the savages were greatly hostile to such disinterments, they were at once panic stricken, and, quickly blowing out their lights, fled to the brush to await the denouement. False as the alarm proved to be. they were nevertheless suspicious of the nearness of danger. So, returning to the grave, they re-buried the body."

Page 270

More important than all other matters to come before the county commissioners in 1824, was the proposition of John T. Barr and John McCorkle, proprietors of the town plat which they had laid out in August. It included the offer to pay into the treasury of the county $500 cash, and to donate to the county "all of that oblong square piece of ground situate and being in the town of Fort Wayne aforesaid, and stained red on the plat of said town, as recorded in the recorder's office of Randolph county in said state [the present courthouse square] , which is granted as a public square, whereon public buildings for said county are to be erected, and bounded by Main, Court, Berry and Calhoun streets." The offer included also a lot at the northwest corner of the plat, four rods square, "for a church, to be of no particular denomination, but free to all," the unoccupied portion of which was to be used for a burial ground. In 1838 and 1839, Samuel Hanna, who purchased all of the unsold and unappropriated portion of the Barr and McCorkle holdings, arranged for the removal of the bodies of those buried in this cemetery to a new burial place (the present McCulloch park). The remains of one person, over-looked in the process of removing the bodies, were unearthed in April, 1916 — seventy-seven years after the cemetery had been abandoned. [Map of the Original Plat is shown on page 267]

Page 281

John W. Dawson says that in 1838 the county seminary "was an old brick schoolhouse" with "a cemetery surrounding it. with rude palings and other plain marks of affection around the graves of the buried pioneers."

September 22, 2023 post by SAR - Anthony Halberstadt Chapter on Facebook:

SAR PATRIOT MARKER: as read by Seth Bradtmueller during the Patriot Grave Marking of Colonel Alexander Ewing on 16 September 2023 in Ft. Wayne, IN.

The center of the SAR Patriot Grave Marker contains a picture of a Minute Man; the first volunteer for the American Revolution. He was ready to go “at a minute’s notice.”

The Minute Man is surrounded by 13 stars which represents the original 13 colonies.

The date of 1775 is the generally agreed upon date of the start of the American revolution.

The term “Patriot” at the bottom of the marker signifies someone that served or supported the American Revolution.

Finally, the Grave Marker contains the letters “S”, “A” and “R” which stand for the recognizing organization, the Sons of the American Revolution.

Cemetery Keeps Traditions of Education, Celebration Thriving by 89.1 WBOI published November 2, 2015 on wboi.org. Includes a 5-minute audio interview of WBOI's Katy Anderson with the Lindenwood Cemetery's general manager, Tom Pehlke, to talk about the history of Lindenwood Cemetery and its place in the community from the earliest Fort Wayne cemetery where the current Allen County Jail was located in 2015 to the Broadway Cemetery to the founding of Lindenwood Cemetery.  

December 15, 2021 post by Joshua Schipperon Facebook:

This is one of the most heavily researched pieces I've written. It was fun to be able to travel to these historic sites and conduct some scavenger hunt research over the last two months!

#fortwayne #news #local #cemetery #historymatters #history

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana

More ‘buried concerns’: Losing graves has happened fairly frequently in Fort Wayne’s history Joshua Schipper, December 15, 2021 on Input Fort Wayne.

Also posted on Facebook by Input Fort Wayne on December 23, 2021.

A December 15, 2021 comment to the post said missing tombstones from the Archer Cemetery near the Allen County Memorial Coliseum may be somewhere in the coliseum. Anyone know anything. This is also known as the Johnny Appleseed Graveyard.

April 23, 2023 post by Corryn Brock published April 23, 2023 by The Journal Gazette on Facebook:

I loved working on this story over the past month! It was an idea I came into my position with hopes of writing and I’m so excited to see it come to fruition.

Allen County’s three most recent unidentified decedents, known to the coroner’s office as Mary Jane Doe, John River Doe and Baby John Doe, have gone without their true identity for decades. With recent advances in technology and funding to support DNA testing in one of the cases, Deputy Coroner Chris Meihls hopes to bring closure to these cases and hopefully to families who don’t know their loved one’s whereabouts.

There were two similar new articles published with this plus an update to a 2019 newspaper article:

Search for John – and Jane – Does' identities continues decades later , Corryn Brock | The Journal Gazette, April 22, 2023 Found in the 1990s and early 2000s, they are the most recent of more than 60 unidentified decedents in Allen County dating back to the 1800s, according to Allen County Deputy Coroner Chris Meihls. With advancements in technology helping make connections between the unidentified dead and the living, Meihls said he hopes to return their identities to them.

DNA plays crucial role in closing unidentified decedent cases Corryn Brock April 22, 2023 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Cece Moore is chief genetic genealogist for Parabon Nanolabs. She might be best-known locally for helping police identify the killer of 8-year-old April Tinsley, of Fort Wayne, who was killed April 1, 1988. We have information on April Tinsley who was killed in 1988.

Forensic sculptor in Mary Jane Doe case explains reconstruction process Corryn Brock April 22, 2023 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Twenty-five years after Mary Jane Doe’s remains were found nearly completely decomposed, a forensic artist created a facial reconstruction to show what the woman might have looked like in life.

New attempt to ID woman found in '92 Body discovered in basement; she was 6 months pregnant Ashley Sloboda, August 6, 2019, Updated Apr 20, 2023 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Renewed efforts to identify a woman found 27 years ago in a southeast Fort Wayne basement have led to new information about her, including she was six months pregnant, according to the Allen County coroner Monday. The coroner's office also released photographs of a clay facial reconstruction of the woman, who was buried in Lindenwood Cemetery as Mary Jane Doe. A contractor renovating a water-filled basement in the 3500 block of Reynolds Street found the woman in May 1992, but the coroner said she likely died in late 1991 or early 1992 based on the condition of her remains.

November 9, 2023 post by the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Facebook:

Look who just got bigger and better! With nearly 5 million more heroes now added to #Veterans Legacy Memorial from private and other cemeteries throughout the United States and abroad, finding YOUR Veterans is easier than ever. This Veterans Day, go to www.va.gov/remember and join the thousands of family members and others who have shared memories, told stories, and honored those who have served our Nation. #Legacy

November 6, 2023 post by the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Facebook:

VLM is an online memorial that allows family and friends to share lasting memories by uploading written tributes, photos, biographies, documents and other information to Veteran’s memorial pages.

This November the Veterans Legacy Memorial website has doubled in size by adding nearly 5 million Veterans and servicemembers buried in private and other non-VA cemeteries.

With this expansion, VLM now has nearly 10 million Veteran pages, including those buried in state and tribal cemeteries and National Park Service cemeteries.

Find your Veteran and leave a tribute at VA.gov/Remember

Infamous Burials

We have an Infamous Burials page for notorious people with local burials. If you know of others, please Contact Allen INGenWeb.

Family Cemeteries

Many Allen County cemeteries started in the 19th century as small family plots on rural isolated farms, or as rural church burial grounds. Families often moved away, or after a couple generations the descendants learned little to nothing of their family history beyond their parents or grandparents. Some churches disbanded, moved or merged with other church congregations. Many of the earliest small cemeteries were moved to nearby cemeteries, or larger city cemeteries like Lindenwood and the Catholic Cemetery.

In the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Members Only Section the December 2007 Allen County Lines newsletter on page 35 by Alyce J. Morow has transcribed an article "The Silent Cities" discussing the history of early burial grounds in Fort Wayne. It is shown on our Cemetery Newspaper Articles page.

History is not always kind to family cemeteries, such as the Waupecong Cemetery in Miami County, Indiana.

January 7, 2017 post by Hoosier History Live on Facebook:

Here’s a gravestone fragment for a two year old boy from a “lost” cemetery in Miami County, now known as the Waupecong Cemetery. Several gravestone fragments had been found in recent decades, and area residents decided to put up a monument at the former cemetery’s location as a Bicentennial project. Sometime in the 1940s a farmer had bulldozed the gravestones into a local swamp and plowed up the cemetery for farmland. You'll learn more about this this project on the show today.

Courtesy A Day of Dedication for Waupecong’s Lost Cemetery Bicentennial Legacy Project Event announcement

Waupecong's Lost Cemetery Volunteers put up monument honoring mysterious pioneer grave site, Carson Gerber October 12, 2016 and the video Uncovering The Mystery: Waupecong's Lost Cemetery Cara Ball October 12, 2016 on the Kokomo Tribune.

Cemetery Visits

A few of the larger cemeteries have modern staffed offices with a mailing address, phone number, computers, digitized records, or web sites. Individual cemetery information is shown on our township pages. Most cemeteries have signs, are visible from the main nearby road, at a crossroads of two or more roads, and are often visible in satellite photos on Google maps linked from each cemetery.

Cemetery visits should follow the preferred practice of Do No Harm. Cemetery Etiquette: What you Need to Know for that Cemetery Trip by Pan Velazquex published November 4, 2013 on the Ancestry.com blog now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

A volunteer using improper gravestone cleaning techniques before taking photos to upload online sparked outrage in August 2014. A good article condensing information and linking to several other good discussions is Please, Please, Please treat cemeteries and tombstones with respect! published August 14, 2014 on Upfront With NGS - The Blog for the National Genealogical Society.

Reading Stones on CCUS, Cemetery Conservators for United Standards, shows various Do No Harm Methods for Reading Grave Markers. Foil Casting is one easy and harmless method you can use to read hard to decipher tombstones. Using aluminum foil instead of chalk rubbings to read old tombstones with photos discussed February 4, 2017 on Grave Topics: Cemetery Art, History of Facebook.

This image was posted June 2, 2022 by Cemetery Conservators For United Standardson Facebook.

May 12, 2021 post by the Indiana Genealogical Society on Facebook:

With Memorial Day coming upon us you may notice coins left upon headstones of veterans. Do you know what each of these coins represents? #memorialday #memorialdayweekend #military

December 19, 2023 post by Newspapers.com on Facebook:

In 1933, a family was reunited when one brother left a note at their mother's grave! The Mickey children had been separated following their mother's death in 1911. Twenty-two years later, Francis (who had been a baby at the time of the separation) left a note at her grave asking anyone who knew the family to contact him.

A neighbor of one of his sisters found the note, and on Christmas Day Francis and 2 of his siblings were reunited, with more of the siblings reunited in in the following days.

The heartwarming story made the news nationwide.

Read the full article in the Richmond Palladium on our site: "Note on Mother's Grave Reunites Man with Family" [ Palladium-Item, Richmond, Indiana, Tuesday, December 26, 1933, Page 2 ]

Enhancing the Stones with Joy Neighbors May 2, 2023 Indiana Genealogical Society, Inc. on YouTube
Joy Neighbors helps us learn more about headstone markers: what materials were commonly used to make them, what kind of damage they can incur, and best practices for cleaning and repair.

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Indiana Cemetery Laws

July 19, 2013 post by the Indiana Genealogical Society on Facebook:

FRIDAY FACT: Indiana passed a law in February 1899 prohibiting railroads from being built on any land that was being used as a cemetery. The penalty for violating this law was a fine of between $50 and $500. Source: Acts of 1899, Chapter 14, as appears in "Laws of the State of Indiana, passed at the sixty-first regular session of the General Assembly" (Indianapolis: William B. Burford, 1899)."


Until 2001, it was legal to farm through cemeteries. Today, that would be illegal... Indiana now has a law which protects archaeological and human burial sites. ... All sites with artifacts dating before December 31, 1870 are protected, even on private property. Copied with the broken tombstone in the corn field stubble photo posted March 16, 2019 by the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology on Facebook. Click the date link to see a photo and read the responses to Comments about how this happened and what has changed.

The Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database SHAARD has maps, surveys, GPS co-ordinate data, and photos of all known cemeteries in all 92 Indiana counties.

The main issue with cemetery law enforcement involves understanding who owns the land, whether and when the land deed discusses the existance of a family or church cemetery, and whether the deed provides public access, ingress/egress, or requires private owner permission to even visit the cemetery. Permission to visit a cemetery is decided by the land owner as is photographing tombstones and tombstone cleaning if allowed. Land ownership determines what response to expect from local authorities such as the county prosecutor and/or township trustees to enforce current laws as they apply to the owner when so many day to day tasks already require officials limited time and resources.

Some of the Indiana State Cemetery Laws at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

  1. Indiana Administrative Code - the latest update of all Indiana laws
  4. IC 6-1.1-6.8 Chapter 6.8. Assessment of Cemetery Land
  5. IC 35 TITLE 35. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 35-43-1-2.1 Cemetery mischief
  6. Cemetery & Burial Ground Mandates & Laws DNR - Indiana Department of Natural Resources page summurizes the laws similar to the presentation handout

In the State of Indiana, statutes govern how abandoned cemeteries in the care of townships must be maintained. Read more in Cemetery Care by Indiana Townships by Rich Green of Historic Archaeological Researchposted November 12, 2022 on Facebook.

Caring and cleaning headstones

DO NO HARM! If you don't know what you are doing, research the proper methods from many sources before doing anything. Different stones require different methods to prevent permanent damage. Newer granite stones may tolerate mistakes that will permanently damage older soft stones possibly making them illegible for future researchers when new technologies could resolve current legibility issues.

Caring and cleaning headstones isn't a one-size-fits all endeavor. Is it made of sandstone, limestone, slate, marble, or...

Posted by Virginia Genealogical Society on Monday, November 14, 2022

November 14, 2022 post by the Virginia Genealogical Society on Facebook:

Caring and cleaning headstones isn't a one-size-fits all endeavor. Is it made of sandstone, limestone, slate, marble, or something else? Lots of factors go into doing the job right. Watch this video to learn from a professional restorationist:

"Those Who Have Gone Before:" Headstone Restorationist Casey Winningham | The INbox by WTIU & WFIU - Indiana Public Media posted June 18, 2019 by on YouTube
For more than 10 years, Casey Winningham has been carving, restoring and recreating old headstones, all by hand. Casey is one of a handful of people around the country using the hammer-and-chisel method, and here he walks us through his process and shares the reasons behind his work.
At the 2:30 mark he states: I tell people, if you're using anything in the cemetery that you can buy at the hardware store, it's the wrong stuff. [ BTW Casey Winningham is an Indiana stone carver and headstone restorationest ]

DO NO HARM! If you don't know what you are doing, research the proper methods from many sources before doing anything.

Notice they restored the tombstone to a gravel base, NOT concrete. Also he does NOT recommend over the counter products like Wet-N-Forget as some sources do!

Cleaning a Headstone

Watch as I demonstrate how we clean a headstone here at Historic Sugar Grove Cemetery. When in doubt, it is better to do nothing than risk doing damage. Please reach out if you would like to see more or come out to get hands on experience!

Posted by Historic Sugar Grove Cemetery on Friday, March 15, 2024

Friday, March 15, 2024 post by Historic Sugar Grove Cemetery on Facebook:

Watch as I demonstrate how we clean a headstone here at Historic Sugar Grove Cemetery. When in doubt, it is better to do nothing than risk doing damage. Please reach out if you would like to see more or come out to get hands on experience!

As one commment noted: It is important to mention that the marker in this video is granite. Generally speaking, the methodology featured here using a stiff bristled brush with so much repeated scrubbing is NOT recommended on marble, sandstone, slate, and most other historic gravestones.

September 17, 2023 post by Historic Archaeological Research on Facebook:

Let’s Talk Funding for Pioneer Cemetery Restoration

We typically get quite a few requests from folks looking for funds to undertake restoration efforts, and this month has been no exception so I’m sharing this article again.

A major hurdle of cemeteries that have fallen into poor condition is the funding necessary to make repairs to damaged monuments and to restore the property to a more respectful appearance. Many older cemeteries that are no longer accepting burials often run out of money for perpetual care. Without any source of ongoing income, endowments may become exhausted and, with no means left to foot the bill for maintaining the property, a cemetery may be considered abandoned and ultimately deeded to the township or other municipal body. This can be problematic if a township does not have the tax revenue necessary to allocate monies that will support much more than occasional mowing.

Gravestones that have toppled and or are broken are not only unsightly but leave relatives of the deceased and cemetery visitors with a poor impression of the property and its managers. There may also be hazards when larger or taller tombstones become unlevel and are in danger of falling. Routine maintenance of 19th and early 20th century cemetery monuments is essential in keeping the property in good order and safe for site visitors. Professional restoration of gravestones that have fallen and or are broken can be expensive. Current cemetery stewards may not have the funds or the knowledge and wherewithal to make proper repairs.

So, let’s begin a discussion of alternate sources of funding for cemetery repair and restoration. A few ideas to generate significant income over a several year period for annually recurring restoration efforts will be listed here, but there may be many other sources.

Historic preservation grants may be available to augment annual allocations by the trustee or cemetery association. State grants typically require equal matching funds, and some types may require sponsorship by a non-for-profit organization. It is generally necessary to apply for grants well in advance of the need for the funds.

Historic preservation and civic groups may also provide small grants or matching funds for cemetery restoration efforts. This might include state and local historical and genealogical societies, or other local clubs and community organizations.

Most cemeteries have military veteran interments. The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Sons and Daughters of the Revolution (SAR & DAR) organizations may be willing to support restoration plans with contributions

Relatives of the deceased who want to make annual endowments or contributions should be explored. Making the public aware or the work being accomplished thorough newspapers articles and social media may stimulate contributions from relatives and other civic minded individuals, organizations, or local businesses.

In some cases, there may be sizeable apparently vacant areas in a previously abandoned cemetery and some states permit reactivation and sale of new grave plots by township trustees. Property adjacent to a cemetery may become available and an annex including new lots for sale and use may be created as well. Often there are relatives who want to buy plots in a cemetery where they have kin, and this is sometimes the impetus for reactivation. Obviously, the sale of new plots is money found that may be used in the perpetual care of a cemetery.

There are certainly many more potential sources for fundraising. Flea market or community garage sales, bake sales, pancake, and chili dinners, etc. are just a few more potential sources of income derived by a community that could be used in a continuing cemetery restoration project. Use your imagination.

#cemetery #genealogy

January 31, 2024 post by Cemetery Conservators For United Standards on Facebook:


Other Cemetery Sources

ACGSI has a Cemetery Name Only Index and the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indianahas digitized some of those indexes. Digital copies of the ACGSI 1980s tombstone readings are available in the ACGSI Members Only Section of their web site and INGenWeb has an Indiana Cemeteries page.

See Citing images from Find A Grave discussion on Evidence Explained.

The Indiana DNR (Department of Natural Resources) has maps, GPS latitude, longitude and photos for most Allen County, Indiana cemeteries on their Allen County SHAARD Cemeteries pages. and a page on Cemetery Symbolism.

Sexton Records

What is a sexton? An employee or officer of a church who is responsible for keeping records of those buried in the cemetery, for the care and upkeep of church property and sometimes for ringing bells and digging graves. The hard part can be finding existing records for cemeteries without an office. For cemeteries still accepting burials there will often be a sign with contact information. If no contact information or office listed, then ask a nearby Funeral Home, business (based on my persional experience, even a tractor supply, or barber shop could have the records), or any neighbor close to the cemetery might know who has the original sexton records. Read more info at Teach Me Genealogy - What is a Sexton?.

USGenWeb has an Allen County Tombstone Transcription Project.

March 1, 2023 post by Dead Fred's Genealogy Photo Archive on Facebook:

Digging Graves as a Hobby (1916) This picture is of Mrs. Josephine Smith, aged 84 at the time, whose hobby was digging graves. Part of a collection of images taken by Jim Fitzpatrick called 'Drouin town and rural life during World War II". Drouin was a typical little farming town with around 1,100 people. 

This photo is actually from 1944, posted as Josephine Smith digging a grave at the Drouin Cemetery, Victoria [1] [picture] [born in 1916] in the Drouin town and rural life during World War II [picture]collection also posted on flickr.com by the National Library of Australia with a second photo Josephine Smith digging a grave at the Drouin Cemetery, Victoria, [2] [picture].

Josephine Smith digging a grave at the Drouin Cemetery, Victoria, [2] on flickr, Fitzpatrick, Jim, 1916- Title devised by cataloguer from caption on verso.; Condition: Good.; Part of the collection: Drouin town and rural life during World War II.; "U429/84. Meet Mrs. Josephine Smith, aged 84, whose hobby is digging graves. She lives in Drouin, a typical little farming town (1100 people), in southern Australia, 60 miles out of the Victorian capital, Melbourne. ..."--Printed on label.; Accompanied by two pages of notes.; Also available in an electronic version via the Internet at: nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24219398.

September 11, 2023 post by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana on Facebook:

An interesting story about a cemetery in Illinois where volunteers use modern technology to map gravesites in an 1866 cemetery. Would be nice if every local cemetery grave site was similarly cleaned up and mapped. 😀 "“Everything” meant cleaning up the neighboring treeline, restoring broken headstones, digging up and/or stabilizing headstones and mapping graves."

For St. Mary's Cemetery Champaign, Illinois, Volunteers, engineers, students working together to map what lies beneath St. Mary's Cemetery Luke Taylor, September 8, 2023 The News-Gazette.


1916 delivering tombstones

October 26, 2023 post by Indiana Album on Facebook:

Athens, Fulton County - This rare real photo postcard shows H. O. Pontius & Son Monuments of Mentone delivering two tombstones to Hoovers Cemetery (also known as Mount Hope and Athens Cemetery). The delivery truck has a 1916 license plate, which coincides with the death year of Meda Ellen (Kinzie) Hartman (who died of uremic poisoning at only age 26 on May 29, 1916) and Lewis E. White (age 51, who died suddenly at his home on April 30, 1916).

Can you spot the typo? The tombstone engraver accidentally gave Meda the middle initial L. (for Ellen, oops), but easily corrected it. Check out Find a Grave to see how they fixed it. https://www.findagrave.com/.../62179358/meda-ellen-hartman

Our thanks to Harley Sheets for sharing more of his wonderful postcard collection. We appreciate all of the support that we get from members of the Indianapolis Postcard Club!

Hindostan whetsone tombstone

Image from August 4, 2020 post and text from a September 24, 2023 post by the Indiana DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology on Facebook:

Fitting right in with the early Indiana industry theme of Archaeology Month is the Hindostan whetstone industry. Sturgeon et al. (2020) in their excellent Storymap (Indiana’s Hindostan Whetstone Industry) state that “Hindostan whetstone is a thinly layered siltstone that was quarried in southern Indiana throughout the 19th and 20th centuries for use as sharpening stones and gravemarkers. Produced exclusively from northwestern Orange County, Indiana, this abundant material supplied the state’s first mineral industry and was exported throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.” They also state that “The uniform grain size, fine layering, and even cementation of Hindostan whetstone made it a perfect medium for grave markers. . . . [and] more than 1,800 whetstone tombstones have been documented in 30 counties throughout Indiana, as well as in cemeteries in Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio.”

Reference Cited

Sturgeon, P. R., Powell, R. L., Hill, B.T., Meyer, R. A., and Johnson, M. R.

2020 Indiana’s Hindostan Whetstone Industry: Indiana Geological and Water Survey Digital Information Series 23, https://igws.indiana.edu/IGSmap/whetstone.

#INArchaeoMonth #INDHPA

September 26, 2023 post by Smithsonian Libraries and Archives on Facebook:

Did you know that it's National Ghost Hunting Day 👻?

Whether you plan to go sleuthing in cemeteries or just need some Halloween decorating inspiration, you learn how to identify 19th-century gravestones and monuments with our Cooper Hewitt Library trade literature: White Bronze for the hereafter

September 13, 2023 post by BillionGraves on Facebook:

Have you ever tried to find a gravestone in a large cemetery - one with tens of thousands of gravestones? If so, you know how time-consuming, and even frustrating, it can be. Unless you use the BillionGraves app! Then it’s easy! Do a search with the app, walk toward the marker on the BillionGraves map, and BOOM, within minutes you are there!

It’s unbelievable how many people have told us that they wish they knew about the BillionGraves app before they spent half the day hunting for their ancestor’s gravestone!

Here’s how to find a gravestone in 4 easy steps:

1) Go to your app store and download the BillionGraves app. Set up an account.

2) At the cemetery, open the main screen of the BillionGraves app and tap on “find headstone”.

3) Enter a name. Options will appear. Tap on one of the results. Then tap on the name of the cemetery.

4) A map will open with an orange GPS marker on the gravestone for the name you have searched. Your own location will be marked with a blue dot, indicating the GPS location of the phone in your hand. As you walk, the blue dot will move. Go toward the orange GPS marker on your screen until you reach the gravestone!

Learn more at: https://blog.billiongraves.com/find-a-gravestone/

Have you used the BillionGraves app to find a gravestone or to help someone else find one? Please share your story in the comments below.

BillionGraves needs volunteers to take photos of gravestones! You could help others find their ancestors! Get started by checking out the link in our bio. https://BillionGraves.com/volunteer

#BillionGraves #JustServe #FamilySearch

Would you like to volunteer to take photos of gravestones?

Get started at https://BillionGraves.com/volunteer

Questions? Email us at Volunteer@BillionGraves.com

Website: https://billiongraves.com/search/cemetery

February 5, 2024 post by BillionGraves on Facebook:

BillionGraves records are now automatically matched to FamilySearch!

In the past, after volunteers transcribed a record, they had to: 1) wait for a potentially matching record on FamilySearch to appear 2) compare the two records 3) decide whether or not they appeared to be the same person 4) select “accept” or “reject”.

But things are different now. They are easier and better. On every transcription form, there is a notice that says, “Records will be matched with FamilySearch automatically.”

BillionGraves is taking care of all the matching to FamilySearch so all transcribers have to do is record and/or verify the information that is written on the gravestone. This makes the record pages load faster too.

FamilySearch provides free resources to help millions of people around the world discover their heritage and make family connections. FamilySearch and BillionGraves have been working together for more than a decade and we will continue to do so.

BillionGraves needs volunteers to take photos of gravestones! You could help others find their ancestors! Get started by checking out this link: https://BillionGraves.com/volunteer

Would you like to volunteer to take photos of gravestones?

Get started at https://BillionGraves.com/volunteer

Questions? Email us at Volunteer@BillionGraves.com

February 25, 2021 post by Find a Grave on Facebook:

This year's RootsTech family history conference is completely virtual and free to access for the first time ever! Visit rootstech.org to check out some of the many classes offered, including "Getting the Most Out of Find a Grave" which provides a quick overview of search tips, ways to join the community of contributors, and a look into the Find a Grave app: https://www.familysearch.org/.../getting-the-most-out-of...

On youtube: Getting the Most Out of Find a Grave

Getting the Most Out of Find a Grave

Over the past 25 years, the Find a Grave community has worked together to build an amazing collection of gravesite information. In this session, we'll share some tips for how you can get the most out of Find a Grave through searching the existing information and by becoming part of the community of contributors. This keynote presentation was part of RootsTech Connect 2021.

Tombstones and Monuments Catalogue of memorial art in granite and marble by Sears, Roebuck and Co. Publication date 1906 on Archive.org.
They also have a 104 page 1919 edition of Monuments, tombstones, markers on Archive.org
The 1919 Sears and Roebuck's Tombstone and Monument Catalog is a video by Words From Us on Facebook.

From Quarry to Cemetery Monuments Ordering Monumental / Cemetery Stones from Catalogs / Price Lists, etc. on Stone Quarries and Beyond has lots of links to more information.

Sears and Roebuck's also sold Home building kits from their catalogs.

Understanding Gravestone Symbols posted Aug 18, 2020 by Allen County Public Library on YouTube
Once you understand the meaning behind gravestone symbols, walking through a cemetery becomes an adventure! You will catch glimpses into the lives and legacies of those buried there like never before. Come learn about more than 100 gravestone symbols from BillionGraves’ amazing cemetery database. From angels to crowns and broken obelisks to weeping willows, you will understand the messages your ancestors were leaving on their departed loved one’s headstones. It will open your eyes to a whole new world and your trips to the cemetery will never be the same again! Presented by: Cathy Wallace, Special Projects Coordinator, BillionGraves. Learn more at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Genealogy: Finding Your Story with BillionGraves posted Jun 17, 2020 by Allen County Public Library on YouTube
If headstones could talk, they would have a lot of stories to tell. But they can't, so BillionGraves is the next best thing! BillionGraves is the world's largest GPS-linked cemetery data resource. As photos are taken with the BillionGraves app, each gravestone is automatically tagged with GPS coordinates. The data is then made readily available on BillionGraves’ website for genealogical research for millions of families around the globe for generations to come. Presented by Cathy Wallace. Learn more at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

AAGSFW Research Tools & Tips: Cemeteries, Tombstones and Funeral Homes published January 4, 2022 by AAGSFW Fort Wayne on YouTube
In this month's Research Tools & Tips training, Dr. Al Brothers - Vice-Chair of the AAGSFW - explains how to gather and use information from cemeteries, tombstones and funeral homes to further your genealogy research. Watch how he used them in his own research! Add more tools to your research toolbox with AAGSFW! AAGSFW Fort Wayne has a growing collection of videos on YouTube and also on their Facebook Video page.

Visiting CEMETERIES for FUN!? (Meet the Necro Tourist) by Daniel Beals posted October 14, 2021 on YouTube
from the article 21Country: The Necro Tourist Ken Naegele is drawn to the dead... or at least, where they’re laid to rest. by Daniel Beals updated: October 7, 2021 on 21AliveNews.com.

Cemetery Information

October 26, 2023 post by Smith & Sons Funeral Home on Facebook:

Read our latest article: Cemetery vs Graveyard: Unearthing the Differences

  1. See Fort Wayne Medical College for grave robbing and body snatching information.
  2. Who cares for pioneer cemeteries? The DNR - Department of Natural Resources Cemeteries web page has information and links to Indiana cemetery laws and information. The Indiana Pioneer Cemetery Restoration Project is a good volunteer source of information. Follow discussions on their Facebook page.
  3. Albert Fearnaught (originally Fürchtenicht) operated a photo studio at 16-18 E. Washington St. in Indianapolis from 1886 to 1892. His other contribution to society was an 1882 patent for a grave signal. Should a person awake to find themselves buried alive, a tug on a rope around their wrist would trigger a spring-loaded red flag on the surface. The design also allowed fresh air into the coffin until a rescue could occur. It is not known if the device was ever manufactured, but with the name Fearnaught the product marketing and naming possibilities were interesting. Copied from an April 30, 2022 post by The Indiana Album on Facebook. Retro Indy: Albert Fearnaught and his signal from the grave by Dawn Mitchell published January 5, 2015 in the IndyStar. s Signals from the Grave Early patents for detecting life in buried persons from American Artifacts, issue 45, July 1999 by Richard Van Vleck. GRAVE SIGNAL. No. 260,379. Patented July 4,1882 on patents.google.com.
  4. Cleaning Products That Do No Harm at Cemetery Conservators United Standards.org.
  5. Cleaning tombstones, Reading Stones and Don't Read Stones with has good Do No Harm information with photos by Cemetery Conservators for United Standards
  6. Sometimes the unexpected occurs in cemeteries that could damage tombstones!
    Lightning Sets Tree Ablaze in St. Louis Cemetery

    Totally eerie -- a tree burns from the inside out after a lightning strike

    Posted by The Weather Channel on Friday, March 3, 2017

    Friday, March 3, 2017 post by The Weather Channel on Facebook:

    Lightning Sets Tree Ablaze in St. Louis Cemetery

    Totally eerie -- a tree burns from the inside out after a lightning strike 

  7. Family bringing new life to forgotten cemetery (fixing vandalized graves) posted Jun 28, 2022 by Daniel Beals on YouTube.
    Off of State Road 1 in Ossian, lies a forgotten cemetery that is now bustling with life. Interrupting over a century of stark quietness, are the sounds of chainsaws and heavy machinery. Less than a year ago, the plot of land off of Young Street was overgrown with brush, and dying trees — that is, until the Heckber family stepped in. Ossian is just south of the Allen County line in Wells County, Indiana. The list of names of those buried there is in the longer article 21Country: Ossian family bringing new life to forgotten cemetery Historic burial grounds being restored after a century of neglect by Daniel Beals Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 on 21AliveNews.com.

  8. Flag-Folding Procedures traditional method from The American Legion.
  9. Grave Concerns originally with a video discussing grave robbing when In 1879 five physicians founded the Fort Wayne Medical College in the old Hugh McCulloch mansion on Superior Street. Students were required to pay tuition, study hard and provide their own cadavers for dissection. The need for medical cadavers inspired the very lucrative profession of grave robbing and no cemetery within fifty miles of Fort Wayne was safe. by Eric Olson, 21Country Featured Reporter originally published November 13, 2018 on 21AliveNews.comis now on Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  10. History’s Best Strategies for Avoiding Being Buried Alive These ingenious 19th-century techniques aimed to make sure dead really meant dead by Ashawnta Jackson published October 10, 2017 on AtlasObscura.com.
  11. History Through Headstones on the History Center Notes & Queries blog posted May. 24, 2021
  12. Premature burial, and how it may be prevented, with special reference to trance catalepsy, and other forms of suspended animation by Tebb, William; Vollum, Edward Perry; publication date 1905 on Archive.org.
  13. Photo of tombstone advertisement in early 1900s Sears catalog posted March 31, 2018 in Cemetery Conservators For United Standards on Facebook.
  14. Best trick EVER to read old Gravestones given by a stone carver! Do No Harm photographing illegible tombstones in the vertical center without touching or damaging the stone! Use a mirror to light up dark gravestones by Pumpkintown Primitives on YouTube. They have other interesting videos.

    Best trick EVER to read old Gravestones given by a stone carver! PART 1 posted Jul 7, 2020 by Pumpkintown Primitiveson YouTube
    We are all guilty of trying every trick in the book to read old gravestones. Almost all of these methods can over time harm the stone. This is a hands off approach used by researchers that will help preserve our old stones for many more years. David is a Professional Grave Stone Carver who tells his method for viewing stones that he has used to write his book, " A Brief Treatise on Tomb and Grave Stones of the 18th Century."

Burial Fashion

May 26, 2023 post by Greenlawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park on Facebook:

Burial fashion: A lot of centuries-old garments survive in the ground for a long time (because even natural fabrics decompose at their own pace—wool survives longer than linen, and so on) and are recovered by archaeologists. Thanks to such finds, we can learn more about the accurate fashion trends and traditions of a certain period. A lot of such recovered outfits are stored and studied in museums all over the world.

Woodmen of the World

  1. Many genealogists and taphophiles are familiar with the Woodmen of the World organization, which placed countless tree-stump tombstones on the graves of its deceased members. The Modern Woodmen of America is older than WOW, though it was founded by the same man, Joseph Cullen Root. He formed MWA in Lyons, Iowa in 1883. He left the organization and formed WOW in Omaha, Nebraska in 1890. Modern Woodmen of America is still an active fraternal/insurance organization. Today it offers a variety of insurance and financial services. Copied from Tombstone Tuesday: Modern Woodmen of America by Amy Johnson Crow.
  2. Story of the Tree Stump Tombstones at HistoricHouston.
  3. Tree-Stump Tombstones: A Field Guide to Rustic Funerary Art in Indiana (Kokomo, 1999) by Susanne S Ridlen, a folklorist at Indiana University Kokomo, identified over 2,400 of these headstones in Indiana.It is one of several interesting titles at Tombstones and Folklore Resources American Cemeteries and Tombstones: Books from the IU Folklore Collection that contains more than 850 books, audio recordings, web resources, and serials on the general subject of death and dying. in the Indiana University Archives Exhibit at Indiana University Bloomington. Tree-stump tombstones : a field guide to rustic funerary art in Indiana by Susanne S. Ridlen is available in The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  4. Why Some Gravestones Are Shaped Like Tree Stumps When nature and secret societies get together. By Sarah Laskow posted July 17, 2018 on Atlas Obscura.
  5. Woodmen of the World and the Tree Stone Grave Markers posted by Joy Neighbors June 21, 2011 on A Grave Interest blog.
  6. Woodmen of the World and the Tree-Stump Gravestone posted on November 28, 2011 by gravelyspeaking.
  7. April 18, 2023 post by the The Ordinary, Extraordinary Cemetery Podcast on Facebook:

    Tuesday Tidbit...

    "Exploring the Legacy of Woodmen of the World and its Unique Headstones"

    Charles H. Huggins was born March 15, 1863 in Illinois to William and Martha Huggins. He spent his entire boyhood in Illinois. In 1885 he married Addie Ray in Marion, Illinois. By 1900 the couple had moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado where Charles was working as a carpenter. He died August 13, 1906 and was buried in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek. He was a member of Woodmen of the World and his grave is marked by a distinctive Woodmen of the World tombstone which is surrounded by a small grove of Aspen trees.

    The Woodmen of the World is a fraternal organization that was founded in 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska by Joseph Cullen Root, who was a clerk for the district court.

    After hearing a sermon about "pioneer woodsmen clearing away the forest to provide for their families", Root wanted to start a society that "would clear away problems of financial security for its members". The first type of benefit the organization provided was a death benefit to help cover burial costs. The first death claim was paid to the mother of a 19-year-old drowning victim in Niles, Michigan.

    One of the distinctive features of Woodmen of the World is its use of symbols and rituals that are inspired by the lumber industry. For example, members are organized into "camps," which are similar to lodges in other fraternal organizations. Members also participate in ceremonies that involve the use of axes and other lumber-related tools.

    Over the years, Woodmen of the World has expanded its mission to include a focus on community service and charitable giving. Today, the organization, now called WoodmenLife, supports a variety of causes, including disaster relief efforts, youth programs, and medical research.

    Woodmen of the World also has a rich history of supporting veterans and their families. During World War I, the organization raised money to support the war effort and also provided financial assistance to the families of soldiers. In the years that followed, Woodmen of the World continued to support veterans through various initiatives, including the establishment of a Veterans Memorial in Omaha.

    Woodmen of the World's early headstones were known as "Woodmen markers" or "Woodmen monuments." They were designed to be easily recognizable and unique, and were typically made of limestone or marble.

    The markers featured a variety of distinctive symbols, including an axe and a maul crossed over a tree stump, with the letters "WOW" (for Woodmen of the World) carved above the axe and maul. The tree stump symbolized the end of life, while the axe and maul symbolized the tools used in the lumber industry.

    Other symbols that were sometimes included on the markers included a dove (which represented peace), a broken tree limb (which represented a life cut short), and a bundle of sticks tied together with a band (which represented the strength of unity).

    Woodmen markers were popular from the late 1800s through the early 1900s, and can still be found in cemeteries throughout the United States. While the markers were originally intended for use only by members of Woodmen of the World, they eventually became popular with other fraternal organizations as well.

    Today, Woodmen of the World has over 700,000 members and operates in all 50 states in the United States, as well as in several other countries around the world.

    Photo: Grave of Charles Huggins in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek, Colorado


  8. January 1, 2023 post by Historia Obscurum on Facebook:

    Happy New Year! 🎉


    .....unless you're using the Julian calendar. Let me explain....

    . If you spend much time in rather old burying grounds, you may begin to notice curious things carved into the stones that may be baffling to the modern eye.

    For example, while wandering a burying ground in Concord, Massachusetts, recently this headstone caught my eye for its odd system of dating.

    Note that the year of Mr. Joseph Dakin's passing is written as 174⁴/³. Which is it? Did he die in 1743 or 1744? Why did they write the date in that confusing way?

    The first hint we get of what happened is that Mr. Dakin died between January 1st and March 24th, and this little piece of information leads us directly to the issue of competing calendars.

    Until the Calendar Act ("An Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year; and for Correcting the Calendar now in Use") went into effect in Britain and her colonies in 1752, each new year began on March 25th, aside from in Scotland, which already had adopted January 1st.

    At the time, Britain was using the Julian Calendar while most of Europe was using the Gregorian Calendar, which not only began the new year on January 1st, but also, by the 1750s, put the rest of Europe 11 days ahead of Britain (which caused a LOT of issues with coordinating trade and military operations).

    Prior to the Calendar Act, however, many folks living in British territories observed a dual-dating system, observing January 1st as the new year in practice, but using March 25th as the new year for legal purposes.

    This especially was true in the colonies where there were large groups of Scots immigrants who already used January 1st to mark the new year.

    This created an overlap period each year between January 1st and March 24th where it actually was two different years (hence both 1743 and 1744 at the same time), but come March 25th each year, everyone would be in the same year once again.

    And so, to ease confusion (believe it or not), in the case of poor old Mr. Dakin of Concord, Massachusetts, the stone carver used the dual-dating to clarify exactly when he died:

    By the "Old Style" (which is the term you'll find in documents of the era) system, he died on March 13, 1743 because the new year had not yet begun.

    But by the "New Style" system, he died March 13, 1744, because New Year's Day already had passed.

    If he just could have held on for twelve more days, his heirs could have saved the little bit of money paid to the carver for the extra digit.

    So, Happy New Year! Perhaps! 🎉

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