African-American Cemeteries

All Cemeteries provide an opportunity to study past attitudes towards death, family, religion, and community. And all cemeteries contain human remains that should be accorded respect. Unfortunately, time and money constraints make it difficult to protect all historic cemeteries. This protect focuses on African-American cemeteries, with an emphasis on locating, researching, and, when possible, protecting these significant mortuary landscapes. This project is particularly timely because many historic black cemeteries are not documented on county maps or deeds and, as a result, are often unintentionally destroyed during new construction. Hopefully, the completion of the research discussed below will help raise awareness about African-American burial grounds and encourage residents to visit and protect these unique historical resources.

We are committed to making the results of the cemetery surveys public to assist descendant communities in their genealogical research and in documenting their family histories. We will, however, on rare occasions, mask the location of certain cemeteries that are located on private property. The genealogical information will be available, along with photographs of each stone, but in order to visit the cemetery one would have to be a direct descendant and obtain permission from the current land owner (see "cemetery preservation" above for a list of laws concerning cemetery visitations).