Start Your Own Cemetery Committee
We highly encourage you to take action & start your own cemetery committee. Remember the mighty oak started as a mere acorn & all things great have humble beginnings. We have a vision of many individual cemetery committees that work independently but, can gather here in a larger cohesive nature for the betterment of all. Tombstone preservation is mainly two-fold, it is the caring research & dedication of many individuals, but it is also largely about education. The two go hand in hand & this would be a great place to meld the two together & exchange ideas & information. There is always strength in numbers & the more our numbers grow the stronger the individual cemetery committee will be. We will be happy to assist you in putting together your committee & we offer the following list of ideas to help you better network with those that can help.
PLEASE always remember, you must take some action yourself & never get caught up in thinking it is, or should be someone else’s job. This is almost always certainly not the case. Larger active cemeteries have more obligations to maintain their grounds, but you will find that is usually where it ends. Maintenance of individual graves & plots are still largely up to family & preservation groups. Old inactive cemeteries are either under Twp. Control or on private lands & must be dealt with accordingly. So in short, get out your best people skills & work well with others as best you can.
Great Things Can Happen!
“Marietta Cemeteries Coming Alive” is one of the best examples I know of.
“Friends of Shockoe Cemetery” is another great example of caring people who put together a nonprofit & are now working to restore their cemetery.
We were happy to make the trip down to Richmond Virginia & teach a class in tombstone cleaning & preservation this past fall 2013 & help them further their good work.
VMI Cadet & soldier Lieutenant Edward L. Fant Jr., Co. K, 8th Virginia Inf.
The Friends of Shockoe have started a program called “Adopt a Soldier of Shockoe Hill Cemetery” to clean, repair, replace, or mark these graves for the first time, with veteran tombstones.
You can find them at.
Your Local Genealogical Society
They are the best place to start first. They have some of the best connections to ALL types of history & have very knowledgeable people who will be more than happy to assist you in your endeavors. If you find yourself doing an increasing amount of research, then I strongly encourage you to pick up a yearly membership with them. I think you will find it one of the most valuable things you can do.
Your Local Historical Societies
They are a wonderful source for the centralized specific local history research you may be doing. They are also generally well connected with other history organizations both local and national.
Your Local Libraries
Libraries have always been a great source for research & many of them have a specific history or genealogical room.
Your Local Museums
Museums are a wonderful microcosm of artifacts & information. They are a great place to get that Indiana Jones feel for what you are doing and gain a more hands on feel.
Don’t Forget Your Area Twp. Trustees
Township Trustees are generally some very nice & knowledgeable people that can assist you greatly. They are many times the ones in charge of a cemetery and can assist you in cemetery information as well as guide you in what can be done. They aren’t able to do some of the finer maintenance work or repairs, but they can assist you in some of the other big jobs such as tree removal & road work. PLEASE partner up with a Twp. Trustee, you won’t be sorry.