Thursday, February 13, 2014

1,000 Unmarked Graves in Mississippi...Forgotten & Lost

1,000 Unmarked Grave in Mississippi...Forgotten & Lost
Is there a growing crisis today in cemetery preservation?

 This story, which in the last week, as been making news nationwide...especially in the genealogical community, brings to light many questions!

I'm including a link to the original news story & video, so you can read it there... and I can skip rehashing it.....  Discovery of graves affects UMMC parking plan

Weed Cemetery in New Canaan, CT
January 2014
Photo compliments of Pamela S.
Unfortunately, while I'm passionate about cemetery preservation...I'm not very well educated on any groups or organizations that might exist. Recently, I posted about a neglected family cemetery in Connecticut, which is the final resting place for some of my very long ago ancestors. Today, we are constantly hearing about the abuse/neglect of ancient burial grounds....

In 2012, here in Minnesota a farmer in Grant County destroyed an old family cemetery. Pioneer cemeteries fall under plow's threat is the original MPR article, which is very good! Check it out.

Of course the cemetery in Mississippi is a little different, as there were no headstones or cemetery records even acknowledging this as a burial place. Though, one does have to wonder if someone didn't have an idea it existed... after all this is prime real estate in the heart of Jackson... it seems that in the last 100 years someone would have developed the land before today?? But that's just my own opinion.

Genealogists are fortunate that there are websites such as Findagrave & Billiongraves that are devoted to preserving cemetery records & photographs... And while Findagrave has millions of graves from around the world, there are still millions left undocumented! Myself, I've been slowly trying to walk & photograph cemeteries in my small rural section of Minnesota... just my own little part in cemetery preservation!  And fortunately, I don't know of any cemeteries in my immediate area that would appear to be in the "danger zone" of being abandoned/neglected/destroyed. But certainly that isn't the case elsewhere!

What groups exist for cemetery preservation?
What can we, as individuals do to help?

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking this was probably the graveyard of an old institution, then I looked at the news article and saw it was. There is a similar site near where I live that was once the burial grounds for the county home. At least there is a sign the county put up saying people are buried there, otherwise you would never know, it just looks like a grassy strip beside the highway, sad...