Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Subject: Exciting Opportunity for the Grave Mappers

"At Grave Mappers, we are always looking for ways to help preserve small, obscure cemeteries and their vital records – and we are announcing a great opportunity to do just that!

Grave Mappers is honored to be asked to conduct a Test Mapping Project for Names in Stone, the cemetery maps website. (www.namesinstone.com) The Names in Stone team is continually working to make its site more user-friendly, especially for people who want to map cemeteries. To further this effort, they are planning a test project, which will allow users to have a mapping experience and then give input into how the website might be improved.

Grave Mappers is seeking 50 people to participate in this Test Mapping Project for Names in Stone. This is an exciting opportunity for you to test the website’s mapping capabilities, and to give feedback on how it worked for you.

If you would like to participate, you will be asked to map a cemetery that contains anywhere from one to 200 graves. The project will include three steps.

1. Collect all data at the cemetery, including photos of each headstone, headstone transcriptions, and a sketch with the location of the graves in relationship to each other. (You must map the entire cemetery, not just a portion of it – so choose a cemetery that fits within the criteria and that you will have time to complete.)

2. Create the cemetery map on the Names in Stone website; then add each individual grave to the map along with the headstone data and photo.

3. Fill out a post-mapping questionnaire that will detail your experience as you mapped your cemetery, giving input into what worked for you, and what improvements you would like to see.

All Test Mapping Projects must be completed by May 1, so that the cemeteries can be up and running on the site before Memorial Day. (If you need more time because of weather or other concerns, please let me know.)

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to gravemappers@gmail.com. Include your name, email address, and the city, state, province, or country where you live. You will be sent a confirmation email giving you specific instructions on conducting your mapping project.

This is a great opportunity to help in the preservation of the records of small cemeteries. We hope you will join us!"
Information courtesy of:

JoLyn Day
Grave Mappers

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The James Cemetery Restoration Project - Jackson, Ohio

The Ohio Genealogical Society is not only a statewide genealogical society in of itself with its own headquarters and library, but it is comprised of member chapters from almost all of Ohio's 88 counties. Several O.G.S. Chapters have engaged in actively participating in their county's cemetery issues, whether by compiling and publishing tombstone transcription books, hands-on restoration of markers, or general clean-up of the grounds.

Anyone wishing to advance their cause and further their opportunities with cemetery preservation in Ohio should not only consult with the Ohio Genealogical Society itself via its website of http://www.ogs.org/, but, more specifically, the cemetery portion of this site:


Be sure to check out the website of the county chapter for your area of interest to learn if there are cemetery preservation activities going on there. Contact them with questions or for assistance. The support and involvement of residents and local governments where your "cemetery of concern" is situated are vital resources if you are to succeed with your planned improvement goals !

One example of O.G.S. Chapter participation is highlighted here with the focus on the advancements made with the restoration of the James Cemetery Restoration Project conducted by the Jackson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

The information offered on this site is detailed with photographs coloring in the visual of this success story.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Joseph T. Limes stone - Staunton Methodist Church Cemetery - Staunton, Fayette County, Ohio

The tombstone for Joseph T. Limes is the most prominent stone in the Staunton cemetery. It has a tall white marble statue of a bugler on top. The inscription reads: "Tis music charms the soul to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. A sunbeam from the world has vanished."

He died March 2, 1886, age 28 years, unmarried in Concord Township, Fayette County, Ohio. His parents were Harmon Limes and Eliza A./Elizabeth Rowe.

An inventory of his estate indicated he was a musician of note around Staunton, Concord Township, where he lived. He is buried at Staunton Cemetery with parents.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Following Cemetery Related Blogs Worthy of Attention

The Graveyard Rabbit website, in particular, is a premier site containing individual blogs focusing on specific states, the entire U.S., International content, etc. This site began in October, 2008 under the guidance of its founder, Terry Thornton. Please take a moment to "check out" any blog that appeals to your interest or imagination on thegraveyardrabbit.com!

I have nominated the following blogs for the KreativBlogger Award!

The Graveyard Rabbit of Central Ohio

Great Black Swamp graveyard Rabbit

The Graveyard R.I.P.PERS – Graveyard Rabbit

The Graeyard Rabbit Afield

ZincMarkers on The Graveyard Rabbit

Louisiana Cemetery Preservation

Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols

Friday, February 20, 2009

Charles and Garnet Limes - Ridgeway Cemetery - Ridgeway, Hardin County, Ohio

Top photograph taken June 1, 1997. Middle photograph taken June 4, 2000. Lower photograph taken October 3, 2004.

Several cleaning trips are sometimes needed to more fully eradicate lichen and tree drippings on some stones. This white marble monument for Charles and Garnet Limes sits under a particuarly "weepy" tree that appears to be a pine. It would be difficult to cut away all of the branches to prevent further dripping on this stone. Repeated visits using soft plastic bristle and plastic scraper cleaning tools and generous rinsing have resulted in improved appearance and readability of the stone.

Gravemappers blog focusing attention on abandoned cemeteries

"At Grave Mappers, the time has come for us to change our focus.We hope that the Grave Mappers blog will become a central gathering place for people who care about cemeteries and want to help preserve the priceless records found there.

Here's what you'll find at the new Grave Mappers:

We will publish locations of obscure, abandoned, and endangered cemeteries.
We will encourage the preservation of cemeteries and their records through mapping at Names in Stone (we're still big fans!) and other documentation projects, as well as through on-site restoration and clean-up work.

We will spotlight individuals and organizations that are making outstanding cemetery preservation efforts.
We will keep you updated about cemeteries in the news."

"Contact us at gravemappers@gmail.com to share your stories and photos - and we'll include them in our blog."

My thank you JoLyn!

Extending my appreciation to JoLyn Day for bestowing the "KreativBlogger Award" for this blog site.

I consider myself relatively new at blogging, and being a blogger; thus I certainly need all the encouragement to continue providing a service to those who either have become or wish to become involved with cemetery restoration in Ohio, or at the very least, become active in the pursuit of learning more about the gravesites of their ancestors buried in the Great State of Ohio!

Thank you again, JoLyn.

Please take a moment to click on the links to JoLyn's sites: www.upbothways.com and her blog on the increasingly popular thegraveyardrabbitt.com:


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Britton-Chaffin Cemetery Restoration - by Peggy Lester

From the Fayette County, Ohio Genealogical Society's Fall 2008 newsletter (Vol 27 - #3) - page 61:

"Britton-Chaffin Cemetery Restoration" written by Peggy Lester

"Bryan Roberts, a Washington Court House Boy Scout, decided to dig into the history and restore Britton-Chaffin Cemetery.

The cemetery is located on the west side of Good Hope-New Holland Road, about a mile and a quarter from Route 22, and is on the bank of the North Fork of Paint Creek.

Scott and Jane Askew currently own the property and requested that the Genealogical Society help in recording the history, and recover some of the stones. Many of the stones have slipped below the ground and lie inches below the sod. Several remains of stones can be seen over the ledge which has been washed away by years of high water.

The cemetery was once fenced, but one side has eroded over the edge and the other side is open for mowing. The owners have taken excellent care of what remains. One unusal aspect of the cemetery is that all stones face the creek! This makes one wonder what the lay of the land was like many years ago. When Jack and Peggy Gilmore and Chuck Gossett read this cemetery in 2000, they found and recorded twenty-nine occupants. Jean Dice had previously recorded it between 1924 and 1936. She found two additional names.

The earliest stone is that of Hiram Britton, son of Jesse and Susannah Britton, who died September 20, 1820. He was only seventeen years old.

The most recent burial was Nancy Chaffin, wife of James, who died January 27, 1888 at eighty-one years of age.

Bryan and his recruits plan to recover the displaced stones and replace the fence."



This is a soft cover perfect bound book with a map of Wayne Twp. on the cover and a Marion Twp. map inside at the beginning of that township reading. This covers all known cemeteries and readings in the two townships and is compared to earlier readings. There are a few pictures in the book. See the index to this book
$20.00 + tax + $2.50 S&H

Index to book:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Emily Fell Townsend Cole - Friends (AKA Quaker) Cemetery - North Lewisburg Ohio

Died January 26, 1880 - age 51 years, 3 months and 23 days

COLE, Emily - wife of J.W. - (formerly Mrs. William W. Townsend) - mother of 5 Townsend children buried at the Friends (AKA Quaker) Cemetery: Esther, Francianna, Mary A., Rozilla and Watson.

Sister to Lydia A. Fell Brown and Esther Fell Hirst)