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, July 31, 2014

'No Respect': Statues Stolen from Infant Graves at Cemetery - WTTE - Columbus, Ohio Top Stories - WTTE FOX28

This news story is about Circleville (Pickaway County) Ohio's Forest Cemetery.  

Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force Meeting Minutes - Draft of the July 25, 2014 Meeting

77 S. High Street, 22nd Floor Hearing Room July 25, 2014
Columbus, OH 43215-6133 9:30 a.m.

I. Preliminary Matters

Co-chair Noonan called the meeting to order.

Roll Call: Laura Monick conducted roll call.

Present: Daniel Applegate, Stephen George, Dr. John N. Low, Hon. Cory Noonan, Anne M.
Petit, Patrick Piccininni, Jay Russell, James Turner, James Wright.

Excused: David Snyder, Hon. Keith G. Houts

Review of Meeting Minutes: Co-Chair Noonan opened the floor for discussion of the minutes
of the June 27, 2014 meeting of the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force. There being no discussion

Mr. Turner moved to approve the minutes of the June 27th meeting. Mr. Russell seconded the
motion. Co-chair Noonan abstained from the vote. The motion passed unanimously.

II. Old Business

Co-Chair Petit opened the floor for discussion of old business. The task force began by discussing the draft motions on ORC 517.07. After a brief discussion Mr. Turner moved to accept the following motion: 

“It is the recommendation of the task force that ORC 517.07 be revised to grant townships the right of reentry for lots where the deed of sale was executed prior to July 24, 1986 and is unoccupied, provided that the township comply with the notice requirements as currently set out in ORC 517.07(C) prior to establishing reentry.”

Mr. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Discussion continued briefly on townships re-selling lots and then Mr. Turner moved to accept
the following motion: “The task force also recommends that when a township establishes reentry
pursuant to ORC 517.07, the township may resell such lot. The task force recognizes that there
are options available by which the sale price for a reentered lot can be established by equitable
means and that should be a topic of discussion to be held by the General Assembly and affected
stakeholders.” Mr. Low seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The task force then moved on to criminal sanctions and the homework submitted by Mr. Turner.
Discussion revolved around the criminal acts being committed in cemeteries; such as theft of
vases, veterans’ markers, fences and knocking over monuments which acts should all be
included within the definition of vandalism. The task force also discussed whether for desecration they should move away from monetary value for penalties and look at the purpose of the criminal conduct such as digging into a grave for valuables. The task force also wanted to ensure that all burial sites – mausoleums, niches, vaults, gravesites, etcetera – be covered under vandalism and desecration. Mr. Turner offered to take the members’ insights and re-draft the proposed recommendations.

Daniel Applegate arrived at 10:13 am.

The task force then discussed the changes to the proposed definition of natural burial site.
A Natural Burial Site is one in which human remains, including cremated remains, are interred in bio-degradable containers without the use of any concrete impervious manufactured materials container or vault (partial, inverted or otherwise), vault lids, outer burial containers, concrete impervious manufactured boxes slabs, or partitioned liners, and without the use of toxic embalming chemicals except where the decedent has been embalmed as may be required by applicable law or against their specific written instructions or in which embalming was required for transport.

After some discussion the task force decided to move forward with the proposed definition but to place the definition back on the agenda for the next meeting in order to determine where the definition should be placed in the Ohio Revised Code.

The task force then moved on to township selling merchandise. Mr. Turner provided the language from 126 HB 382 upon which the task force based their discussion. The question arose about whether this language would apply to both charter and non-charter townships. The task force also indicated that they would like to include in the justification that items to be sold are “new” or at-need/pre-need. After the discussion, the task force moved to place this topic on the agenda for the next meeting.

Finally Co-chair Petit provided an update on the topic of BWC’s scope rating for cemetery salespeople.

Co-chair Petit is working with the Department of Commerce’s Legislative Director to reach out to BWC. The invitation has been extended to have someone from BWC either come to the next meeting or provide comments in writing for the next meeting.

III. New Business

Co-chair Noonan brought the task force into new business and discussion began on Mr. Snyder’s homework. After extensive discussion the task force determined that Mr. Snyder’s homework included many aspirational goals that could be used for the vision portion of the final report. The task force also expressed that they would like the report to reflect the moral, ethical and philosophical point of view that has been threaded throughout their deliberations.

Mr. Russell then expressed his belief that all cemeteries need to be protected including the tombstones that are artifacts about the people. Tombstones can be interpreted to show the economic status of the family by the type and size of stone used; if there was a stonecutter in the community; where the stone came from tells us about the trade between people; and decorations and epitaphs which reveal to us much about the community itself. While these cemeteries do not need to be maintained the same as registered cemeteries they do need some protection. The task force members agreed with Mr. Russell’s statements and concluded that the statements should be added as part of the justification under criminal sanctions.

The task force then deliberated on easement, or set aside, programs currently existing in the state.

Specifically there was discussion on the Department of Agriculture Farmland Preservation program that includes an easement purchase program and an easement donation program. The task force concluded that the final report should include a recommendation to conduct research into the viability of a cemetery easement donation program similar to the Department of Agriculture and that any future program should include an education component to notify private landowners of the availability of such program. Finally, the task force requested additional information on programs similar to Michigan where landowners agree to a 99 year restriction on land use in exchange for tax benefits.

Finally, the task force discussed phase one of the report writing and determined the best approach would be to form a sub-committee for drafting purposes. Mr. George, Mr. Turner and Mr. Russell volunteered their services. The co-chairs will participate as their schedules permit.

Next Meeting Dates:

Report writing sub-committee August 8th at 9:00 am
August 20th at 10:00 am

IV. Adjournment
Mr. Piccininni moved to adjourn. Mr. Turner seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marion County, Ohio - Spotlighting the Brucklacher Cemetery in Tully Township, Marion County, Ohio

Spotlighting the Brucklacher Cemetery   

Also known as 

On "Find A Grave":

"Brooklocker Cemetery, German Emanuel Reformed Cemetery, German Reformed Cemetery, Maple Grove Cemetery"
And on Page 408 of the book:  "Ohio Cemeteries 1803 - 2003" K. Roger Troutman, editor, published by the Ohio Genealogical Society in 2003:

"Brucklocher/Brooklocker - (Brucklacher) Cemetery"


On Facebook:


"New book for sale about the "Brucklacher Cemetery" by Dennis A. Fabian:

"There is a detailed reference book for Brucklacher Cemetery that is now available for purchase! 

It includes a history of the cemetery and the German Emanuel Reformed Church; obituaries; alphabetical, burial date, plot number & surname indexes; historic photos and more! 

Published April 2014. 165 pages, black & white. $19.50 + $4.50 shipping. Please send a message for ordering information."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mary Stanfield Reams (1818 - 1876) - Find A Grave Memorial

Sharing this "Find A Grave" Memorial for Mary Stanfield Reams buried at the Butcher Cemetery in North Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio.  

Her maiden name was recently added to her memorial. 

Sharing Latest Information and News from Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries

Burial Search now available for the following Cleveland Catholic Diocese Cemeteries:

All Saints Cemetery
All Souls Cemetery
Resurrection Cemetery
St. Joseph Cemetery (Avon)



Catholic Cemeteries Association

10000 Miles Avenue
PO Box 605310
Cleveland, Ohio 44105
P: (216) 641-7575

Sharing Gravestone Photographs from Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio - July 25, 2014

Sharing below random photographs of gravestones taken around sections 3A and 4 at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio on July 25, 2014.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sharing a Post from the NCPTT (National Center for Preservation Technology and Training) on the Subject of "Abrasive Cleaning of Grave Markers"

Sharing this blog post by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training just posted today entitled:  "Abrasive Cleaning of Grave Markers"

This article can also be accessed from the home page of the National Park Service

Thanking  Dr. Mary Striegel for answering my question in the post concerning the use of abrasive tools on gravestones such as  "Nyalox Brushes"* that rotate on power drills used to clean and 'polish' the surface of a gravestone for inscription reading purposes, etc.; and often promoted for use in the name of restoring a gravestone to its original state.  

No one is saying that these types of brushes do not have their proper place for an appropriate and effective use.  In my opinion, a gravestone is not one of them.  As this article points out, if you would not use this type of a power tool to clean "the surface of your automobile" ...."then you would not use it to clean a grave marker."  


I encourage anyone who has questions regarding using any power tool on a gravestone to please devote a few moments to read this story, and consider that it is worth it to you and the gravestone to make the choice to use the least aggressive methods first -- methods that are non-invasive, non-toxic, and almost free!   

For reading faint inscriptions on gravestones, try using mirrors ** to reflect sunlight on the names and dates.  

 If you feel you must clean, use plain water; it is recommended to use distilled water***.   

Please review all of your options before taking even a scraper, or a brush, to a gravestone.  Or, applying a chemical.  Try the least abrasive and invasive techniques such as those mentioned above first.  It will benefit both you and the gravestone with this approach!  


Suggested Reading:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Update from Brent Nimmo: Seventy-Five Buried Gravestones Now Found at Madison - Truro Cemetery in Franklin County, Ohio

Brent Nimmo explores almost forgotten gravesites regularly when he visits the Madison-Truro Cemetery in Franklin County, Ohio. He more than walks the grounds and lingers to pay his respects to those long departed souls buried there, he stays for a whole day and digs down deeper -- with remarkable results finding and unearthing buried gravestones that have been hidden from view for decades.  

We have covered in past posts Brent's project's progress, so it is befitting that we congratulate him today for reaching the milestone of locating 75 buried gravestones at Madison - Truro Cemetery.  

Brent has gained loyal followers of his work and some have joined him.  Because he does not have the means himself to repair and re-set the stones he finds, Brent photographs them - standing them up for the photographs if possible (see the Eli Miller stone below) and then re-buries them with orange flags around them until such time as they can be brought back up and properly set upright.  This is a labor of love for Brent and the results prove it.  

Thank you Brent for all you are doing to bring the Madison - Truro Cemetery back to life and for giving it the renewed respectability that it so richly deserves.  

Please enjoy the some of the latest photographs shared from Brent below.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spotlighting "Ohiogravestones.org" -- 697 New Gravestone Photos Posted This Past Week

"Ohiogravestones.org" is an ever growing resource on the internet;  gaining 697 new Ohio gravestone photographs in the past week alone. 

You may wish to try your hand at using the advanced search offered on this website as I did this morning.  I searched just using the parameters of June 1, 2014 through July 16, 2014 for new gravestone photographs added during that timeframe; not using any other information for the search, and the result produced an alphabetic listing of 2,157 matches of gravestones that were added during that time.  

"Ohiogravestones.org" differs from "Find A Grave" in several ways. A photograph of a gravestone is required for posting on "Ohiogravestones.org" whereas that is not the case on "Find A Grave." 

 "Ohiogravestones.org" has each of Ohio's 88 counties set up with individual administrators who review your submissions before they are approved and posted.  "Find A Grave" offers 'instant posting' by member contributors.  However, because of this, there is the increased possibility for creating duplicates or other types of errors due to the lack of the 'extra pair of eyes' to review the information.  

To view the steps for submitting a gravestone photo on "Ohiogravestones.org": Click HERE.

"Ohiogravestones.org" is part of a much larger nationwide "Gravestone Photo Project":  Click HERE to read and learn more about gravestone photo project websites hosted by other states.

(gravestone photo above courtesy of Scott Andersen)

So, if you are searching for your ancestors' gravestone photos and have not found them yet, please remember to check "Ohiogravestones.org" because you just might find them there!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sharing Some Gravestone Cleaning Insights for Marble Gravestones from the National Center for Technology and Training

The National Center for Technology and Training's website offers several educational links including one entitled:  


Below is a 9-page PDF document entitled: 

 "Best Practice Recommendations for Cleaning Government Issued Headstones" -- recommendations are only for marble gravestones; and not gravestones made of other materials.  


Also, to read a July 21, 2011 blog post on this same subject: Click Here 

Spotlighting Stone Revival Historical Preservation (TM) - Mr. Brad Manzenberger, Conservator

I invite you to browse through the links found on the website and Facebook page of:  "Stone Revival Historical Preservation". 
The documented information provided will lead you to explore, armed with a comparative approach, toward a better understanding why conducting gravestone conservation the right way, is the best way for both short-term and long-term results. 

Finding our ancestors' gravestones has not always come easy -- some had to be unearthed, others were found cracked and unredable. Now we want to ensure that they will last beyond our own lifetime as well.  The reality becomes that we will need to invest our time and other resources to accomplish this goal, whether we hire a professional conservator or not.  We learn there are some mistakes that are truly irreversible; so we have to choose carefully.  We can only make wise choices based on a well-rounded knowledge of this subject. 
I have personally read through the links found below, and can say that they have helped me stay on the proper path for choosing cleaning practices and approved products that have been used and tested at national historic sites and cemeteries.  We shouldn't have to be relegated to learning from mistakes caused by experimentation.   
"Specializing in the preservation of historical masonry, specifically grave markers as well as non-cemetery monuments and memorials and some historical architecture."

Founded 2004.

Brad Manzenberger, Conservator


"Stone Revival Historical Preservation accepts payments in cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and PayPal."

Contact Info:

Phone(317) 410-9992

Located in Greenwood, Indiana
Email address:


Main website:


Facebook Page:


Thursday, July 10, 2014

William Lawhead (1755 - 1823) - Find A Grave Memorial

 Below are three photographs of the William Lawhead gravestone at the Dean Cemetery in Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio taken at different times.
The top photograph is how the gravestone looks today after being repaired by Scott Andersen using Lithomex to mend the cracked area running horizontally along close to the bottom of the gravestone (that is evident in the middle photograph.) 

The next photograph below was taken in February of 2014 when there was snow on the ground, and the bottom photograph was taken in August, 2009 while the gravestone was still lying half-buried and mostly covered over in weeds. 

The Dean Cemetery is being transformed one gravestone at a time.  Its once neglected landscape now being returned to  respectability -- to the pleasant, peaceful place of rest it was meant to be.   

Thanking Scott Andersen for sharing his gravestone photographs.  The ongoing improvements show remarkable progress in all aspects.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

George R Drake (1856 - 1903) - Find A Grave Memorial

Sharing this Find A Grave Memorial.  Buried at the Huntsburg Cemetery, Geauga County, Ohio

Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force - Meeting Minutes of June 27, 2014 (draft copy)

77 S. High Street, 22nd Floor Hearing Room June 27, 2014
Columbus, OH 43215-6133 9:30 a.m.

I. Preliminary Matters

Co-chair Petit called the meeting to order.
Roll Call: Laura Monick conducted roll call.
Present: Daniel Applegate, Stephen George, Hon. Keith G. Houts, Dr. John N. Low, Anne M. Petit, Patrick Piccininni, Jay Russell, David Snyder, James Turner, James Wright

Excused: Hon. Cory Noonan

Review of Meeting Minutes: Co-Chair Petit opened the floor for discussion of the minutes of the June 6, 2014 meeting of the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force. There being no discussion Mr. Turner moved to approve the minutes of the June 6th meeting. Mr. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

II. Old Business

Co-Chair Petit opened the floor for discussion of old business.
Mr. Applegate arrived at 9:36 am. Mr. Piccininni arrived at 9:42 am.
The task force began with a discussion of criminal penalties; specifically desecration and vandalism. The conversation revolved around determining the desired outcomes from the task force’s eventual recommendations. Discussion included looking at the reasons people might violate the statutes; the difference between felonies and misdemeanors and whether the task force wants to recommend a wider range of penalties for prosecutors versus increasing education for prosecutors on the cultural value of cemeteries/burial sites/monuments/memorials. The task force then looked at prosecutorial discretion and how prosecutors determine the level of proof of a crime and whether prosecutors only look at the amount of damage the crime caused. The task force deliberated on whether prosecutors would take into consideration what a cemetery/burial site/monument/memorial was worth; the value of cultural and historical significance; the cost of fixing/replacing damaged property and the value of antiquities if any were involved in the crime.

The task force determined that specific recommendations on individual crimes would be difficult to come to a consensus on but that it would be important to provide general recommendations on criminal penalties involving cemeteries/burial sites/monuments/memorials. The task force expressed frustration that the desecration and vandalism crimes occurring in cemeteries and burial sites are not being taken as seriously as they should be by prosecutors. The task force also indicated they strongly believe in the importance of education for prosecutors to draw more attention/thought on these crimes with respect to cemeteries/burials.

There was also great consideration given to providing prosecutors the latitude to charge a range of misdemeanor or felony for desecration in ORC 2927.11.
The task force concluded with the recommendation that educational outreach should be conducted from stakeholder groups such as the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, Ohio Cemetery Association, Ohio Township Association, Ohio Municipal League, Genealogical Societies and the Ohio History Connection. Finally, the task force would begin drafting a descending grade of misdemeanors and felonies available for desecration with grading not based on cost alone.

The task force then moved on to a discussion of natural burial and the draft language created by Mr. Turner and Ms. Monick. After a brief discussion Mr. Turner offered to work on re-wording the definition to make it more general with respect to vaults and chemicals.

The task force then began deliberating about cemeteries on private land versus registered, currently operating cemeteries with respect to the current draft of ORC 4767.12. The discussion progressed to burial sites versus archeological features, such as mounds. After a brief discussion it was determined that language would be drafted with respect to burial sites; incorporating NAGPRA standards and a reporting process when a burial site is discovered.

Mr. George left the meeting at 11:15 am.

III. New Business

Co-chair Petit brought the task force into new business. The task force began with the issue brought forth by the Ohio Cemetery Association with respect to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) ratings of cemetery salespeople. Conversation revolved around the job of salespeople that go out to a site in the cemetery to show a consumer a specific burial location and the job of maintenance workers that are conducting physical labor out in the cemetery grounds. It was acknowledged that this is a costly issue for cemeteries but in the Ohio Cemetery Association’s previous discussions with BWC, the agency was not inclined to modify the rating. Mr. Applegate noted that the Association also had suggested that BWC create a new rating for salespeople that go out into the cemetery versus true office staff. The task force determined that they would send an invitation to BWC to come speak to task force about this issue so that the task force has a clearer understanding of the issue from both the professionals’ and agency’s perspectives.

The next topic discussed was the Ohio Township Association’s (OTA) request that statutory language be introduced to permit townships to sell merchandise. Mr. Applegate moved that the task force will include a recommendation that townships be permitted to sell merchandise. Mr. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Finally, the task force deliberated on the OTA’s request to have the date restriction from ORC 517.07 removed. Co-chair Petit made a motion and then an amended motion on the topic with a second on both from Mr. Turner. However, with additional discussion, both the motion, amended motion and both seconds were withdrawn. The task force then requested that Co-chair Petit and Ms. Monick work on drafting motions for the task force to consider at the next meeting regarding this matter.

Next Meeting Dates:

July 25, 2014 at 9:30am.

IV. Adjournment

Co-chair Petit moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:46 am.

Spotlighting "Along Spain Creek" about Champaign County, Ohio - and its Creator, Ralph L. Coleman, Jr., Author of an Inspiring Trilogy of New Books -- "Along Spain Creek": Volumes 1and 2** are Now Published, - Volume 3 - Coming in September, 2014"

     It is my pleasure to share the exciting announcement of Ralph L. Coleman, Jr.'s new Champaign County, Ohio themed trilogy of books entitled: "Along Spain Creek" - Volumes 1 and 2** are currently in publication, and Volume 3, which will be available September 1, 2014. 
     I'm sure these publications will interest many of my blog readers who have long focused their research about life in Ohio's smaller villages and rural areas where its early pioneers, with their determined spirits and enterprising ways, created the Buckeye State's history  -- a history woven within life stories that have been left untold for far too long -- just waiting for us to discover.  I'm sure we'll find some of those stories on the pages of "Along Spain Creek."
     Please visit Ralph's Blog:  "Along Spain Creek" (which is also featured on this blog under the category of "Genealogy Blogs of Interest).  


  Please take a moment to review Ralph's descriptive details, and the order information for his new books provided below.         

Thank you! 

From Ralph:

*** Along Spain Creek: Volume 1 ***
Published May 4, 2014
     "Small town humor, pathos, mystery, people, places and things are all to be found in this first volume of stories, experiences, tall tales, and historical notes spun out of the environs of a group of rural communities which are located in central Ohio, situated near an insignificant, meandering stream called Spain Creek.  

     The approximate 66 vignettes include such diverse topics as the history of North Lewisburg, local cemeteries…to include the work projects of Linda Ellis…, the post office robbery, fraternal and social organizations, old newspaper accounts, characters who were the life-blood of the community, and so much more!

*** Along Spain Creek: Volume 2 ***
**Available from Amazon July 8th, 2014 and Available from The Author July 15, 2014
     The vignettes continue in this second volume of historic nostalgia about people, places, things and  happenings along Spain Creek in central Ohio.

*** Along Spain Creek:  Volume 3 ***
To be published September 1, 2014
     This volume will conclude the trilogy.


     Each volume is 6 inches x 9 inches, and approximately 180 pages.

     Two books in this trilogy are now available for sale on two sites or via mail:

·         To order a personalized, autographed, numbered limited first edition of: 

    Along Spain Creek: Volume 1 and/or Volume 2**

Visit the author’s BlogSpot at:

·         Search the right side of the page for the “Visit My Store” button. 

·         Click, and enter the Along Spain Creek STORE.

       Volume 1 is currently priced at $17.99.   

      Volume 2 is currently priced at $17.99.  

      Volume 3, when released, will be priced at $19.99.  

      Buyers should NOT order Volume 3 prior to September 1st, the release date.

     Your debit or credit card purchase is secured via PayPal.  You can print out a copy of your order form as your receipt. 

     Once you’ve made your purchase, be sure to send the author an e-mail describing how you would like your personalized book(s) to be signed.    

That e-mail address is:

      Your personalized and numbered books will be shipped to you via First Class Mail.

     If you prefer to order by check, send your check (or money order) for the purchase amount (plus $2.00 s/h) to the author at:

Ralph L. Coleman, Jr.

1678 East 1475 South

Ogden, UT 84404-6009

     Be sure to include your personalization request!

     Buyers of Volume 1 and Volume 2 will have matching limited first edition numbers.  

    If Volume 3 is subsequently purchased via the Along Spain Creek STORE, (or via mail)  it will also have a matching limited first edition number so the buyer’s set is complete.

·         If you prefer to purchase your non-personalized, non-numbered, standard first edition of Volume 1 or Volume 2 via Amazon.com, there are links on the Along Spain Creek BlogSpot to take you directly to Amazon.com.   Books purchased through Amazon.com are shipped from the Amazon distribution site."

 Reminder from Ralph:
**"Volume 2 is now available on Amazon.com, but not on my Along Spain Creek Store.
Volume 2 can now be purchased on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions.
The paperback version on Amazon.com is a standard paperback, and not personalized, not numbered, and not limited first edition.  Those books can only be purchased on my site, and are not available until July 15th."
 Also, thanking Ralph for so kindly including my great-great-great grandfather, Harmon Limes, Jr., who was North Lewisburg's first appointed marshal.   

"I  have mentioned you and your great cemetery work in Volume 1, in a vignette titled "Common Ground," which can be found on pages 118-120.  This item deals with the cemeteries in and around North Lewisburg, and your ancestor Harmon Limes, Jr."