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."

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday Season !!

Wishing everyone the best for the holidays and for peace, joy, and good health in the New Year.  
Wishing everyone success with their cemetery preservation projects and gravestone conservation work in 2016.  
****Be sure to be kind to your ancestors' gravestones!****
If you want to learn more about cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio, and you are a Facebook member, please ask to join Preserving Ohio's Cemeteries!  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Babyland at All Saints Cemetery in Summit County, Ohio - December 6, 2015

Sharing my photographs taken on Sunday, December 6, 2015 of a small portion of the babyland area, Section Number 7, at All Saints Cemetery, Northfield, Summit County, Ohio.  It is a Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries Association Cemetery.   

Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries Burial LookUp


Over the past two years the Catholic Cemeteries Association has embarked upon the consolidation of all burial records into a centralized database. The online burial search and shopping cart are only available at this current point in time for the following cemeteries:
  • All Saints, Northfield
  • All Souls, Chardon
  • Holy Cross, Akron
  • Holy Cross, Brook Park
  • Resurrection, Valley City
  • St. Joseph, Avon
  • Calvary, Lorain
  • St. Mary, Elyria
  • St. Mary of the Falls, Berea
  • Elmhurst Park, Avon
  • Holy Trinity, Avon
Work is currently ongoing on the following cemeteries: Calvary, Cleveland; St. Mary, Cuyahoga Heights; St. John, Cleveland; St. Joseph, Cleveland, Assumption of Mary, Brook Park.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Modern Monuments & Merry Christmas at Calvary Cemetery, Lorain, Ohio

Sharing photos taken November 29, 2015 at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio.  

The photo of the gravesite decorated for Christmas with the big flowery wreath, an angel wreath, and stand up metal angel and tree was the most unique one I saw during my visit.  

The lack of snow somewhat detracts from the spirit of a traditional winter holiday scene, but the thoughtful decorations are making up for it!   
The remaining photographs are of newer larger granite monuments.  Each has its own individuality.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Then & Now at the Dean Cemetery, Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio

The photographs below:
The top photo is a panoramic view (a composite of five - 4" x 6" photos) of the Dean Cemetery as it looked in September of 2011 prior to any work being done to remove trees and underbrush; clean, repair and reset gravestones; and the unearthing of buried gravestones -- of which there have been several discovered since that time.

The second photo is a side-by-side comparison of how the Dean Cemetery looked in September of 2011 (left photo) and how the cemetery looks today (photo to the right taken November 11, 2015).

The bottom two photographs of the Dean Cemetery were taken November 11, 2015. 
 Once fallen over gravestones are now standing straight in a cleaned and repaired condition.  The markers pristinely dot the green grass landscape.

An environment of eternal rest now made more peaceful for those buried at this early family graveyard in Ross County, Ohio has come about through the dedicated work of Scott and Venus Andersen.
  All photographs are courtesy of Scott Andersen.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Reflecting on Veterans Day, 2015 by Spotlighting the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery

In tribute to all of those veterans now gone from our midst, spotlighting on this Veterans' Day, 2015 the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Medina County, Ohio

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs website page for the Western Reserve National Cemetery.

Sharing also the "Find A Grave" memorial for Peter John Ellis
who was buried at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Update for the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Cleveland: Burial Records are Now Online for St. Mary's Cemetery in Elyria, Lorain County, Ohio

"Over the past two years the Catholic Cemeteries Association has embarked upon the consolidation of all burial records into a centralized database. 

The online burial search and shopping cart are only available at this current point in time for the following cemeteries":
  • All Saints, Northfield
  • All Souls, Chardon
  • Holy Cross, Akron
  • Holy Cross, Brook Park
  • Resurrection, Valley City
  • St. Joseph, Avon
  • Calvary, Lorain
  • St. Mary, Elyria

Old Burying Ground Work Session Slated for Sunday, November 15, 2015 Starting at 9:00a.m.

The next work session at The Old Burying Ground cemetery in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio is scheduled for Sunday, November 15, 2015 beginning at 9:00a.m. 

The work sessions are part of an ongoing cemetery preservation project by the Greenfield Historical Society

The Greenfield Historical Society
PO Box 266
Greenfield, Ohio 45123

Greenfieldhistoricalsociety Info

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sharing the Documented Surnames of People Buried at the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio

Thanking Mr. Ray Mumma of  "Save Shannon Cemetery" for the information listed below:

"Here is a list of 70 plus names and surnames we have documented, sources not listed, of some of those buried in Shannon Cemetery Bluffton, Ohio. 

We have since May 2015, and still are researching names for, those buried there.

Why is it that the Village and or it's agent not made public ALL the names they have researched in the 15 years they say they have worked on this project.

We have sources documenting 12 rows of graves. We have documented the location by row and plot number of 41 known individuals. Of the 42 stones the Village removed, we have the location by row and plot number for 27 of those stones.

We can reestablish the 12 rows and place 27 of those stones back on their graves. The Village is worried about Liability, where was this concern when they removed the 42 stones?
                         If anyone has an ancestor with a listed name, please contact us at:


Anderson, William; Arnold;

Battels; Battels, Caroline; Battels, John; Bentley; Berry, John; Boedicker, Martin; Bryan, Tabatha; Bryan, Wesley; Bufford;

Casey; Clifford, A.B.; Clifford, J.H.; Clifford, M.F.; Clifford, Rosann; Clifford, S.E.; Clifford, S.M.; Commer, Hannanh; Commer, Issac; Conkle, Lydia S.P.; Connell, Mary;

Dearth, Daniel; Dearth, Nancy; DeFord, Joseph – Government Issued Gravestone; Drumm, Emma Belle Clemings; Dunlap, Caroline; Dunlap, Eli;

Easton; Edder; Elder; Elizabeth Hoffman; Ewing, Elizabeth Clemmens; Ewing, John Henry;

Fitzgerald, Martha Linn Goble; Fenton, Delia; Fenton, Robert; Ford; Foreman; Gardner, Samuel – stone reads: Gardener; Gaskill, John E.;Gaskill, Katherine; Gaskill, Minerva; Gaskill, Moses; Gaskil, Phoebe McHenry; Gatter; Goble, Daniel C.; Gufford; Gutman, Jacob;

Harberhauer; Hipsher, Samuel – Government Issued Stone; Hipsher, Wm. (William) – Government Issued Stone; Huber, Barbara; Huber, Jacob L.; Hurter; Husher;

Iden, Rosanna Clemings; Kipfer;

Long, William; Long, Rachel A.; McDowell, Alonzo;

McHenry, Eliza; Murray; Murray, George W.;

Owens, Infant; Owens, James K.; Owens, Martha J.;


Smith; Stratton, Daniel; Stratton, J.;

Wilson, Montgomery; Wilson, Susan; ????, Sarah; ????, Rosann."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"5 Photos You Should Take at the Cemetery" - By Amy Johnson Crow

Amy Johnson Crow has some great reminders about the types of photographs that should always be taken while visiting a cemetery.  Amy is also a certified genealogist and well-known in the world of genealogy.  

Amy's blog is very well done, so I'm sure you'll enjoy this post on gravestone photographing tips, and many others too offered on her blog. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Side-By-Side of Before and After Gravestone Repair Photos of Noah McVay, Sr.'s Marker at Sheep Pen Cemetery in Madison Twp., Highland County, Ohio

Thanking Scott Andersen for his help with cleaning and putting the Noah McVay, Sr. marker back upright at the Sheep Pen (AKA Gustin or Limes Cemetery), in Madison Township, Highland County, Ohio.  

Every Name Index Veterans’ Burial Records Recorder’s Office Highland County, Ohio
Published by The Southern Ohio Genealogical Society, page 21:
McVAY/McVEY, Noah (the elder) buried in Madison Township (MAD) at Limes (LIM) Cemetery,
recorded in Volume 5, on page 25.  Possible War of 1812 service.

Noah McVay/McVey (the elder) died December 17, 1875 at 78 years 1 month and 18 days per the D.A.R. tombstone reading transcription completed in 1953.  However, this D.A.R. transcription does not designate military service for this Noah McVay/McVey who died on December 17, 1875.  Possible War of 1812 service, per the Highland County Recorder’s records.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Open Letter to Ohio Townships - Because Gravestone Cleaning Methods Matter

Because Gravestone Cleaning Methods Matter
Keep Power Tools and Harsh Chemicals Out of the Cemetery
So it is that township trustees are entrusted with the solemn duty of ensuring their cemeteries are well maintained.  However, often upon a closer inspection of them, the realization becomes that those blackened, sinking, and broken gravestones can no longer be ignored.  This understanding precipitates adopting a plan to renew the integrity of the cemetery, and regain the respect of the gravesites and the gravestones that identify them.

After a cemetery assessment is made, sometimes the decision is to seek paid help for those monuments and markers flagged with condition issues; with much of the proposed work to include seemingly basic stone cleaning.  But could problems loom if the wrong cleaning choices are made? 

In a couple of  moments we’ll learn why gravestone cleaning methods matter – that there are some products and practices that should never be used on any gravestones.

First, we’ll consider that you may wish to hire the same business utilized from past projects where you have been generally satisfied with their work like a local monument company because they are close by and convenient.  Maybe you have hired someone you know, or a person who was referred to you by another township in your county. 

Further, it is possible the person under consideration may also point out that they have attended accredited hands-on cemetery preservation workshops, and might themselves be holding such types of classes in Ohio or in another state.  However, unfortunately, this does not necessarily guarantee that they will adhere to all of the “Best Practices of Do No Harm” principles that they were taught at those workshops.  They could be choosing quicker and easier shortcuts that are not appropriate for gravestones.

Thus, to learn in-depth specific details of the “Best Practices of Do No Harm” methods please reference the following material from professionals who are well regarded in the field of cemetery preservation and gravestone conservation, both at the national level and from Ohio.

Websites below for the National Park Service’s NCPTT (which include a link to an article by Dr. Mary Striegel), and for author and conservator, Lynette Strangstad.  Statements follow from Ms. Strangstad, and Nathan Bevil of the Preservation Office of the Ohio History Connection.:

1.         NCPTT -The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training with the      National Park Service - The NCPTT conducts hands-on cemetery preservation      workshops.

      Abrasive Cleaning of Gravestone Markers”:

      The above link is to a comprehensive article written by Dr. Mary Striegel of the NCPTT, and published July 24, 2014.  Details cite the reasons why the NCPTT does not condone the use of power tools, including power drills with attached Nyalox® plastic brush wheels that rotate at high speeds, on any type of gravestone.

      NCPTT – “Best Practice Recommendations for Cleaning Government Issued

      Many of the best practice recommendations provided in this document are applicable to
monuments and markers other than government issued ones, including:

      “Never aggressively scrub the surface, or use wire brushes or mechanical methods
such as sanders or grinders to clean the surface.”


2.         Lynette Strangstad

·         http://stonefaces.com/home/  Stone Faces & Sacred Spaces

      Website of Lynette Strangstad, nationally known author of “A Graveyard Preservation Primer” – 2nd edition published in 2013.

·         http://stonefaces.com/graveyard-preservation-primer/  A Graveyard Preservation Primer  By Lynette Strangstad

Statement from Lynette Strangstad, Author of “A Graveyard Preservation Primer”:

"Briefly, in my opinion, "polishing" an old gravestone is not appropriate.  The entire stone is altered. Some of the surface is removed. And that fragile surface is the very reason most consider the stone valuable (though that is only part of the significance). 

In grinding the surface (that is, polishing), one is removing part of the lettering. Three or four such abrasive cleanings (over time, say, 15 or 20 years) could easily equal the stone loss that would occur naturally in a hundred or more years.  It's good to remember that care for gravestones is not just to satisfy our aesthetic desires in the present; it is to preserve the stone for future generations.

The important thing to remember is that "less is more" and the least aggressive treatment that can clean effectively is the best.  Also to be remembered is that no old gravestone should "look like new."  It's not; it's historic.”

Statement from Nathan A. Bevil - Community Planning & Preservation Manager
Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society):

"I have also worked with some cemeteries in the past, including those that have had some restoration work.  Most of the stones used, especially in older cemeteries, are extremely soft due to stone type and exposure to acid rain and nature in general.

Any abrasive method of cleaning is discouraged, much less using power tools.  Even power washing is discouraged, as this can deeply groove sandstone and marble.  Any cleaning of a gravestone must be taken with careful consideration.  I have seen enough stones that have deteriorated to the point that I would not even use a simple bristle brush.  Always conduct thorough research on the materials before undertaking a specific action, and feel free to contact our office for additional information.

In any case, power washing and power tools are always discouraged and can have disastrous results for historic gravestones.

If you have some specific cases you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact me
(nbevil@ohiohistory.org or at 614-298-2000).  I hope this information helps."

Nathan A. Bevil | Community Planning & Preservation Manager
Ohio History Connection | 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211


I feel a polite request of the person you hire to agree to a “No power tools / No harsh chemicals promise” would provide peace of mind.  It would serve to ensure the less likelihood of their causing damage, which could be irreversible, to the historic gravestones that are waiting to be properly cleaned.   Yes, the key word is properly!