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."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Ravenna Township to take charge of Grandview on Monday

What Exciting Discoveries Can be Made by Searching Ebay for Postcards of Ohio Cemeteries

Recently, I have started searching Ebay for the term "Ohio Cemeteries" and the results produced mostly post cards.  

Since I like old post cards and Ohio cemeteries, they have made a great combination for me to spend some time researching for my favorite subjects in a single place.  And, both deal with Ohio history!  

When I gaze at these old postcards, I am amazed at how cemeteries looked about a hundred years ago -- what I can see despite the surfaces' dusty and smudgy sepia tones that obscure the once clear finer details.  

The cemetery monuments and markers that were erected in the 1800s were still standing straight and tall.  They did not appear to have been covered in lichens.  The grounds were neatly trimmed.  The landscape was void of broken tablet stones that we sadly see all too often today.  

I know that I am gazing at monuments and markers lovingly erected for our ancestors by their closest kin who hoped they would last for a very long time.  Some have lasted, however, as we know some have not.  

Diamond,  Palmyra Twp., Portage County, Ohio 
If the cemetery's name and location are included on the postcard then the focus can shift to accessing websites such as "Find A Grave" to see if the cemetery is listed there.  

Most of the time the cemetery is listed; however, it might now be shown under another name.  

"Find A Grave" normally cross-references by known alternative cemetery names which helps pinpoint the correct cemetery that matches your postcard.  

Most "Find A Grave" individual cemetery sites contain at least one official cemetery photograph.

An added bonus comes when a cemetery postcard is listed on "Find A Grave", or another website, for a cemetery that you are familiar with.  If that is the case, then you can compare current scenes from the cemetery to what is imprinted on the postcard more easily.  And, you may have taken photographs of your own to use as a reference as well. 
Try to take note of any unusual features that appear on your cemetery postcard such as a holding vault or chapel.  It most likely is still there today.

Also, if any names (given and/or surnames)  are readable on the gravemarkers on the postcard, then you can search for those specifically on "Find A Grave."  

If a memorial is posted for the person with the name, there is a good possibility a current photo of the gravemarker is also posted which enables a comparison to be made with how it looked at the time the postcard picture was taken.  
You can scan your postcard (front and reverse) and enjoy sharing it with others whom you know would be as thrilled as you are to view it! 
Lastly for this post,
Wishing you a Happy New Year and 
Happy cemetery postcard hunting all through the year! 

Sharing the Latest News about Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware County, Ohio

Sharing this news story.:

"Cemetery fraud victims look to buy Fairview Memorial Park after owners sentencedfrom 10TV News, WBNS in Columbus, Ohio.

The cemetery's advocate, Tim Foor, was interviewed by MEGHAN MATTHEWS



Mr. Tim Foor, an advocate who has been working tirelessly on behalf of plot owners and all who care and are concerned about Fairview Memorial Park, has set up a Facebook Cemetery Advoacy Group for the cemetery. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sharing a Handy Guide to "Identifying Civil War Graves" & Some Additonal Resources to Locate Veteran Gravesites in Ohio

"Identifying Civil War Graves"  -- This is a great link that can serve as a handy reference guide to identifying and understanding the inscriptions on Civil War era government issue markers, and the war medallion on flag holders that are quite often  placed next to them.    However, not all cemeteries allow the installation of the flag holders.

The information was compiled and provided by:  

Austin Blair Camp No. 7 is located in Jackson Michigan and meets locally.


Also, check out the free database on the Ohio Genealogical Society's website:


"Ohio Memory"

Ohio Sons of the Union Veterans:

"Ohio Civil War Veterans Grave Registration"

And, some are county specific, for example:

Keep browsing through your "Google" searches for additional links for Veterans Graves Registrations in Ohio that may be of interest to you.  

Sample Veteran's Grave Registration Card:
Above is a Legend with the names of the wars (through WWI) and numbers assigned to each War that is designated by the veterans' names on WPA Cemetery Plat Maps. 
(Created by Linda Jean Limes Ellis)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas! -- May it be Bright and Shining White!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate this joyous day!  

Sharing this story from Wooster, Ohio, published by the "Akron Beacon Journal"
By Paula Schleis
Beacon Journal/Ohio.com that is so appropriate for today. 

(Photo above from All Saints Cemetery in Northfield, Ohio.) 
(Photo by Linda Jean Limes Ellis)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"Remarkable Ohio" -- The Ohio History Connection's Historical Marker Program -- Could Your Favorite Cemetery Qualify?

If you have traveled around Ohio, then you likely have seen, and hopefully also read, an Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society) historical marker.  These impressive markers are located in urban as well as rural areas; including at cemeteries!  

Sharing some links to learn more about these historical markers - their history, how to obtain one, and where they are located in Ohio.:  

Saturday, December 2, 2017

From the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation in Portsmouth, Ohio -- Public Invited to an Open House on Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.

As reported in the Portsmouth "Daily Times" news of the upcoming December 10, 2017 open house at the Greenlawn Cemetery.

"On Sunday, December 10th, from 1 to 4 p.m., The Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation will host “Christmas at the Historic Greenlawn Cemetery Chapel.” The event, which is free to the public, will provide an opportunity to view the interior of the seasonally decorated chapel and to light a memorial candle for a lost loved one."

Friday, December 1, 2017

Careless Use of Maintenance and Heavy Equipment at Cemeteries Causes Preventable Damage and Destruction

Most of us who have frequented cemeteries have encountered scenes similar to what appears in the photographs below.  Flat grave markers with evidence of tire marks across them.  Some flat markers might be sturdy enough to withstand the weight and pressure of heavy maintenance equipment and their tires running over them; while others are not and develop cracks and can be permanently damaged by repeated use of such equipment as mowers and grave digging equipment.  However, no grave marker should bear evidence of tire marks across it -- its inscriptions, and epitaphs -- which is quite disrespectful to the deceased and disturbing to the families and friends who care about the gravesites and gravestones that mark them.  
If this type of damage and defacement is occurring on any of your family members' gravestones of course you should photograph the stone, document the damage, and submit your complaint to the owners/operators of the cemetery.  
As far as removing tire marks, a good way to start is by using a soft bristle brush and a lot of water for cleaning and rinsing off and Orvus Soap on most gravestones that are also deemed appropriate for such cleaning.  
D/2 Biological Solution is another tested and proven product that has been used successfully for cleaning most gravestones; primarily for biological growth, however.  
Also, I received a tip from Atlas Preservation to try using Bon Ami but only on unpolished granite  though.  A muddy and dusty granite marker may appear to be unpolished, however, that might not be the case.  Always check and be sure first! Again, using only a soft bristle brush and adequate water and rinsing afterward. 
So be careful as you don't want to make a bad situation worse!
  As with any gravestone cleaning, stay within the guideline of "If in doubt DON'T."  
The flat markers below are from Section 3A in Calvary Cemetery in Lorain.  

Sadly, the early 1900's cross topped markers may have originally stood upright as so many of this era once did.  Over time they either were knocked over or fell down on their own and began sinking further into the ground giving the appearance that they were meant to be flat markers.