What's New?

A new article on the Top Digital Tools was added. This article highlights some tips for archiving and collecting genealogy data.

Coming Soon!

One of the ongoing challenges with keeping cemetery records up-to-date is that so many cemeteries are still active. For the last several months I've been working on adding a new service to the site that will help to keep the cemetery databases up-to-date, and provide people with the ability to honor their loved ones.

Soon, visitors to the site will be able to add obituaries for anyone they wish to honor. When creating an obituary, the person will have the option of adding details on the internment for the deceased. If the internment details are provided, they will be added to the cemetery data, where they will be searchable along with the transcribed data.

The obituaries themselves will be searchable, and available for researchers, and for loved ones across the country.

Featured Article

Unexpected Cemeteries

One of the things I have been learning as I work on this project is that there are more than a few unexpected cemeteries in this state. There isn't a single, accurate list of all the cemeteries in the state. I had always expected that part would be the easy part, and the mapping, transcribing, and preserving part would be the hard part.

Sadly, there has been a shortage of "easy parts" in this endeavor.

Usually, about the time I think my list has solidified, I stumble upon a new, unexpected cemetery.

Take this past December, when an innocent family outing around Colorado Springs inadvertently led to my discovery of Pauper's Cemetery.

In 1957, when construction on a new road began, seven graves were found. The land had once been part of a poor farm, which had also had a hospital. The hospital burned down in January of 1900, and the records were lost in the fire, and the graves were unmarked. According to El Paso County, anyone who died of smallpox in the county was buried in that plot of land.

Pauper Cemetery, El Paso County
Pauper Cemetery, El Paso County Colorado
Picture taken Dec 2009

These seven graves were moved a short distance to the southwest corner of Lower Gold camp Road and 21st Street. Today the graves are marked by blank headstones, and are maintained for by the El Paso County parks department. The plot of land is fenced in, and a sign marking it as Pauper's Cemetery is displayed, as in the picture.

One of the graves might belong to Henry Parks, who lived on the farm until November of 1900, when he died after an epileptic seizure at the age of 46.

Cemeteries like this one are much more common than I had ever imagined, and whenever a new one pops up I am reminded that the task of cataloging is never done.

Source: http://files.usgwarchives.org/co/elpaso/cemeteries/colosprings/paupers.txt

Around the Web

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A Black union veteran's struggle to confirm his military service has been set straight, 86 years after he died.

In Sarasota Florida, a cemetery becomes an archeology project for students.

Available cemetery space in Ireland is running low.

In St. Petersburg, a group of generous volunteers gave a cemetery caretaker a great birthday gift.a

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