African American Cemeteries Online

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What You Can Do

There are several ways you can get involved and contribute to the store of online African American Cemetery data: 

Submit a cemetery listing that you've already done: 

Many folks have listings among their papers or in their family genealogy files that they did long ago and have either forgotten about or didn't know what to do with them. If you're one of them, dig them out and send them in. Don't worry if they're not formatted properly. I'll do that for you. 

List a cemetery: 

Do you live near an AA cemetery? Do you drive by one every day on the way to work or the market or while taking the kids to school? Do you feel a little tug whenever you glance at it and say to yourself that someone ought to record those headstones for posterity? Well, that someone could be you! Pick a day, a weekend, or an hour or two a day and just do it! You'll get a tremendous lift from doing something worthwhile and from knowing that AA researchers, wherever they are, can access these records online. 

Here's a list of cemeteries contributed by visitors to this site that need to be surveyed. Select one or more in your area. 

Enlist your church members or genealogy group: 

If you're a member of an AA church with it's own cemetery or burial grounds, get a copy of the cemetery records and transcribe them. This could be a new project or the outgrowth of an existing function or ministry, especially if the cemetery is large. And if you belong to a genealogy group, AA or otherwise, get them on this right away. AA cemeteries were frequently left out or unintentionally overlooked when "official" registries of all cemeteries in a given area were compiled. 

Listing Guidelines: 

  • NAME OF CEMETERY (be specific and list any other names it may also be known as) 
  • LOCATION OF CEMETERY (city or town and state at minimum but be as specific as possible, especially if it's located in a rural area; your information should be detailed enough so that someone unfamiliar with the area can find it easily) 
  • CONDITION OF CEMETERY (optional, but helps to determine whether it's neglected or endangered) 
    • Name of deceased 
    • Tombstone inscription (exactly as it appears) 
    • Site description ("family plot", "overgrown with weeds", "concrete angel statue inscribed ____", "under large oak tree" - things like that) 
    • Location of site (row or plot number or physical location in cemetery) 
  • ADDITIONAL NOTES (anything else you know about the deceased obtained from sources other than the cemetery listing like place and date of birth and death if these don't appear on the marker or are obliterated, or names of the Funeral Home or Church where funeral services held) 
If you list an entire cemetery: 

Pick a logical starting point and proceed row by row (or as close to what would be considered a row as possible) in a clockwise direction and transcribe each site as you come to it following the directions above. The site you're working on should always be to your right. If you encounter a site that's overgrown, unreadable, missing a marker, or otherwise unlistable, so note but indicate that it is a site and describe it as best you can. 

You can use a cemetery transcription form if you find them useful. There are many out there but here are a few that we found on the web to get you started: 

Other Helpful Sites: Family Tree Magazine 101 Best Web Sites Award Family Tree Magazine 101 Best Web Sites for 2002 Award
2 Jan 1999 | 27 Jun 2006
Copyright © 1999-2006 by B.J. Smothers. All rights reserved.
African American Cemeteries Online