The following are organizations and resources that we look to for guidance in the care and preservation of the often fragile pieces of history that our pioneer cemeteries and church buildings are.  Please refer to these well-educated and experienced resources before undertaking any restoration to any cemetery artifacts, such as tombstones, fencing, or plantings.  Well-meaning, but ill-prepared efforts can cause potentially serious damage. 

Cemetery Preservation Associations & Newsletters
- these links have guidelines for caring for and cleaning of tombstones, database tools for documenting your family cemetery, about establishing and managing perpetual care funds, etc.:

Save A Grave - check out their website for "how-to" guides and cemetery restoration projects

Texas Cemetery Preservation - "How Do I Clean a Gravemarker?" and the Cemetery Database for Access 2000 are two of our favorites, but all of the articles posted on this site are well worth reading

GravestonePreservation.info - Several well-written articles on the various things encountered when restoring a cemetery are presented on this site

The Association For Gravestone Studies - based in Massachusetts, but much of interest for any cemetery preservation and research project in West Virginia

Ohio Cemetery Preservation Society and Saving Graves: Kentucky site - many of our WV families spread westward into Ohio and Kentucky over the past century.  These links can help you in your genealogical research.  The Kentucky link also has an interesting article about the Kentucky Attorney General's Task Force on Cemetery Preservation and their findings... their situations are quite similar to those of West Virginia.  

State of West Virginia Resources:

Official State of West Virginia Web site

West Virginia Dept. of Transportation County Maps Online

WV State Code (search on the word "cemetery")

West Virginia Division of Culture and History  (Cemetery Information page from WV Div. of Culture & History)

Mapping Resources Online:

GoogleMaps (both topo maps and corresponding aerial photos) and GoogleEarth


Local, Regional and National Genealogical and Historical Resources and Examples:

Interment.net - Transcriptions of cemeteries submitted by researchers grouped by State and County

Find-A-Grave - Researcher-submitted information (and occasionally including portraits or tombstone photos) of individual burials in a searchable online database - special section dedicated to famous individuals.  Personal experience has shown that, since it is submitted by individuals, there is a risk that the dates and spelling of names is not always accurate - use as a guideline and in good genealogical practice, confirm the facts for yourself! (the same advice is true for Interment.net above, though there the focus is on reading the stones and documenting what is inscribed there, rather than having the influence of other information sources to confuse or confirm that data that most family researchers deal with).

Arnold Hill Cemetery Association - a local cemetery preservation association in Randolph Co., working to preserve and protect historic Arnold Hill Cemetery.  Their website also provides links to local historical and genealogical resources.

African American Cemeteries Online - a part of The Millennium Project: "People working together to build an online database of African American genealogical material for the 21st century" 

Door to the Past - a wonderful website created and maintained by Barry Huffstutler of Cabell Co. on Cabell County and family history, including comprehensive list of cemetery readings and photos. Barry has done a wonderful job on this very user-friendly and informative site, and has graciously offered to collaborate with WVCPA to get the information out to researchers as swiftly as possible through our two sites. It's good to be working with you, Barry!

Dunn Cemetery Preservation Association - a local cemetery preservation association in Kanawha Co., working to preserve and protect historic Dunn Memorial Cemetery in Cannelton.  

Global Cemetery Online - a register of West Virginia newspapers online by location, with links to their published obituaries.  If you're researching from a distance and don't know what the name of local newspapers are, this is a good place to start.

Historic WVpics - a site that includes, among other things of historic interest,  a selection of rare15 minute West Virginia topographical maps from the 1915-1945 era. The web master of the Historic WVpics site, Keith Pride, also maintains a number of pages dedicated to cemeteries in Marion county and others that we link to on the WVCPA site, as well as a collection of Historic Road Signs from several counties in WV.  Well worth the visit to his site!  

Marion County (WV) Historical Society - do you have ancestors from Marion County? Here's a good place to find out more about the county, its history and its people

National Trust for Historic Preservation - do you have a local preservation project of national significance? This group may be able to help... local WV contacts available

Obscurely Famous - A series of television programs produced for West Virginia Public Television by West Virginian Jack Crutchfield. In the series, he documents 'obscurely famous' folks, like Mark Twain's grandfather, Titanic survivor Eloise Hunt, and one of the Civil War's youngest boy soldiers buried in West Virginia cemeteries.

Parkersburg Nostalgic Gazette - a site dedicated to primarily providing online documentation of Parkersburg's pioneer cemeteries, created and managed by Christy and Jeff Little of Parkersburg, WV. Other historical subject matter will be added to the site in the future. If you're doing research on families in this area, we recommend visiting this site - or if you're looking for good ideas on how to document your local community cemeteries online, Christy and Jeff's work is among the finest we've seen on the Web!

Vietnam Wall - link to a "virtual wall", memorializing not only to the fallen Vietnam veterans of West Virginia, but from across the United States - click on the desired state to follow links to the databases for that state

WV Pioneers - a website dedicated to the historic research of the families of Jackson County, WV - compiled by Betty Briggs, noted Jackson County historian.  Betty has partnered with WVCPA to help get the "data out to the masses" about the cemeteries of Jackson County, and is working with us on the documentation of many of the cemeteries in the county.  We highly recommend visiting her "Cemeteries" page, accessible from the WV Pioneers home page at the link above. Where our paths cross on Jackson County cemetery pages, we have also provided links directly to her pages for the same cemeteries to maximize your research opportunities.

What Neighboring States Are Doing - Ideas You Might Share With Your Local Community:

Pennsylvania's Historic Cemeteries: A Brief History - paper published by Prof. Gary Collison of Penn State York University

Virginia Department of Historic Resources - frequently asked questions about Cemetery Preservation & their answers

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 Updated: 06 November 2015