The information in this database came from two primary
sources, a transcription file of interment records from
the St. Joseph’s Cemetery office and the records
of St. Joseph’s Church in Cohoes showing burials
in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
A review of the Church records found over 700 interments
in St. Joseph’s Cemetery that were NOT on the transcription
file from the cemetery office.
Many of these newly identified records, which have now
been added to this data base, were from the late 1800’s.
What is unique about these records from the 1800’s,
is that names of “witnesses” to the death
were reported. None of our previously transcribed cemetery
records ever reported this type information. In many cases
it was obvious from the surname that one or both of the
witnesses had some family connection. One name in particular,
a Marcel Duhamel, was the witness name reported for 43
of the deaths.
When French/Canadian genealogy groups were questioned
on this practice, the following comments were offered:
1. This was a local government requirement that was
practiced in many municipalities; the reason being that
most people died at home and the witnesses were usually
the family doctor and a relative of the deceased who
was present at the time of death.
2. My guess is that the person who kept the records
was following the format that has been used in French
Canada since the early 1600’s as what we would
consider vital records were kept exclusively by churches
and not by a governmental agency.
The following listing identifies the various data elements
which MAY be reported for each interment record:
1. LAST NAME - You may find slight variations in the
spelling of some ofthe surnames.
2. FIRST NAME - Some names of parents are listed with
French version of their name and at other times with
English version. Examples, Guillaume (William), Edouard
3. MAIDEN NAME/RELATED TO – The maiden name for
most of the
married women is reported in this data column. Also
relationship may be reported, (wife of, husband of,
son of, daughter of,
aunt of, cousin of, etc.)
5. WHERE BORN - May show a foreign country, city and
state or just
the state name.
6. DATE OF DEATH/DATE OF INTERMENT - In a few cases,
may be off by a day or two.
7. ADDRESS AT TIME OF DEATH - Some records show just
address while others will show a city and state or just
a state name.
8. NAME OF FUNERAL HOME
9. PARISH – Burials in St. Joseph’s were
from all over New York
State and even from out of state. The hometown Church
Identified which is of help to genealogy researchers.
10. CEMETERY SECTION/COMMENTS –
Identifies cemetery section (A., B.,
C., Angel Ground, Polish Ground, etc.) and various comments
burial. This is where you will find the names of “witnesses”
Index of 17,237 Interment Records
St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Waterford, New York
1862 to 2013