Documenting Gravestones and Graveyards

With summer approaching, many genealogists, historians and gravestone enthusiasts will be beginning (or continuing) the task of documenting the gravestones in their local graveyards. With this in mind, the New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association has developed two forms to aid in recording this information.

The first form is the Cemetery Survey Form and is used to record information on the cemetery such as the name, alternate name, location etc. The second form is the Monument Survey Form and is used to record the information on the individual stones. The Monument Survey form also comes with a sheet of instructions. These forms will help ensure that the information is being recorded in a useful and standardized format, and that nothing is inadvertently left out of the record.

The forms were developed around a database currently being developed by the New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association. The database will be a comprehensive, fully searchable resource containing information on burials in New Hampshire. Researchers will be able to locate deceased individuals by surname, date of birth, date of death, and burial location. It will also contain information on the stone itself: its condition, appearance, the epitaph and icon it bears, the material it's made of and it's location within the cemetery. We hope the database will be useful to genealogists, historians and scholars interested in Early New England Gravestone Art. Because both the forms and the database follow the same format, the forms will make it easy for us to enter information into the database.

Each cemetery recorded should have one Cemetery Survey Form and as many Monument Survey forms as there are gravestones. Please feel free to print, use and distribute these forms. Questions and suggestions are welcomed by the Records Committee.