This blog is brought to you by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as a place for citizens who care for, and about Virginia's historic cemeteries. Here you will find information on workshops, cemetery preservation, and other resources. For more information about the Department of Historic Resources, visit

Material on this site is copyrighted by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (2014).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Preservation Virginia Presents Interactive "Historic Family Cemeteries" Google Map

Preservation Virginia introduces a great interactive public map where anyone can record the location of historic family cemeteries. Users can add placemarkers and describe cemeteries for others to see.

Note: Marking a family cemetery on this Google map does not ensure that the cemetery is recorded in DHR's Archives. For official recording, use the Citizen Cemetery Recordation Form and submit it to DHR Archives.

View Historic Family Cemeteries in Virginia in a larger map

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nov. 5-6 Workshop in Abingdon: Register Now!

Cemetery Conservation and Documentation Workshop

A workshop for cemetery owners, caretakers, non-profits, and volunteers, presented by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in partnership with Preservation Virginia.

November 5-6, 2010
Abingdon, VA
Friday, November 5, 2010
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Lectures and Presentations

Location: Masonic Lodge, 325 W. Main Street, Abingdon, VA 24210

Topics include: Researching and Recording Historic Cemeteries, Cleaning and Conservation of Funerary Monuments, Mortuary Archaeology, Funerary Symbolism, Genealogy, and Virginia Burial Law

Saturday, November 6, 2010
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Hands-on Training

Location: Sinking Springs Cemetery, Abingdon, VA 24210

Topics include: Marker Condition Assessment, Review of Stone and Masonry Conservation and Cleaning,
Using DHR’s Cemetery Recording Form, and, Techniques for Photographing Historic Funerary Monuments, Identification of Symbols used on Markers

Register early! Spaces fill up quickly. Registration Fee is $25 for Friday only or $40 for both days. Saturday’s hands-on training is limited to 25 participants. Deadline for registration is October 29, 2010. No refunds after October 15, 2010. The Saturday workshop will be held rain or shine.

For registration information, please contact Dee DeRoche at (804) 367-2323 ext. 134.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Archaeology Month Calendar

Historic Cemeteries throughout the Commonwealth are featured for this year's Virginia Archaeology Month. Check out the calendar for events near you throughout October.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 10-11 Workshop in Martinsville

Condition Issues and Conservation with Caitlin O'Grady
We held our second Cemetery Workshop in Martinsville on Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11. The venue for the Friday portion of the workshop was graciously provided by the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Saturday hands-on session was at the lovely Oakwood Cemetery.

Friday morning, September 10, 2010 VMNH Classrooms
Elizabeth Moore (Moderator)
  • 10:00 – 10:10: Welcome: Joe Keiper (VMNH)
  • 10:10 – 10:20: Meeting Logistics, Elizabeth Moore (VMNH)
  • 10:20 – 10:30: Introduction, Mike Barber (DHR)
  • 10:30 – 11:00: Cemetery Iconography, Joanna Wilson (DHR)
  • 11:00 – 11:30: Cemetery Conservation, Caitlin O’Grady (DHR)
  • 11:30 – 12:00: Cemetery and Burial Laws, Joanna Wilson (DHR
  • 1:00 – 1:30: County-wide Cemetery Survey, Tom Klatka (DHR)
  • 1:30 – 2:00: DHR Cemetery Recording, Jolene Smith (DHR)
  • 2:00 – 2:30: Skeletal Forensics, Donna Boyd (Radford University)
  • 2:30 – 3:00: Genealogy / Family Histories, Ellen Brown (Community Archives of Southwest Virginia)
  • 3:15 – 4:00: Discussants / Discussion Mike Barber (DHR) / Elizabeth Moore (VMNH)

 Many thanks to Elizabeth Moore and the staff at the Virginia Museum of Natural History and members of the Martinsville Cemetery Association for a great workshop!

Click on the links above to view slide shows from selected presentations.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Virginia Archaeology Month!

This year's Virginia Archaeology Month is centered around historic cemeteries. We've even got a double-sided poster featuring great information on identification and preservation of cemetery markers. For more information on Virginia Archaeology Month 2010 or to find out how to get a free poster, contact Dee DeRoche.

Schedule from the May 21-22 Cemetery Workshop in Richmond

Friday, May 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Lectures and Presentations

Lecture topics include: Researching and Recording Historic Cemeteries, Cleaning and Conservation of Funerary Monuments, Mortuary Archaeology, Funerary Symbolism, Genealogy, and Virginia Burial Law
Each speaker will be followed by 10 minutes of questions.

• 10:00 – 10:10 am Introduction. Mike Barber, State Archaeologist, Department of Historic Resources

• 10:10 am – 10:40 am Gone but not Forgotten: Genealogical Research using Cemetery Records. Dawn K. Tinnell, Research Archivist, Library of Virginia

• 10:40 am – 11:10 am Burial Laws in Virginia and the United States. Joanna Wilson Green, Easement Program Archaeologist, Department of Historic Resources

• 11:10 – 11:40 am Graveyard Archaeology. Dane Magoon, Archaeologist, Cultural Resources, Inc.
• 11:40 am – 12:10 pm Cemetery Iconography and Funerary Symbolism. Joanna Wilson Green, Easement Program Archaeologist, Department of Historic Resources

• 1:00 – 1:30 pm Cemetery Conservation and Documentation: What to Do and What to Avoid. Caitlin O’Grady, Conservator, Department of Historic Resources

• 1:30 – 2:00 pm DHR Cemetery Form. Jolene Smith, Archaeology Inventory Manager / DSS Accounts Manager, Department of Historic Resources

• 2:00 – 2:30 pm Intensive Surface Investigations to Locate Graves and Markers. Patrick O’Neill, President, Archeological Society of Virginia

• 2:30 – 3:00 pm Final Discussion. Mike Barber, State Archaeologist, Department of Historic Resources

Cemetery Workshop Booklet

This is the booklet distributed to participants of the May 20-21 worshop at DHR.

Some photos from the Richmond workshop

Workshop participant recording information about a family plot

DHR's Caitlin O'Grady explaining marker conservation and preservation
DHR's Joanna Wilson explaining cemetery iconography

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This blog is a response to our recent Cemetery Workshop, held on May 21 and 22 in Richmond. The workshop was a great success, with over 40 participants in our Friday lecture day and more than 20 at the Saturday hands-on session at Hollywood Cemetery.

We intend to use this blog as a place to post electronic versions of resources available at the workshop, links, photos from the events, and more. Additionally, we hope that supporters of Virginia's historic cemeteries can use this blog as a forum for communication.

We also hope to use this blog to collect feedback as we take our show on the road. Check out the poll on the left hand side of the screen and let us know where to come next!