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We are frequently asked about sample forms for cemetery research. Here are several -- as pdfs -- that we hope will be of use.

Recording Cemetery Locations

It is critical that you accurately record the precise location of any cemetery you identify. Using directions like "go down Smith Road for about a half mile and turn at the old red barn" fail to provide the locational information necessary to help ensure the long-term preservation a cemetery. Using a form and consistently recording information will ensure that you get the right information for every cemetery you record. This information may also be used to develop county-wide data bases, perhaps as a layer in your county's GIS or perhaps through the state-wide agency that records archaeological sites. This form allows you to standardize the information you collect.

Assessing the Condition of Cemeteries

Another form is an inspection checklist that we have found useful in quick, county-wide reconnaissance studies when the focus is on the condition of cemeteries (it's adapted from one used in 2002 by the State of Hawaii).

Recording Individual Markers or Monuments

One of the most important records for cemetery work is that of the individual markers -- you must have a complete record of the stones, fences, coping, and other features at the cemetery -- as well as their conditions. It is also critical that this information be collected in a consistent, uniform fashion. To help you with these efforts, we have attached two files. One is a form that we use here at Chicora to record individual markers or monuments.  Another form is used to record family plots. We also have a sheet that identifies the most common types of markers, ensuring that everyone on the team uses the same terminology. We have recently added a more extensive identification sheet that includes not only monuments, but also fences, coping, and other cemetery features -- it will be especially helpful if you are recording a very large cemetery. Of course every cemetery is different, so you may need to change these to make them appropriate for your cemetery, but this will give you a start.

Monument Fragment and Removal Record

Many cemeteries are faced with damaged, fallen, or spalling monuments. Too often fragments are simply allowed to remain in the cemetery where they are subject to additional damage or even theft. While gathering and storing these fragments until professional conservation treatments are possible, it is very important to document the process: where was the fragment found, how was it discovered, and where is it being stored. This form helps ensure that all of the critical information is collected and not lost.

Cemetery Vandalism Form

Vandalism is an all too common occurrence. This incident form will help document the process and keep track of the problem. It is not intended to replace law enforcement incident reports, but rather to provide an internal tool.

Determining the Height of Tall Monuments with a Clinometer

At times you won't be able to easily measure the height of an obelisk or mausoleum. But there is an easy -- and realatively inexpensive -- way to get those measurements. This form explains the process.

Cemetery Disaster Assessment

This form has been prepared by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training for FEMA and helps rapidly assess damage to cemeteries caused by tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, and other natural events.


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