A recent news article about disinterments at a Reno, NV cemetery (so the property could be commercially developed) was the source for an item (with links) that I posted today on my Civil War genealogy site, 3rdmaheavyartillery.weebly.com/. Check out the blog post there and find out why you need to know where your ancestors are buried. If you do not know, you can get a start on findagrave. You can locate the many unknown, tiny graveyards in Bristol County in the Bristol County Cemeteries Database online, and you might be able to find your specific ancestor, if he or she was buried in Dartmouth, in the book Burials and Burial Places in the Town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts (check WorldCat for a lending library.) For other cemeteries in SE MA, the Cape Cod Genealogical Society library catalog has a list of reference books, but it includes mainly Barnstable County. Search the Internet Archive using terms like "cemeteries Massachusetts" and you will get a hodgepodge of hits including old inscriptions, lists of interments, etc. The Middleboro library has a downloadable PDF of a manuscript of old Plymouth County cemeteries, including names of people interred there. (I have found it very useful, especially for Wareham.) These books are more useful than you might think. For one thing, they often indicate which stone is adjacent to which other stone, providing a clue as to relationship if none is stated. Individual gravestone photos typically do not show proximity. Also, the GSMD and other lineage societies accept only READABLE photos of contemporary gravestones (not the marker you erected to your ancestor last week) and time has taken its toll on the inscriptions. You can augment a blurry photos of your ancestor's stone with the entry in a cemetery census book made 100 years ago when the inscription was sharp and clear. Remember, lineage societies do NOT accept the write-ups on findagrave, only the photo of the stone.
The author is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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- Fuller, Edward
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