Charles R. Hale started recording the burial locations of Civil War veterans for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in 1916. He continued this work until 1934 when he headed a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project to record the inscriptions in all of Connecticut’s cemeteries. With a staff of eighty, the job was completed and published in 1937.
The many volumes of the Hale Collection are shelved at the Connecticut State Library, which co-sponsored the project. The volumes Andover through Sterling have been copied and rebound and can be photocopied. Unfortunately, Stonington through Woodstock have not yet been copied and are too fragile to copy. To print the data for the latter towns it is necessary to use the microfilms which were made by the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) and are available through their Family History Centers and numerous libraries.
The Hale project found the location of 2,269 cemeteries, some of which have been moved, buried or lost. The locations of the cemeteries are described in very general terms and the approximate locations shown on a 1930’s topographic map. Our goal is to update these descriptions to include current street names and the latitude and longitude of the site. With Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers costing as little as $100, it will be possible to locate the cemetery location within less than one hundred yards; ninety-five percent of the time.
The Hale records are indexed within each town but the actual listings are in the order that they were recorded. This greatly assists in finding the location of a stone within the cemetery once you learn where the work was started in that particular cemetery.
You may access the Connecticut State Library page on the Hale Collection here.
Daniel A. Hearn of Monroe, CT started, as a teenager in 1975, to record the inscriptions on all pre-1800 gravestones in Connecticut. When he finished in 1987, he had recorded 22,400 inscriptions from 411 cemeteries located in 164 out of 169 towns in the state. The typed manuscript consists of 1,892 pages.
Comparison with the Hearn Collection allows the serious researcher an opportunity to determine how many stones have disappeared between 1934 and 1975 or are no longer legible. While using the Hearn files, we could see no evidence that he used the Hale collection to determine which cemeteries had pre-1800 stones. Several were missed.
The inscriptions, unlike Hale, are recorded in their entirety, and are listed in alphabetical order. This facilitates finding family groups in the cemetery but makes it difficult to find individual stones. The recording is generally accurate when compared against other listings but there are some problems with spelling which may have resulted from recording on a tape recorder for later transcription.
In some of the burying grounds, Hearn recorded the type of material on which the inscription was carved. When found, he also recorded the name of the carver.
Although Hearn describes the location of most of the cemeteries, it is planned to verify the locations and prepare a list containing detailed directions to reach the burying grounds and the geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude).
The Hearn Collection was used as the basis for the compilation of epitaphs "Connecticut 18th Century Epitaphs" by Pat Miller (now out of print). Pat brought it to the attention of AGS members in the AGS Winter 88/89 Newsletter.
The Hearn Collection, which is being compiled at the county level, is located in Manchester, CT. Inquiries should be forwarded by E-mail here.
COPYRIGHT (C) 1999 THE CONNECTICUT GRAVESTONE NETWORK
(To my knowledge, this is not a complete list)
Alderbrook Cemetery - Boston Street
Bluff Head Cemetery
Leetes Island Cemetery
North Guilford Cemetery
Moose Hill Cemetery
Nuts Plains Cemetery
St. John's Catholic Cemetery
Summer Hill Cemetery
Westside Cemetery - West Side Street
Huge Database of Guilford Cemetery Inscriptions - Prior to 1800
Cemeteries of New Haven CT - Contains links of cemeteries and burial lists as well as other links
Montowese Cemetery - Quinnipiac Avenue, North Haven
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