Search billions of records on


The Coalition's Guide to Burial Site Stewardship


This 133-page guide provides information to assist individuals or groups on how to
proceed when faced with a burial ground that is inadequately maintained, neglected, abandoned,
or harmed by vandals. The chapters include: getting started; reading  local/State laws governing
burial sites before attempting access; access to burial sites on private property;
types of cemeteries and their development; documentation and recordation; 
what are the next steps; cemetery CPR and maintenance; miscellaneous topics including:
symbolism; gravestone rubbings; mapping; and foil impressions; a glossary; appendices; and an index.

The Guide is available for $18 which includes shipping, handling, and can be purchased through the gift shop.

            Table of Contents:

Chapter 1.       Introduction and Audience

Chapter 2.       Getting Started (Identify area as a cemetery and then determine ownership)

Look for Signage (May be Hidden, Fallen, Partially Buried)

Ask Neighbors

Look up Listing in Telephone Book or City Directory

Search Online

Check Maps

Look For Published Oral Histories

Check Local Libraries

Historical/Genealogical Societies

Nursing Homes for Oral Histories

Land Records/Deed Research

Local Funeral Directors

Chapter 3.       Read Local/State Laws Governing Burial Grounds before Attempting To Gain Access

            Chapter 4.       Access to Burial Sites on Private Property:  Obtaining Permission Form Owner(S)

Permission Granted

Permission Denied

Wishes of the Family Members [locate other families associated with the cemetery]

             Chapter 5.       Conservation (Pre-Preservation)  <>

             Chapter 6.       Types of Burial Grounds and Their Development 

Frontier Graves

Family or Domestic Burial Grounds

Churchyard, Church Burial Grounds, or Graveyards

Potter's Field

Town or City Burial Grounds

Country Graveyards

Rural Cemeteries

Lawn-Park Cemeteries

Military Cemeteries

Memorial Parks

Green Cemeteries

Chapter 7.       Documentation/Recordation of Burial Sites              

Scope and Purpose

Photographic Documentation and Initial Review of the Site

Site Documentation and Evaluation

Mapping the Site

Documenting Markers and Monuments

Record Monument Information

Sharing the Information


County Offices of Planning And Zoning

Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites

Local Genealogical and Historical Societies

Local Libraries

Cemetery Sites on the Internet

           Chapter 8.       What Are Your Next Steps?  

Deciding the Scope of Your Project

Locating a Single Grave or a Family Plot

Seeking Information from the Burial Ground Owner

Report Thefts and/or Vandalism to Owner

Other Resources


Civic Organizations

Youth Organizations

Community Service Volunteers

Forming a Friend’s Group 

Seek Funding           

            Chapter 9.       Burial Ground CPR and Maintenance           


Defining CPR

Landscape Restoration

Landscape Maintenance

Hardscape Conservation and Preservation

Hardscape Restoration

Hardscape Maintenance

Site Assessment

Cleaning a Gravestone

Cleaning Solutions for Biological Growth

Resetting Gravestones


Maintenance Plan

Secure the Site

Chapter 10.     Miscellaneous Topics

Cemetery Etiquette                                      

Heirloom Plantings                                      

Gravestone Rubbings                                   

Foil Impressions                                           

Photographing Markers                      


Stone Carvers                                               

Mapping Burial Grounds                                                     

History in Cemeteries [Reserved for future editions.]

Cemetery Safety                                          

What to Consider When Hiring a Cemetery Expert            



A.    Permission to Enter Form

B.     Site Survey and Assessment (Long form acceptable for use with grant applications.)

C.     Directions for completing the Site Survey and Assessment Form.

D.    Gravestone Survey Form (Short form acceptable to record information on the marker.)

E.     Vandalism Report Form

F.      Heirloom Planting Record

G.    Maryland Laws and Regulations Regarding Cemeteries

H.    Grave Marker Abbreviations

I.       Grave Marker Symbolism

J.       Websites

K.    Additional Reading




Copyright 2011 - 2012 CPMBS
Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, Inc. * P. O. Box 1533 * Ellicott City, Maryland  21041
This page is maintained by  Webmaster

[Coalition Courier]   [Annual Meeting]   [Home]   [Directors and Officers]   [Links]   [Events]
[Membership]   [News]   [Threats]   [County Pages]   [Legislative Update]   [President]   [Periwinkle]
[Items for Sale]   [Volunteer]   [Objectives]   [Laws & Regs]