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Erie County (PA) Genealogy  
Cemetery Records

More Early Cemetery History

Contributed by Barb Seyler

[Ed. Note: This cemetery history extract was previously on the cemetery index page. See also other cemetery history as contained in the various chapters of the Bates on-line History of Erie County elsewhere on this web site.]


Cities of the Dead

Submitted by Barb Seyler

Note: You know you are a serious genealogist, when you show up for a cemetery reading, carrying your shovel!

Early Graveyards

Earliest was on bluff overlooking the Bay of Erie, between Parade St. and the mouth of Mill Creek. Was abandoned in 1805.

From 1753-1759, there was a burial ground somewhere near the mouth of Mill creek, however, the exact location is not known. Known as the earliest burial ground for Catholics in the county. On the site of St. Benedict's Academy a burial ground was established and used until 1848 when a new parcel was purchased on Chestnut St., between 24th and 25th Streets. The bodies from St. Benedict's site were removed to the new site. The latter was used by the German Catholics until Trinity Cemetery was formed. Nearly all of the remains have been removed to Trinity Cemetery from these graveyards.

A common graveyard was then secured at the SE corner of 8th and French Sts. until 1827. At that time, it became known as the United Presbyterian. The Presbyterians then purchased property at 7th & Myrtle Sts, about 1826-1827 and many bodies were moved there from the old burial ground.

The Episcopalians had their graveyard between 7th & 8th St. on Myrtle around 1827.

St. Paul's German Evangelical Church had a burial ground in 1859

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church had theirs on Sassafras, between 22nd and 23rd Streets.

Except for St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church, the cemeteries above were abandoned and most of the remains were removed and reinterred in the Erie Cemetery.

The Hebrew burial place was on 26th St., west of Cherry and was established around 1858.

On the south side of Erie, German and Irish graveyards were located at a considerable distance from town.

St. Patrick's congregation had a burial ground on 3rd St., between German and Parade. This ground was abandoned and the bodies moved to a new graveyard in 1852, on the corner of 24th & Sassafras Streets. When Trinity Cemetery was founded, this second graveyard was also closed and most of the dead were moved.

Erie Cemetery

Founded October 1846

Incorporated January 29, 1850

Formal Opening was May 20, 1851

Location: City of Erie

Initial Purchasers: C. M. Read, William Himrod, George A. Lyon, A. W. Brewster, J. C. Spencer, J. H. Williams, Irvin Camp, William Nicholson, J. C. Marshall, T. G. Colt, James Skinner, P. Metcalf, John Galbraith, William Kelley, William W. Reed, Walter Chester, George A. Eliot, H. Caldwell, Elijah Babbitt, J. A. Tracy, Joseph M. Sterrett, Milton Courtright, C. M. Tibbals, William A. Brown, B. B. Vincent, P. Arbuckle, S. Jackson, John Hughes, P. E. Burton, F. Schneider and M. W. Caughey.

Initial Sale of Lots: Mrs. R. S. Reed, John Evans, M. B. Lowry, J. c. Beebe, Thomas H. Sill, John P. Vincent, John Moore, Andrew Scott

Trinity Cemetery

Consecrated on May 23, 1869 as a burial place of the Catholic

Location: Approximately 4 miles west of the City of Erie

Was given the name Trinity Cemetery since it was consecrated on Trinity Sunday

Polish Cemetery

St. Stanislaus Church had 2 acres at the NW corner of Trinity Cemetery, which was used exclusively for burial of the Polish citizens of Erie. Purchased in October 15, 1889, it was dedicated on November 2, 1889.

Lakeside Cemetery

Organized May 15, 1895

Location: Bank of Lake Erie, a short distance east of the City of Erie

This page was last updated on  Thursday, August 09, 2001 .

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