On this home page we'll introduce our organization and
highlight important areas on our site.
There is created a permanent advisory commission to study the
location, condition, and inventory of historical cemeteries in
Rhode Island and to make recommendations to the general assembly
relative to historical cemeteries in Rhode Island.
There are 39 cities and towns in RI and all have historic
cemeteries within their boundaries. These historic cemeteries
are a template of the developmental patterns of each community
and demonstrate the social and economic growth, as well as the
changes throughout each community.
It is our hope to formulate and develop plans and programs to
restore, rehabilitate and maintain historical cemeteries and
locate sources of funds such as grants and individual or
With this web site we hope to inform the public on where to
go for help in regarding historical cemeteries. As an example,
if anyone should "find" a cemetery that is not marked or they
think not "registered" it should be reported to a Commission
member. Along with the information on where this "found"
cemetery is should have particulars such as stones with names on
them, and possible GPS location. If not GPS than at least
street, telephone pole etc. The member would then contact the
Historical Cemetery Database to see if it might be on it. If it
is not on the database there would be a number given to it.
Member would then notify Town Clerk, Planner and Assessor with
particulars so they, the Town can register the cemetery.
Volunteers needed to find cemeteries and get GPS readings.
GPS units can be provided.
- take pictures of gravestones
- document cemeteries
- research deeds
- clean cemeteries
- adopt a cemetery
Helpful hints of the day.
- DO seek permission from property owner to pass through
their land. Ask where to park. Respect their land and their
wishes. Leave no refuse. Leave everything as you find it or
- DO NOT move gravestones.
- Record names and dates if
stones have not previously been documented. Call
Commissioner with this information. Photograph if possible.
- DO NOT cut large living trees
- DO NOT drag fallen trees across gravestones. Lift
- DO NOT cut brush in the spring as it will multiply.
- DO cut between October and January.
- DO take away any debris.
- DO wear gloves, safety glasses. Watch for poison ivy,
oak and sumac. Use rubbing alcohol as soon as possible on
you and your equipment.
- GRAVESTONE RUBBING is not recommended except under
- PHOTOGRAPHY is welcome. Take before and after photos.
Record date, cemetery location and direction photo was
taken. If you have undocumented grave stones, please let us
know so we can update the Historical Cemetery Database.
- Use a "Space Pen" as it writes upside down and when the
paper is wet.