Best of 2021


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 corporate sponsors.

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

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 better.
  • 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 carefully
  • DO NOT cut brush in the spring as it will multiply.
  • 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 expert supervision.
  • 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.