Photo/Image Courtesy of Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Volunteers

Cemetery NumberPV001
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Pole Number140
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Last seen date?2018
CommentThis transcript contains the names of 27,300 people buried here whose names appear on gravestones. There are over 100,000 people buried here, but it is estimated that only 40,000 names appear on gravestones. The rest are in unmarked graves. Over 95% of the eighteenth and nineteenth century gravestones are in this transcript. The newer twentieth century stones are mostly granite and are not deteriorating like the earlier slate, marble, and sandstone ones. They can be recorded in the future. This is a combination of three transcriptions: 1. Frank Williamson (FW) done between 1857 and 1877 (in Arnold collection 295 pages, 5600 names) 2. Frank Taylor Calef MD (1875-1941) (FTC) done in 1923 - 1500 pages, 7500 names 3. John E. Sterling (JES) 1994-1997 - 27,000 names; Book published in 2000 for old section of the burial ground. From 2007-2019 Julie Nathanson has been photographing the gravestones here. To date she has made 8000 photographs and the work goes on. With these high quality photographs taken under ideal conditions and with the gravestones lighted with a mirror, researchers can see exactly what we saw when we recorded these gravestone. These photographs also preserve the stone in the condition it was in when the photos were made. About 2-3% of the stones are unreadable now, but in 50-100 years many more will be gone. Many single marble or slate stones recorded by FW were later replaced by granite monuments. All of the data from transcriptions of both gravestone are included in this record with corrections where needed. Data added, but not found on the gravestone, is included in square brackets []. Where possible the map numbers assigned by Calef were preserved. The last few sections he recorded he skipped many stones, so these have been renumbered. The Quaker Burial Ground located on the Grounds of North Burial Ground has been separated out and given the number PV018. This cemetery is 110 acres. It is the first public cemetery and oldest Providence cemetery still in existence. It was started by city ordinance in 1700. 13 Mar 1848 a city ordinance was passed requiring the superintendent to keep a record book. Before that time no records are available. These transcripts are the only record for the first 150 years for this burial ground. Section 'SS' is for single plots starting in 1886; at north end of the cemetery. Section 'FG' is the free ground or paupers section Section 'VA' is the Civil War veteran's section Section 'AG' is the section in which many servants/slaves are buried. They had names like Yarrow, Ceasar, Bristol and Mannawill. Their fancy/expensive slate gravestones were most likely erected by their owners. Several are identified as African. This burial ground was recorded between 1994 and 2000 for a book on the North Burial Ground. Many trips were made back to the burial ground from 1995-2000 to check data recorded earlier. During that time many gravestones were observed scratched, knocked over and broken by ride-on mowers, the deliberate actions of employees pissed off to be there. Apparently city emloyees who failed to perform in other departments were reassigned to this burial ground to mow grass. There is more mower damage here than in any other cemetery in Rhode Island.
Enclosuremetal fence
Gateiron gate
Growthgrass-well kept
Terrainhilly moderate
Cemetery Location
Cemetery Burial Map N/A