The Scary New American Cemetery: The Death of Individual Burial Choice and Custom

Marsh says the changes in American cemeteries are starkly noticeable to anybody who has visited old cemeteries and then a new one.

Historical Burial Traditions: Bahamian Burials III

In the first blog entry about Bahamian burials, you may have learned that there was a distinction among social classes and between races in life as well as in death in the Bahamas. In the second article, you may have witnessed how both Europeans and Africans influenced each other in the types of memorials reserved for the dead and the designation of a burial as permanent or transient. This article, the last in the series, shows how class defined the Bahamian burial; however, cultural influences also shaped the Bahamian burial scene.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Bahamian Burials II

Bahamian vault graves on San Salvador Island

Are you appalled by the idea that a family or community might re-use grave sites as mentioned in the previous Bahamian burial article? Or, perhaps the condition of the Bahamian cemeteries and grave sites might disturb you. If so, pick up the book, In Small Things Forgotten, by James Deetz to learn more about earlier American burials.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Bahamian Burials I

At the beginning of month-long graduate school archaeological dig in the Bahamas, one student asked what the class would do if a body were found during the digs. One professor responded, “Call the authorities, because that body would not be an antiquity.”

Pennsylvania Welsh Speak from Slate Gravestones

Perhaps no one knows the bond that Slate Ridge Cemetery holds to the Welsh community in Delta, Pennsylvania more than the Welsh immigrants who settled in that region.

Historic Funeral Traditions: American Germans

Did you know that Americans of German descent outnumber those Americans of Irish and English descent? The first Germans to arrive in the New World were those who settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. However, the most significant influx of Germans to American occurred during the nineteenth century, with settlements in New York and Pennsylvania.

Motorcyclists – What a Way to Go!

Are you a motorcycle enthusiast? No matter your two-wheeled proclivities, as this week is Sturgis week in South Dakota. In honor of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, offers some interesting ways to pass to the great Motocross in the sky.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Mormons

Mormons, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mormons see themselves as a new branch of Christianity; therefore, they often use Christian funeral practices, but they have developed a culture and customs that include how they see death and bury their dead.

False Crypts: Great hiding places for the homeless

If you’ve ever visited a New Orleans cemetery, you’ve probably seen a crypt, or an above-ground tomb. False crypts, also known as chest tombs, box tombs, stonebox graves or crypts, look like an above-ground tomb, but the body is buried underground. The crypt itself usually contains an enclosed base made of stone, brick or concrete, and a top rests on that base. The top may be inscribed with information about the deceased.

Types of Tombstones

If you’re fond of strolling through cemeteries, you know that tombstones and grave markers come in a wide variety of styles and substances. Few people, however, realize that a stone can be dated simply from the material used. In fact, you can determine if a marker is a replacement, simply by understanding the composition of the stone. For instance, a granite stone marking a grave dug before 1880 is not an original marker.