VA Uses Recovery Act Money to Repair Historic Monuments

Funds to help preserve memorials for future generations.

Does the Name “Sleepy Hollow” Ring Any Bells?

Visit the cemetery that houses Washington Irving, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

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.

Germany’s Burial Traditions already offered a short article on American-German funeral traditions, which have become assimilated – for the most part – in American traditions based upon religious beliefs. But, in Germany, burial traditions often are different than those in other parts of the world, and have been so for generations. But, changes are in the works, and some of the following traditions also contain explanations of changes when known.

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.

Cemetery Etiquette

Many people may avoid graveyards, as the reminder of death is an unpleasant experience for them. But, other folks don’t mind littering, having parties or otherwise defacing or disrespecting a piece of land that – for all extents and purposes – belongs to the deceased who are buried on that property or to their families. Since graveyard etiquette is not taught in schools, we thought we’d offer some guidelines for your edification.

Greenwashing in the Cremation Industry

The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is a Chicago-based industry group that has projected that 38 percent of all deaths this year will finalize in cremation. This is a 12 percent increase since 2000. Additionally, cremation rates are expected to rise to 50 percent over the next fifteen years.This news may prompt many funeral directors to expand their cremation services for those individuals who seek a simpler death care process that is less expensive than a traditional burial. But, for those funeral directors to tout this death care service as ‘green’ is – to put it bluntly – “greenwashing.”