Martin County Historical Society
PRESERVING THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF MARTIN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
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Cemeteries of Martin County...
Cemeteries of Martin County, NC
In the early 1970s, the Bear Grass Ruritan Club began a project to locate and record abandoned as well as maintained graveyards and note the names of those buried there. As word of their project spread, others became interested and began searching out and identifying graves and names in their communities. Some of the early volunteers included Mary James Skinner, James C. Manning, teachers and students and many others. (Our apologies for not having
the names of those who helped with this project!) Their work was published in the 1975 Harvest Edition of the Enterprise (Williamston, NC) which brought it to the attention of even more people. Elton Hardy was one of those. Mr. Hardy like many others, was having trouble locating old family graveyards (the Cherry family, in particular.) Realizing how many very old gravesites were becoming lost to development, overgrowth, lack of identification and more, he took on the project of entering into computer files the information that had been published in the Enterprise. This information could then be sorted and searched more easily. He also printed out large notebooks of this information and distributed them to libraries, the community college and the Historical Society and the Genealogy group, among others.
Finding these sites was still a problem. Although descriptions had been added about where some these cemeteries or gravesites were located, these descriptions had become less useful over time. Many of the landmarks like houses and churches were disappearing. Names changed or became unrecognizable to younger people. Elton and others decided to use the latest technologies to go back and identify locations in new ways. Using a hand-held GPS device they began the task of recording the locations of the cemeteries.
Recently, Elton thought about having this information more easily accessible to anyone via the internet, free of charge. The members of the Genealogy group agreed and assisted in this project. After attending a Martin County Historical Society Online Heritage Project workshop, he realized that the organization's web site would be a perfect place to house the cemetery project information that they he had worked on for so long. He generously funded the development of an online database to be designed by the web site developer and discovered that his GPS coordinates could be put to the best advantage with maps for each cemetery. The database you see here (click on either of the search boxes on the upper right) is the evolution of this work.
By its nature, this project is ongoing. Much of the information was collected through the 1950s, but not beyond. There are also many cemeteries not yet listed. Volunteers are gathering more GPS information to make finding these sites easier but many more volunteers are needed. Information about older gravesites as well as more recent ones is being collected and recorded here as it becomes available. If you are interested in helping expand this project, please contact
The Martin County Historical Societ
y or Elton Hardy in Williamston, NC.
Search the Cemetery database by last name of deceased or by location of a cemetery.
As they become available, maps are being added.
If your civic, scout or other group would like to take on the project of updating a particular cemetery or cemeteries, please contact the Historical Society!
Martin County Historical Society
PO Box 468, Williamston, NC 27892