View a historical 1978 newspaper article about NHOGA's early days.
NHOGA was first conceived in the summer of 1975. Several interested groups in need of assistance in the cataloging of cemetery inscriptions in the state had contacted Mr. Philip Wilcox of Durham, New Hampshire. These organizations recognized the importance of establishing permanent records of the quickly vanishing small graveyards scattered around NH. Among these groups were The Association of Historical Societies of N. H. Inc. (AHSNH), the State of New Hampshire, The Genealogical Society of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and genealogists in general. Because of the American Bicentennial celebration, then underway, there was an added awareness of the difficulies encountered in attempting to locate the burial locations of veterans of the Revolution.
Mr. Wilcox presented his ideas to the AHSNH at their August 1975 meeting. At this meeting members voted to sponsor "A New Hampshire Cemetery Group" as a bicentennial project. Mr. Wilcox was voted chairman of this cemetery committee, given funds to assist with expenses and given the authority to appoint committee members to serve with him.
The committee was formed by the Fall of 1975 and in the Spring of 1976 the organization was retitled The New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association. Preliminary by-laws were written, although the affiliation with AHSNH continued until NHOGA could stand on its own and lasted throughout the bicentennial project. NHOGA was incorporated as an independent organization in April 1977.
Many organizations with similar interests supported NHOGA in the early days. These organizations included The New Hampshire Cemetery Association, The Society of Colonial Wars, The Dunbarton, NH Historical Society, The Society of Mayflower Descendants, The Daughters of Colonial Wars, The Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots and The Mt. Washington Colony of New England Women. We thank all of these groups for their past and continuing support.
Over time NHOGA grew to become a thriving organization with over two hundred and fifty individual and organizational members. In order to protect the invaluable sources of historic and genealogical information found in burial places, we became active in promoting and supporting legislation relating to graveyards. People from across the country and the world write to us for assistance in locating their ancestors' burial locations. Often these inquiries are included in our newsletter. The newsletter also contains important graveyard-related news.
In 2011 NHOGA began conducting graveyard and cemetery preservation workshops. At these workshops NHOGA volunteers train local organizations and individuals in the best practices to protect their historic burial sites for future generations. These workshops have become quite popular and have spawned several local cemetery preservation organizations.
In 2019 NHOGA broadened its outreach by creating the New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association Group on Facebook as our primary social media platform. Membership in the group now totals well over a thousand. Members post photos of historic gravestones, share views of old graveyards and engage in a lively discussion of a variety of graveyard topics.
A special thanks: This Website was previously hosted by the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists. We thank them for their past support.
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