About the Master Burial Site Database


The project of compiling a listing of every known burial site in New Hampshire was begun over four decades ago by one of NHOGA's co-founders, the late Philip Wilcox of Durham, NH. Carleton Vance of Manchester, N.H. assumed the task after Mr. Wilcox. In 1985, Louise Tallman of Rye, NH took over the project and began the process of entering the data into a computer database. After Mrs. Tallman became our Records Custodian Emeritus, various individuals have assumed responsibility for these records.
 
Site information was collected town-by-town, provided by knowledgeable local individuals with an interest in their city or town's burial sites. The present database contains only the location and other basic information on the cemeteries and graveyards. In 2003 NHOGA designed a new database schema that would accept the names and dates of the persons buried in each site. However a lack of volunteers made that project unworkable. That function is now filled by Find A Grave, and NHOGA is in the process of providing links to their pages.
 

How to Read the Listings

The listings are organized by town. They consist of several fields of information. Each site is identified by NHOGA's internal database code. This code is made up of a three character prefix identifying the town, followed by a dash which is in turn followed by a three- or four-character code for the graveyard within the town. The town prefix is a letter plus a two-digit numbers: the letter is the initial letter of the name of the town; the number places the town in alphabetical order. Thus Acworth is A01, Albany is A02, Alexandria is A03, Barnstead is B01, Barrington is B02 and Lee is L06. The graveyard code depends on the town. In some towns the local authorities have assigned codes to their graveyards. In those cases we use their codes. Barrington is one example; they have assign code 1D5 to the Cater graveyard on Green Hill Rd. In other towns there are no official codes, so either the person making the listing, or the NHOGA Archivist has assigned a number to each graveyard. Lee seems to be an example of this method. The only purpose of these codes is to give a unique identification to each graveyard; they have no other meaning.
 
The site code is followed by the name of the site, the location (street address or other location information), the name of the USGS map on which the site can be found, the map coordinates, any additional comments on the site and the name of the source from whom NHOGA obtained the information. If an individual is listed as the source, it is usually the person who collected the data. Frequently these are NHOGA members, in other cases they are local historians or cemetery trustees. We regret that we cannot provided more detailed contact information on these individuals due to privacy concerns. In a many cases, the individuals listed are now deceased.
 
Two indexes are provided: an index by town and a state-wide alphabetical index of all sites. The database code appears as part of the state-wide index. Index entries which have no code are cross-reference entries for sites that are known by more than one name.

How to Use the Listings to Locate Sites

Each burial site is keyed to one of the topographical maps produced by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). These maps may be ordered directly from the USGS, or may be purchased at numerous commercial dealers. For example, here and here. See the list of maps used in plotting these sites for the USGS order number.
 
Each site listing contains the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates of its location given in 10 meter units. These coordinates, also known as "eastings" and "northings", are the primary coordinate system of the USGS maps. Be sure to get recent editions of the maps. Older editions indicated UTM coordinates only with edge ticks. Later editions are more likely to display a full coordinate grid which is much easier to use. USGS has further background information on the UTM Grid. Wikipedia also provides information on the UTM Grid. We also show the coordinates in latitude and longitude for the convenience of those who prefer those coordinates over the UTM format. To locate a graveyard, simply plot the coordinates on the map and follow the map to the indicated spot.
 
The UTM coordinate system divides the globe into sixty zones. The majority of the State of New Hampshire falls within zone 19, except for the southwest portion of the state, which is in zone 18. The listings display the UTM zone for each location. The USGS maps are drawn so that they do not overlap UTM zone boundaries. Thus the UTM coordinates on any given map are for a single zone. Note however, that a town or city may extend across two zones. It is possible for two graveyards, located close together in a single town, to have very different coordinates. Reference to the maps should clear up any ambiguity.
 
Do not expect to necessarily find the symbol for a cemetery at the coordinates indicated. Only about half of the sites in the database are shown as topographic features on the USGS maps. In towns with many sites, this percentage is much lower. One of the goals of NHOGA's mapping project was to locate the numerous small sites that do not appear on any map.
 
However, be aware that the accuracy of the location coordinates varies widely from town to town and site to site. When a cemetery map symbol for the site exists on the USGS map, the coordinates are usually quite precise. If no symbol is shown by the USGS, NHOGA has plotted the location from the information given us by the person or organization that did the survey. While every effort has been made to obtain accurate information, nearly all the town surveys were made prior to the widespread availability of affordable GPS receivers, and it can be difficult to obtain precise locations for sites far from roads and other topographical landmarks. In some cases the locations were transcribed from maps that are less detailed that the USGS maps and were intended to show only approximate locations. The process of transcribing these numbers is also subject to the inevitable typographic error. In general, you should not rely on a location that has not been plotted by the USGS. Whenever possible, consult with local historical societies or other authorities to determine if more current position information is available.

GPS Coordinates

GPS receivers provide much better accuracy than the USGS maps. NHOGA has modified our database to accept GPS coordinates where available in addition to the UTM coordinates. Latitude and longitude shown as degrees/minutes/seconds are calculated from the UTM values. Latitude and Longitude shown as fractional degrees are transcribed from actual GPS readings. Only a small portion of the sites have been updated to GPS standards. If you visit one of the sites, *please* take GPS readings and email them to the webmaster. Please identify the site visited using the NHOGA database code as it appears on our web pages.
 

One important thing to be aware of when using a GPS unit with a USGS map, is to check the map datum. Nearly all of the USGS maps used for these listings utilized the 1927 North American Datum (NAD 27). Newer maps have been converted to the 1983 North American Datum (NAD 83). GPS also uses NAD 83. This can lead to a small but significant difference between the coordinates for the two standards. The map legend will identify the datum used. Markings near the lower right-hand corner of most USGS maps show the discrepancy between NAD 27 and NAD 83.

Maps

Beginning with the July 2001 edition of these listings, they were map-enabled via links to the Topozone digital copies of the USGS maps. Each site plotted its location on the map. Topozone hasn't worked for some time. In July 2016, Joshua Segal, the Webmaster, began converting the Topozone links to Google Maps. This task has now been completed. However Google Maps has limitations for sites that a not located along a public right-of-way. NHOGA is in the process of also providing Topoquest links that duplicate the capabilities of the former Topozone site.

Questionable locations

As part of the effort to convert the maps to Google Maps, Joshua Segal checked for sites where the coordinates appeared to be questionable. These sites are shown with a red background. The criterion he used for listing a site as questionable is that the referenced street did not show up on the map or the cemetery shows up in the middle of a lake. It is possible that the street name changed, but it is more likely that the coordinates are wrong. Please send corrections to the webmaster.

Respect Private Property Rights

Many of the sites listed here are on private property. If no public right-of-way exists into the site, you must obtain the property owner's permission to cross his or her land. To do otherwise is trespassing. The vast majority of individuals will be very cooperative when approached courteously. They may have specific knowledge of the site that is not available elsewhere. Who knows, you may even meet a distant cousin. But above all, respect their rights. New Hampshire law, specifically RSA 289:14, titled Right of Way to Private Burial Ground, details the legal procedures for obtaining entry to such sites. These procedures are cumbersome and time-consuming. Usually, courtesy and common sense will serve you far better.

Additions and Corrections

While every effort has been made to make this listing as accurate as possible, errors are inevitable. Also, many of the smaller sites are known by more than one name. If you find that an entry is incorrect, if you discover a burial site not listed here, or if you know of another name by which one of these sites is known, please email full details to the webmaster.

What's Missing?

This listing contains over 4,300 sites. However, we are missing data for a few towns. If you would like to volunteer your time to collect information on any of the following towns, please contact the webmaster. We need information on Allenstown, Antrim, Bartlett, Danbury, Groton, Henniker and Sandwich. Better locations are needed for Milton.


Listings Copyright (c) 1998-2021 New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association.
All rights reserved.

 
Send mail to the webmaster with questions or comments about this web site.
 
Last updated: Jan. 30, 2021





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