Remembering Forgotten Cemeteries

Check out this neat story from Raleigh’s News and Observer about an old cemetery where residents of the Wake County Home for the Aged and Infirm (or poorhouse) were buried up until 1976.

The cemetery and those buried there were mostly forgotten until a News and Observer story ran last December.  Since then, local historians have been trying to piece together the lives of the cemetery’s occupants from old records such as death certificates and family memorabilia, and it appears likely the County will soon erect a memorial nearby.

The Wake County story reminded me of another which appeared in the News and Record about two years ago on the Proximity Mill Cemetery, here in Greensboro.  Located along Phillips Avenue, this cemetery provided free burial space to Cone Mills employees going as far back as 1901, but it’s now in a sad state of repair.

Of course, it’s often living descendants of the dead who take the initiative to rescue lost burial grounds, and in a follow-up to the Proximity Cemetery story, we learned of Gary Maness, who has 23 family members buried there and is working to establish a nonprofit association to protect the cemetery.  

Please remember, if you’re looking for the grave of a lost ancestor, Greensboro Public Library may be able to help. 

From our website, for example, you can search a database for City of Greensboro cemeteries — Forest Lawn, Greenhill and Maplewood — and you can also search for gravestone inscriptions in our Guilford County Marriage and Death Records 1771-1899 database. 

We also have books in our genealogy collection at Central Library which may be useful, such as Guilford County Cemeteries, a two-volume set edited by Mary Browning, which includes listings for many of the cemeteries in the county.

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