NYHIST-L Archives

July 2002


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Phil Lord <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 17 Jul 2002 16:28:20 -0400
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What can I do about old cemeteries that are being vandalized or neglected?
There are various categories of "cemeteries" in New York State. The ones most often of concern are the small "burying ground", in which a number of families used a common plot of ground, or the "family plot", which often consisted of a few graves on a farm, usually belonging to one family.

Cemeteries that were once incorporated but are now abandoned revert to management by the town government, and you should approach the town regarding care and protection issues.

Cemeteries that were privately used, particularly the small plots one frequently sees in rural areas, probably are part of the private lands conveyed by deed when a property is sold. The owner may not, however, disturb these in any way, including removal of the headstones (which still belong to heirs of the deceased), excavation of the ground, etc.

For information contact: The Division of Cemeteries, NYS Department of State. Tel. 518 474-6226. E-Mail: [log in to unmask] Internet: http://www.dos.state.ny.us

>>> [log in to unmask] 07/17/02 10:12AM >>>
I'm looking for information about the New York State law that protects old
cemeteries.  Does it provide for the maintenance of a right-of-way to the
cemetery from a public highway?

Mary Jo Lanphear
Ontario County Archives