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Saturday, January 29, 2011


Stories in Stone

Preserving History One Gravestone At A Time

cut from 1890sCemeteries are the "Great American Novel" and every gravestone represents a chapter in that novel. This site is our effort in writing a portion of that novel by documenting cemeteries and preserving the stories of those individuals buried in them.
Of the six counties (Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex) that comprise the "North Country" of New York, we focus on Jefferson and Lewis Counties. Additionally as we travel the migration routes into Jefferson County, we also visit cemeteries along the route that brought pioneers into the area. Consequently you will also find information on several cemeteries in Oswego County. Our goal is to help preserve the rich history of this portion of the North Country and to assist you in your family research.

Gravestone Photographs

We focus our efforts on documenting cemeteries by photographing every monument, headstone, footstone, and stone fragment in each of the cemeteries that we visit. This provides not only a "snap shot in time" of what the cemetery looks like, but also enables us to to help you in documenting your family history. Towards that end, we will provide any gravestone photo that we have in our collection free of any charge. If you find our site and the photos we provide helpful in your research, please consider making a donation to a not-for-profit organization such as a historical society, cemetery association, museum, or similar organization. These organizations are at the forefront of preserving the history of our country and have provided an invaluable amount of support in our efforts of documenting cemeteries and telling the stories of those individuals buried in them.

The Graves of Veterans

Portion of Kissell Monument
So many have sacrificed so much in the defense of our great county. One aspect of our documenting cemeteries is to identify as many graves of veterans as possible. While organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Daughters of the War of 1812, various Civil War organizations, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) have contributed enormously to the identification, preservation, and honoring of the graves of veterans, there are too many veterans whose graves have not been documented or honored. In order to pay respect to those who gave so much ensuring our way of life, we dedicate a significant portion of our research effort on identifying the graves of all veterans. In order to accomplish the identification of veterans graves, we need your help. It's not always possible to determine if an individual was a veteran based on gravestones alone and historical records are woefully incomplete. If you know of a veteran buried in either Jefferson or Lewis County that we don't have listed, please let us know through the Contact page, so we can get them properly annotated.

Historical Collections and Studies

As part of our effort to document cemeteries and capture the stories of the individuals interred in them, we make extensive use of historical records. The census, baptisms, deaths, marriages, family histories, tax rolls, directories, and studies are aides we use to better understand each of the stories represented by gravestones. Information in each of the collections is under continuous review to catch errors and refine information as we develop better methods of interpreting and presenting the data. Also you may want to return periodically as we are always on the search for new sources of information. The News page provides a list of projects underway as well as those that have been recently completed.

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