Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Alas, I still await the final work on indexing St. Louis No. 2, in the meantime I have had the pleasure of attending a lecture on the Irish in New Orleans during the yellow fever epidemic (specifically in 1853). Speaking was Dr. Laura Kelly of Tulane, Sponsored by Save Our Cemeteries. Needless to say, several SOC members were excited to find that St. Alphonsus (where the lecture was held) had maps of St. Joseph and St. Patrick. When I inquired about where the church had acquired the maps, an SOC Board member was already on it. He was able to establish that these maps are held in the Manuscript collection at the Historic New Orleans Collection. I will be in touch with him regarding when I can get my little hands on a copy. Finally, another step into the direction of navigating the New Orleans cemeteries. As soon as I have them, I intend to post them on my website. How exciting!! Use them. They are a boon!
I'll be writing shortly on Dr. Laura's lecture. It was fantastic!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Odd Ball Tomb

The photo on the left is an example of the "pyramid style"; behind it and in front can be seen examples of the pediment or rectangular style; drawing taken from New Orleans Architecture Vol III The Cemeteries.
It is St. Louis #1 sketched by Latrobe in 1834, original kept by the HNOC

New Orleans area cemeteries remind me of a smaller shadow of cemeteries such as Pere Lachaise in Paris. Indeed many of the above ground tomb architecture was borrowed from such cemeteries.

However, there was a time before the above ground tomb was fashionable in New Orleans and there are still remnants. You find them in the older cemeteries. Tombs that consisted of a large rectangle of bricks and plaster above the ground. Some had plaques or tablets placed on top with an opening in the front that was similar to a very small arched, oven like opening. Prior to the above ground tomb popularity, these were choice of middle to upper class New Orleanians. Others were simply buried in the ground with a traditional tombstone marking the location. There is the occasional odd tomb that dates back to that period, but is not common to the popular architecture of the time. That is the subject of my blog today. The "odd ball" that is really not so odd.

To put it in perspective, there is a relatively "new" cemetery owned by the Firemen's Benevolent Assoc. that converges with several other cemeteries at the end of Canal Street. As a child, I grew up and lived for many years within a few blocks of these cemeteries. The one I am discussing is called Greenwood. Many of my more recent relatives are buried in Greenwood. In fact, my Great Grandmother had the majority of her husband's family moved from St. Louis #3 to Greenwood, stating that she would not allow her family members to lay in a "dumping ground". This owing to the lack of upkeep of the St. Louis cemeteries at the time. She is buried at Greenwood with her husband as well as my grandfather and one of my brothers. Needless to say, I have spent a tremendous amount of time in this particular cemetery keeping up the family tombs and paying my respects on all important occasions (and yes, many New Orleanians still stay true to the traditions of All Saint's Day, especially the Catholics, of which, I am one).

That being said, there is a tomb in Greenwood that always caught my eye. It is not beautiful or graceful. I do not believe that it is even well built. It's just...odd, especially to the average observer. It is shaped less like a pyramid and more like a triangular mound of stones. It's average size is that of the rest of the above ground tombs in the cemetery. I always thought that it was just an eccentric's resting place, until I began reading up on the subject.

As it turns out, this is a very old style that dates back to the same period as the rectangles. I first realized this when I found a painting of St. Louis #1 and in the forefront there was a rendition of that same tomb that I see in Greenwood. If that tomb still exists in SL1, I am not aware of it, but to be sure, someone at Greenwood found it appealing and revisited the architecture. It is primitive looking while at the same time interesting and unique. There are several others sprinkled among the many cemeteries of New Orleans. What strikes me about this particular tomb architecture is that while

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Possible Location of the "Lost" Cemetery, Bayou St. John

These photographs were taken by the WPA around 1938 when they were constructing a bridge at the intersection of Moss St. and Jefferson Davis Pkwy. Moss St. and Jefferson Davis Parkway converge in the area where Bayou St. John intersects with the Carondelet Canal...So, I'm thinking the cemetery was somewhere very near here, if not on this very spot. This area today is completely developed by businesses and homes.
Note: these photographs can be found at NOPL or at

The Cemetery that Vanished: Bayou St. John

Recently I realized that an oft mentioned cemetery of New Orleans was no where to be found. New Orleans is sprinkled with cemeteries and quite often as one drives around a residential area they will come upon a city block or two of cemetery. This attests to the growth of the city and the changes that it has undergone in providing its residents with proper burials. Originally predominately Catholic, New Orleans began to incorporate other faiths who called for their own sacred grounds. Therefore we have the Catholic, Jewish, Society and Protestant cemeteries as well as those cemeteries that are available to all faiths. ( To be sure, most of the cemeteries have allowed burials of those not belonging to the "designated" faith of the cemetery.)

So what of this "missing" cemetery? In my lifetime, it has been commonly referred to as the "Bayou St. John Cemetery" and quite frankly, I took it for granted that it was among the many small cemeteries in New Orleans that I had not had the chance to visit, but would someday make my way around to finding it. Imagine my surprise, when I began researching the city's early establishment of cemeteries, at finding that this cemetery is somewhat of a "ghost" in it's own right.

In the years between the establishment of St. Louis II and St. Louis III cemeteries there became a need for a cemetery considerably farther from the city. This is most likely due to the plagues of 1832 and 1833 when the city realized that after almost 1,000 people died in September 1833 that St. Louis II could not accomadate conditions such as those that followed the very oft occurring epidemics in the city. In a sense, there was somewhat of a rush to find a suitable burial area significantly far enough from the city so as not to endanger the public health.

Not to be confused with St. Louis III, which is very near the bayou, the land for Bayou St. John cemetery was acquired from the prominent Evariste Blanc (in 1834)and the city required any new burials to take place in this cemetery, unless a family already owned an above ground vault in one of the city's other two cemeteries. The first recorded burial was in 1835.

The cemetery was also known as "The City Cemetery", the "First Municipality Cemetery", the "New Cemetery" and "Potter's Field" and it is speculated that it was located somewhere near the intersection of the Bayou and the Carondelet Canal (taken from NOPL records and comments). See Photographs above of where I suspect it was located

It allowed for Catholic, Protestant, and other burials and records indicate that it was being used for burial until 1844 and in 1846 the city asked that burials be discontinued. According to NOPL's take on the matter, after the burials were discontinued the land was divided into lots to be developed and "sufficiently filled in, as to cover the old burial ground thoroughly."

I found one interesting anecdote about this cemetery. According to New Orleans Architecture Vol III The Cemeteries*, a contract was entered into between the city and a Mr. John Arrowsmith to transport the bodies by railroad (built by Arrowsmith) from the Mortuary Chapel in the city to the cemetery. What a ghastly train ride that must have been!

By the 1880's, no evidence of the cemetery or the railroad could be found. They had literally vanished within about 40 years. There is no record that we know of as to bodies being removed or the ground being deconsecrated. We know that the cemetery existed based on records of the city (copies of which can be found at NOPL) and that is all that is left.

This leads me to believe, and this is purely specualtion, well, speculation based on prior cases, that people simply built there houses and businesses on top of the cemetery (human remains included) and streets were laid upon the rail. The only other evidence we have of the city behaving this way in the past, is the accidental findings of human remains found when a parking garage was to be built in the French Quarter. Upon further investigation, it was found that those remains had originally been buried in the city's first cemetery, St. Peter. When it was time to expand the city, the land was simply sold off and residences and businesses just built on top of it, just as in the case of Bayou St. John, with no removal of remains or deconsecration.

Another interesting anecdote, again, purely speculation which bears further investigation, is that, during the time Bayou St John cemetery was being used, the sexton of the Catholic cemeteries was also keeping records for Bayou St. John. His name was Jacques ancestor of mine!

Note: According to my research, Bayou St John cemetery and Girod Street cemetery were indeed two different cemeteries. Girod Street was formally closed in the 1950's and most of the remains were removed to different cemeteries with the grounds being deconsecrated as well.

For more information on Bayou St. John Cemetery visit:

*New Orleans Architecture was edited by Mary Louise Christovich, authors were the editor as well as Leonard Huber and Peggy McDowell, published by Pelican in Gretna, 2004

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The First Creole Governor

Please see my latest work on Gov. A. Beauvais' Biography at Special thanks to Mr. Martin Gauthier for posting it.
I believe this to be Genevieve Demoruelle Tarrient Malcheaux's tomb. The WPA tombstone index located in the New Orleans Public Library cites that she is buried in St. Louis No.1 Aisle 6 R (right). Of all the tombs on Aisle 6R, this is one of two that is unmarked. The rest are marked with names that are not associated with my family. The tomb is a pediment tomb. It would have been plastered (in some form) over and probably had the marker with names engraved either laying on top or fixed to the front "door". I would like to undertake the rebricking, replastering and eventually the creating of a new tablet with names engraved. My husband and brother are builders and can do the masonry and plaster in a very short period of time, with little cost. The newer materials should last longer as well. The real cost will be in the new tablet; which really should be made of granite rather than marble so there are no issues of "sugaring" or premature cracking. If anyone is interested in the WPA tombstone index at NOPL as well as archdiocese records; I look them up for individuals for a very small fee...just visit my website

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tombstone Project

Please consider using and contributing to USGenWeb's Tombstone project. Tombstonetranscriptionproject. It could become a very valuable research tool as well as a way to preserve some of the gravestones and tombs that we are losing to the elements. Every little thing that you do makes a difference and it costs you nothing (well maybe a little time; but it's worth it).
A significant problem we have in the New Orleans cemeteries is "sugaring" of the doors of our tombs. It is very expensive to replace these doors and takes time and effort to research the information that was originally engraved on it. There is similar wear due to weather on gravemarkers as well. This is why I recommend to all the use of the project and similar digital preservation.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"The 'Fun' in Funeral"

I have heard stories from the older ones in my family about funerals in New Orleans that they recalled attending. I just assumed that they were embellished over time. The eccentric air and the unusual behavior seemed to be more a part of the storytelling than the actual events. Recently, I have come to the conclusion that it is possible that these family stories may actually have an air of truth to them.
Many of the stories include drinking, music,dancing, fights and of course, food. It is completely improper not to provide food and beverages after, if not before a funeral around here. A cousin from New York commented to me recently that one of the things she loves the most about attending New Orleans' funerals is the deviled eggs. "you can't get them much in New York and they're definitely not served at a funeral!" I don't know if this is true or not, but I found it a rather interesting comment.
It is not that we don't take our funerals seriously; we just feel that there are less taboos. If you want to have a jazz band follow you to the cemetery and celebrate your life, then so be it. If you want to have your collection of Monster Trucks and race cars surrounding your tomb at burial, so be it. If your family members get drunk and fight in the parking lot, well that happens too. Photographs are taken and there is a general air of community and yes, celebration.
What sparked this latest rumination was an article in the Times-Picayune of New Orleans written by Chris Rose. Mrs. Antionette K-Doe has died and Mr. Rose attended the funeral. Antoinette was the husband of our own R&B legend, the late Mr. Ernie K-Doe. Mr. Rose describes in his article the scene of the horse drawn hearse and the odd mix of folks "beaming in anticipation of a classic New Orleans street throwdown." and this was the line of his article that struck me. Many of our funerals are indeed "New Orleans street throwdowns", to borrow his description. I realized upon reading this that sometimes when a funeral passes me; I don't even realize it is a funeral until I actually lay eyes on something that resembles a hearse.
At Mrs K-Doe's funeral the procession included the Mardi Gras Indians and horn players as well as the Baby Dolls marching club (which I'm thinking are not anything near baby dolls anymore) but what I loved the most was that the late Ernie K-Doe, as Mr. Rose puts it, became the first man to attend his own widow's funeral. A mannequin of his likeness was seated in the mule drawn carriage behind the hearse. Mr. Rose describes the scene of the parade and describes, "the mannequin of a dead eccentric musician lording over the proceedings from high atop his carriage throne..."
Hmm, I thought, I'm sorry I missed that one. Their really aren't any rules about joining a jazz funeral on its route, or any other kind of funeral in New Orleans for that matter! Don't mistake me on this point though. New Orleans is a tough place to live sometimes. It is not always Mardi Gras in the Big Easy. Most days are a trial. So, we celebrate the lives and the strength of the people that are able to live in the city and contribute to it in their own special way. It is only natural that we have a last hurrah for them! and, well, it's always a good excuse for a party.
You can read Chris Rose's article on; it appeared in print on Sunday, March 8, 2009 in the Times-Picayune

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Racing Time and Beating the Elements

The above photograph was taken last year in St. Charles Borromeo cemetery. Several of these tombs are the burial places of my own ancestors and the families that they lived with and loved during colonial times and onward. These are in the worst condition and are considered in "ruins". It is for this reason that we have finally decided to jump into perserving some of our tombs and are currently in the research phase of doing so. As our information seeking unfolds I will share our findings. New Orleans is, unfortunately, as many other southeastern La areas, always fighting the elements. Humidity and water seem to be our most ancient enemy and probably will continue to be. Although most of the burial are above ground there is still the wear of the weather on the marble and plaster of the tombs. Some of our below ground burials simply have no gravemarker of significance (read illiegible). As we begin to outline a process of restoration for gravestones and tombs, I will post in here. We have quite a bit of information to sift through so it may take some time. I really just wanted to put this out there for those of you who are dealing with the issues of location and preservation. So be sure to check back. Those who know me are well aware of my obsession with preserving tombs and so I encourage others to consider embarking on their own preservation. It is part of our history. It usually is the last mark of a life lived and even the most insignificant among the departed had a life and a story to tell. So, if we can at least preserve their memories for others, maybe people like us will come along and preserve ours. I wanted to share with you my latest website find as I research; ; check it out! really interesting!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have posted a blog with links to the history of Carnival in New Orleans, but I just wanted to refer readers to photos by Charles Silver of Northside Skull and Bones. African tradition in Mardi Gras Celebration often gets overlooked as just a blending in celebration of masks and throws, yet it is rich and interesting. It has its own meaning to those who participate and it spans back through the generations. Visit the links below for more and meanwhile I'm off to you know where!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ms. Pat Dupuy and "Skeletons"

Save Our Cemeteries is one of those wonderful organizations in New Orleans that preserves and promotes interest in New Orleans cemeteries. Ms. Pat Dupuy is a member and tour guide "extaordinaire" for SOC. I am thrilled that Ms. Dupuy is presenting a Lecture as part of SOC Public Lecture Series. For those of you who are in New Orleans or the surrounding area, I encourage you to visit. Ms. Dupuy will be presenting "Skeletons in Our Closets: 1850's New Orleans Personalities. Not only is she going to lecture on these very interesting New Orleanians, she has some fantastic photos of their final resting places. Ms. Dupuy has sent some of these photos to me and I will be sharing them with you. They're wonderful photos and I encourage you to take a look at them. Just scroll down below these two posts and I will be displaying several photos of hers and changing them every few days for your enjoyment.
The Lecture is Saturday March 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm at the Louisiana State Museum Arsenal (through the Cabildo) which is at 600 St. Peter Street in New Orleans. It is free for SOC members and $5 for non members. I have attended many lectures presented by SOC and I have never been disappointed.
I know that Ms. Dupuy will do a wonderful job and I'm looking forward to her presentation. Please try to make it and enjoy her beautiful photos

Collecting Cemeteries

picture taken from (Vernon, La)

It isn't often that you find useful historical information about cemeteries in the local newspaper in New Orleans. I just happen to get lucky last week. The Times-Picayune ran an article about a gentleman by the name of Martin Gauthier, a retired engineer from White Castle, La. For those of you who are not familiar with him ( and I wasn't until I read the article) he is an amateur historian and his specialty is Louisiana cemeteries. Mr. Gauthier "collects cemeteries" as a hobby. He travels around the state as well as the country and locates "lost cemeteries". The article in the Times states that "part of the investigation involved researching cemetery records and eventually visiting graveyards". His real passion is finding the resting places of all of the Louisiana governor's. This is quite interesting because it seems that many of them are buried under very modest means and some of their tombs do not even indicate that they were a governor of Louisiana.
While my blog and website are dedicated to New Orleans, I felt that this information was relevant as many of the governor's were from New Orleans or the surrounding area and several are buried in New Orleans, we're just not sure where! Yet his information can be useful to many other people who are interested in cemetery history and preservation as well.
How is this useful to us? Mr. Gauthier claims that he has located 6,000 cemeteries and probably needs to locate about 1,000 more. He started a website that includes 64 parishes of Louisiana and a list of the cemeteries he has found. It also includes pictures and interesting information. Alecia P. Long, an asst. Prof. at LSU, stated in the Times article that "sites like this, even by an amateur historian, can enrich research." I suggest you check it out at I have looked through the site and was really impressed. Mr. Gauthier is a man after my own heart, he says in the article "I wish I knew more about marble, architecture, and the actual stones, but I don't,... but a cemetery can just be so pretty." How can we not agree with that?
Article appeared in the Times Picayune; written by Steve Ward of The Baton Rouge Advocate

Friday, February 13, 2009

"How & Why the Dead are Buried in "Cities"

My February Featured Article is completed: "New Orleans' Cemeteries and Burial Customs: How and Why the Dead are Buried in "Cities". It is a short, easy read, but has some really interesting facts. Check it out at

St. Louis No.2

Those of you who are cemetery lovers will appreciate it when I say that I am really excited about new work they are doing in St. Louis No.2. Currently, there is only one survey that I know of for St. Louis No.1 available online, which is Dead Space This survey has been very useful to me and my wanderings through St. Louis No.1, but I have been continually frustrated by the lack of a survey or map available to the public for St. Louis No.2 (which is a larger cemetery). Because No. 2 is set up more like a neighborhood than No.1 is, it is easier to navigate without getting lost, but that being said, without a map you can get lost and confused in a New Orleans Cemetery just as easily as getting lost in some of New Orleans neighborhoods!(for those of you that are not familiar with our cemeteries, the majority of them are laid out in city block types with street and alley names, the newer ones have street signs and stop signs; they really are mini cities.)

Saturday I attended a genealogy workshop at the New Orleans Public Library and the hostess, Ms. Barbara Trevigne, explained that she couldn't stay long after the workshop because she had to run off to do work in St. Louis No.2. That immediately caught my attention. While I wanted to tackle her as she left the room to get more information from her, I decided it would be in better taste if I simply inquired through other sources what was being done. As these things go, the information came to me by chance the following day. A very wonderful lady, Ms. Pat Dupuy, who is a member and tour guide of Save Our Cemeteries sent me an email. (she is preparing a power point presentation on New Orleans Cemeteries which she will present in March at the Cabildo. I believe it is open to the public for the modest sum of $5. I'm going to put some of her work on my website so I will be plugging it soon. It would be worthwhile to check out.)
Pat explained to me that Xavier University and other volunteers are doing a survey of St. Louis No. 2 that they hope to make available to the public. Save Our Cemeteries has been asked to help fund the project. I was elated to hear this!! Finally!!! As much as I love wandering aimlessly through St. Louis No. 2, it would be so nice to be able to easily find the tombs I am actually there looking for!
As soon as this survey is done and available I will post a link to it, or do whatever possible to make it available and easy to get to. St. Louis No.2 is a fantastic cemetery and worth visiting even if you don't have ancestors buried there. (note: don't ever visit this cemetery alone, even if you're a local; it is in a bad area!)
In the meantime, don't forget to visit my website and read my Featured Article: New Orleans' Cemeteries and Burial Customs: How and Why the Dead are Buried in "Cities". I will also post a blog soon with a link to Pat's info and pictures of the cemeteries as soon as I finish working on it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Waking the Dead

I never intended that this blog be one of amusement, yet I must say that the simple fact that I am from a city that is so full of unique people and places, can turn even the most banal excursions into a humorous and adventurous episode. Once again I was proven right on this point as you will soon read. On a more serious note, I am hoping this may be useful to those of you from the area who may be interested in restoring your family's tomb or to people from other regions who have above ground tombs.
Several Archdiocesan cemeteries have signs posted stating that you must have a permit from the city in order to restore a tomb. With this in mind, my two faithful companions decided last week that since they had to visit City Hall for work related issues, they would pop into the permits office and inquire about this restoration permit. (The three of us are really determined to restore some of our ancestor's tombs and are just feeling our way around as of right now.)
Arriving at the front desk of the permit office, John and Michael asked who they needed to talk to about getting a permit to restore a tomb. "I've never had anyone ask me that before." said the man behind the desk. "I'll be right back". A few minutes later two men come out of an office and the guys explain themselves again. Those two men go back into an office for a while and come out and ask the guys to come in. They discuss the issue of a permit for tomb restoration and the permit office personel are left perplexed. They then refer the guys to the head of the department as follows. One of the men yells into the office of the head guy and says, "Hey, there's a couple o guys here who wanna wake the dead, they need to talk to you!" I'm still astounded at the level of professionalism, but you have to laugh because it's to be expected here!
The guys, for the final time, explained that they would like to restore a family tomb and were led to believe that they needed a permit. The head of the Dept. thought for a while and explained that his office was only in charge of buildings and things of that nature. "After all," he explained "buildings and such are subject to liabilities in cases where someone could get hurt if they are not constructed soundly...I mean, it's not like if you restore the tomb incorrectly your gonna hurt anyone...they're already dead!". (Mike claims that the man made the last statement a little to loud and nervously) He then chuckled. "No," he said "you don't need a permit from us...." and everyone continued to giggle and mutter in the office at how bizarre these two men were.
In the end, I don't know which party ended up really being the source of the humor. Was it that Mike and John actually had to go through so many perplexed parties just to be laughed at and told no or was it the department thinking that Mike and John were two looney toons.
Regardless, if you do decide that you would like to restore an above ground tomb, be sure to check into permits both on the city level and any private or religious party who may own the cemetery. In addition, I am told that it can be a very timely and expensive endeavor...I still think it will be worth it. Even if we do get laughed out of City Hall.
On a related note, the article on my website,, for this month is going to focus on burial practices for above ground tombs. It is very informative and interesting. Check it out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Only in New Orleans!"

My anecdote of the day: First of all, I couldn't make these things up if I tried.
Last week my better half and my faithful, brother, Michael (yes the same poor guy that found the skull at the cemetery)decided to make a visit to a local recycled hardware and construction material shop. They are in the business and frequent the shop. While there, they noticed a beautiful cypress coffin in the shop (New Orleanians have been buried in cypress coffins since the early 18th century). As they admired the craftsmanship, the owner of the shop walked over and explained that it had been sold. He proceeded to recount to them the details of the sale...." a woman came in and noticed the coffin, she asked a few questions and admired it. She then proceeded to climb into the coffin and asked me to close the top. After spending some time in the closed coffin...she raised the lid and said 'I'll take it.' Have you ever heard of such a thing,?" he asked..."Well, I sold it to her, just waiting for her to come pick it up..." Needless to say the guys got a kick out of that one and when they recounted the owner's story to me all I could respond was "Only in New Orleans". Something about the place ( and you know this if you grew up here) lessens your fear of death...or rather it increases your respect for the reality of it. After all we're surrounded by it in every way in this town...always have been.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is It Real?

My most recent visit to St. Louis #2 was very successful. I recruited my brother and better half and we scoured the aisle's with notepads and camera. We were able to find the tombs we were searching for and a few we weren't, but were nonetheless useful. As our search wound down I rounded a corner and found my brother standing behind a tomb stock still staring at the ground. For those of you who have never been to these cemeteries, they're laid out in a very disorganized fashion. You have essentially areas where tombs can be facing any direction with no rhyme or reason. So, there was my brother staring at the rear of a tomb. I looked down to where he was staring and saw a human skull obviously placed there with intention. Two candles adorned each side and a small cross lay beside it. "Is it real?" was the first thing he asked me. I took a closer look than he was willing to and deduced that it was indeed "real"...a little too real! We all decided that we were disgusted with the apparent disrespect. New Orleans has her seedy ways and seedy people and it is unique in some of the religious practices that her people choose. However, we were in a Catholic cemetery and there is no excuse for something like that. We don't know if it was a prank or some spiritual design, but the cemetery of the New Orleans Archdiocese is not the place for it. In my opinion, those people who continue to deface tombs, steal from tombs and are determined to turn our cemeteries into "dumping grounds" need to be dealt with. These are sacred resting places, not a place for graffiti and various other expressions of devotion that are not in line with the history and architecture of the cemeteries. Please resist "x ing" any tombs or leaving things there such as food or valuables that will only draw problems if you visit the cemeteries. I am working with my family to preserve some of these tombs and I will not have them or the remains of those inside defiled!

Monday, January 12, 2009

On a Mission!

I have recently been doing research for a cousin on a burial in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 in New Orleans. In addition, I am interested in looking up some of my own ancestor's I made my initial visit to the cemetery. What a shame! Ugh. It is depressing. What's worse is...who is to blame? I have no idea...but I feel frantic about preservation. After all, this is my family's resting place. I don't want to bash the church, that being said, if they still own this historic cemetery, they ought to be ashamed of the condition and to have the nerve to post a sign that asks visitors to respect the "holy..resting place"! Look at the condition it has been left in! How can anyone respect it?
I have decided that my first "mission" is going to be a survey of the three squares. I am talking about a true current map including any inscriptions and photos if possible. I am not going to wait for help from organizations that are busy raising money for the projects. It doesn't cost much to get out of your car, walk in with a camera, pen and paper and get to work. It may take me years, but it will get done. I am thinking that I will need to consult any records, maps, etc at the HNOC and I will do my homework first. I wish there were more I could do, but this will be a great place to start. If anyone out there can think of any tips or ideas that would be helpful please dont hesitate to contact me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Don't Let Them Crumble Away!

My website has a page dedicated to the cemeteries of New Orleans and a brief explanation of what you can do to help preserve them. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Many of my ancestors are buried in the cemeteries. It can be heartbreaking to see these tombs crumbling. The historic cemeteries of New Orleans are taken for granted by tourists and locals. People do not realize how unique they really are. The above ground tombs are a testament to Creole culture that has built and rebuilt New Orleans many times. I am just getting started in my quest of preservation, but the more I learn and the more resources I find, the more I can do. I will continue to progress both on my website and on my blogs.