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This page last updated on 26 July 2004

WPA Cemetery Surveys - Background

One of the best resources for older, small family cemeteries is the "WPA Cemetery Survey." This survey is described as follows:

In the late 1930s, the federal Works Progress Administration project in North Carolina included a survey of many of the state's rural cemeteries. The WPA reports, located in the North Carolian State Archives, exit in two forms: 1) typescript transcriptions of all the gravestones in a cemetery, arranged alphabetically by decedent's name; typescripts themselves are arranged by county and thereunder by town nearest the cemetery; and 2) individual card transcriptions for each gravestone, arranged by decendent's name in a statewide alphabet. The card file, known familiarly as the "WPA Cemetery Index" is available for use in the Archives Search Room.
(From: North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History. Helen F. M. Leary, Editor. Raleigh: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996. page 490.)

The WPA cemetery survey for Person County lists several hundred  cemeteries. Many of these are small family cemeteries containing in many cases only 2 - 6 graves. A majority of these surveys were completed by W. C. Barnett.  I have a copy of the typescript transcriptions for Person County. I am working to add first the names of these cemeteries to the "master list of Person County cemeteries," and second to add the graves lists from these transcriptions to the Person County web pages.

The directions to cemeteries included in the WPA cemetery are sometimes challenging since they use highway designations of the late 1930s and the directions often leave much to be desired! Nevertheless, they document many small family cemeteries containing as few as one or two marked graves. Many of these cemeteries most likely cannot be found today.

If you are interested in a specific older cemetery, make your request by email and I will check to see if a WPA survey exits for the cemetery. If so, I will attempt to create a web page for that cemetery for your use.

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Person County NCGenWeb pages
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