For all of you that do Rhode Island Cemetery research, the FREE RI Cemetery Database project (hosted by Rootsweb) started by John Sterling is a wonderful resource. Unfortunately, not all RI cemeteries are included as many Catholic ones are not, but, on the whole, it is incredible. RI even has a few pages of gravestones put up my members of the RI Genealogy Society and by volunteers in selected families.
For the smallest state in the Union, Rhode Island has a VAST number of family cemeteries. Some are deep in the woods, some are lost, some are in farmer's fields and some Rhode Islanders are buried in nearby MA and CT and some have bodies and stones moved to large cemeteries. You have to do your homework before you go to RI. (If you do go there, you will find the best food, great beaches and shop until you drop stores. You will have forgotten about cemeteries after all that!)
New on the scene is the RI Historical Cemeteries. It is just getting started.
But, it is hard to find a list of all the people buried in a single small cemetery. Because of the number of small family plots, it is essential to subscribe to NEHGS and search the NEHGS RI Cemetery Database in a "advanced" way.
Take for example, my Mathewson project. I know that there are more gravestones in the "Noah Mathewson" cemetery in Johnston, Rhode Island than the ones I am going to show you in this blog. (I found the name of the cemetery at the free site.)
I made a screenshot of one way that I use this method.(If you click on it, it will bring you to my photos at Flickr, where you can really see it up close.) In this example I wanted to search the surname Mathewson in the lot to eliminate other surnames.
But, to get a list of ALL (known) persons that are listed do the following.
- Log into NEHGS with your username and password.
- Locate the Rhode Island Cemetery Database in NEHGS list by choosing Search then Database Catalog. Choose the text link, "Click here to see all the NEHGS databases."
- On the left, click the R and then, locate and click on the RI Historical Cemeteries Database Index.
- In the keywords at the bottom, enter the exact name of the cemetery in this case Noah Mathewson.
- The next screen will show you how many are recorded and who they are.