05 February 2015

Sometimes We Learn About Graves as They are Being Moved (aka Reinterred)...

Copyright 2015 Diane L Richard

Keeping with yesterday's post and the theme of cemeteries ....

Let’s talk about reinterment and the records that go with that ...

This came about because our local newspaper (well, one version of it) included this legal notice last week (emphasis mine).

In the matter of the intention for the removal and reinterment of three marked graves and an unknown number of unmarked graves located in a wooded area off 8312 Ragan Road in Apex. The marked graves are identified as: William Ragan (1797-1848), Sarah Ragan (1797-1880), and Luzena Ragan (1833-1844). The property is identified as Wake County Property Identification Number PIN 0721049139. Anyone having information about these graves or the next of kin please contact Deborah Joy at 919-215-6469.
Deborah Joy Legacy Research Associates
125 West Woodridge Dr.
Durham, NC 27707
SWWN: January 7, 14, 21, 28, 2015
The legal obligation to publish such a notice before moving any graves is found here (along with other statutes in place to protect cemeteries in NC).

And, I wondered where else this information might be available – before these graves get moved.

I found that there is a Ragan Family Tree on Ancestry.com which happens to be authored by Legacy Research – the same company posting the above notice.  The original tombstone information was published in the RossTubbsHyattRychwalski and more tree.

With some Googling, I found that the above notice came about because the Apex Town Council agreed to a re-zoning of the land where the graves are currently located and before the purchaser can implement their plan, the graves need to be relocated.  Here are select articles related to this.  An interesting element was that only 2 of the notices that I found explicitly mention that there is a cemetery/graves present on the land.

There is cemetery on site. We are aware of site and will have surveyed.
Dec 2, 2014 - Motion to approve Statement of the Apex Town Council for Rezoning ...for the property located at 0, 8312 Ragan Road and 2505, 2428, 2504,  ...
The site also includes a cemetery ...
Nov 18, 2014 - Richardson Forest) 133.1 acres located at 0, 8312 Ragan Road and 2505, 2428, 2504, 2510 Richardson Road from. Wake County R80-W and  ...
Apr 15, 2014 ... located at 0, 8312 Ragan Road and 2505, 2428, 2504, 2510  ...
Dec 2, 2014 - Statement of the Apex Town Council for Rezoning Case #14CZ05, ...petitioners for the property located at 0, 8312 Ragan Road and 2505,  ...
Feb 24, 2014 - 8312 Ragan Road. PIN". 0721049139. Print address of property to be rezoned. PIN 11. 3. Print owner name(s). Print address of property to be  ...
Nov 5, 2014 ... known as Richardson Forest) 133.1 acres located at 0, 8312 Ragan Road.
Apr 15, 2014 ... #14CZ05, 133.1 acres located at 0, 8312 Ragan Road ...

I was then curious to know if these graves, since obviously a small family cemetery, are listed in Find a grave, Interment.net, BillionGraves or CemeteryCensus.  They are NOT!  If you are reading this and contribute to these efforts, please verify my findings and maybe you would then be so kind as to add these tombstones – you can see images via Ancestry.com – just search the names/dates provided in the legal notice.

At least Ancestry.com has someone who has listed these family members ...

Given that it is not unusual for all of the above cemetery projects to include overlapping information on cemeteries, it was a bit disconcerting to find that this family, so far, has not yet been registered with any of them.

It makes me wonder how many other small family cemeteries are hidden in plain sight!?!?  Their existence is known and they have yet to be documented until the land is bought by a developer and a legal notice has to be published.

That said, if this is your family, this legal notice helped open the door to learning more about your ancestors!

Have modern legal notices about graves or what was family land, etc., been useful to your research?

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