Cemetery Preservation

It is estimated that there are roughly 50,000 cemeteries in Texas. These range from single, isolated and often unmarked graves to expansive cemeteries spanning hundreds of acres and reaching up to hundreds-of-thousands of burials. Many of these cemeteries are endangered due to lack of historic context and knowledge of their presence or exact location. Efforts to identify, locate, protect, and preserve these endangered cemeteries remains a goal of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and our many partners around the state.

The THC’s Cemetery Preservation Program offers technical assistance to assist concerned citizens and local and regional organizations with their cemetery preservation efforts. The program administers the Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) designation process to record and protect historic cemeteries across the state. Participation can lead to a strong and long-lasting preservation effort.

The THC offers guidelines (PDF) to aid in the preservation of the state’s historic cemeteries. However, this information alone is not enough to protect them; preservation starts with you. Individuals and groups interested in saving these irreplaceable cultural resources of Texas’ heritage are the driving force in long-term preservation.

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Historic Texas Cemetery designations

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Does the THC know about your cemetery?

Washington Cemetery

Check out the THC's Historic Sites Atlas to see a map of cemeteries.

Webinar: Apply for HTC Designation

Historic Texas Cemetery Medallion

This free webinar led by Cemetery Preservation program staff will cover the benefits of the HTC designation, eligibility requirements, how to complete the request for designation application form, and what to expect during the designation process. 

More About Webinar: Apply for HTC Designation