Importance of Cemeteries

Cemeteries are among the most valuable of historic resources. They are reminders of various settlement patterns, such as villages, rural communities, urban centers, and ghost towns. Cemeteries can reveal information about historic events, religions, lifestyles, and genealogy.

Names on gravemarkers serve as a directory of early residents and reflect the ethnic diversity and unique population of an area. Cultural influence in gravemarker design, cemetery decoration, and landscaping contribute to the complete narrative of Texas history. Established in large part for the benefit of the living, cemeteries perpetuate the memories of the deceased, giving a place character and definition.

Unfortunately, historic cemeteries do not necessarily remain permanent reminders of our heritage. Across Texas, they are threatened by development and expanding urban areas, natural forces such as weathering and uncontrolled vegetation, lack of fences to keep cattle from toppling headstones, and vandalism and theft, including removal of headstones and objects. Neglect accelerates and compounds the process.

If not recorded and cared for, these reminders of early settlements could be lost forever. Find out what you can do to help.