Cemetery Resources


Contributing Writer
Janet Wahlberg

This month I am writing about a familiar topic, Cemetery Records. I am sure that most of you have worked with Find A Grave at some point in your research. However, I would like to talk about the records available locally. The Hall House Research Library has extensive cemetery records and obituaries.

An Index to 65,000 Cemetery Records of Chautauqua County is just that, a list of 65,000 cemetery records. The list is alphabetized and contains the person’s name, birth and death date in most cases and a code number that indicates the cemetery in which they are buried. By looking up the code number, you can locate the cemetery they are in allowing you to go to the book containing that record. Be aware that this book is not an all-inclusive list of deaths in Chautauqua County.

Two scrapbook collections add hundreds of records. The Henderson Lincoln Records is one of our most used resources. It is a compilation of obituaries of all the people buried from the Henderson Lincoln Funeral Home. We are in the process of digitizing this most useful resource. We also have scrapbooks from the Boyd Funeral Home. These scrapbooks contain incredible information about each person buried from there.

One unique collection is the Deserted Cemeteries by Edna Ingham. This is a collection of newspaper articles containing the name and location of cemeteries that are no longer active and, in many cases, have fallen into disrepair. For those of you seeking the burial location of a burial site from earlier times, this may be what you need.

The Guide to Chautauqua County Cemeteries is another treasure in the library. It contains maps of the various towns in the county with the cemeteries in that township noted on them. This is followed by pages listing each cemetery, its location and other particulars including which libraries in the county contain records of that specific cemetery.

The records for the County Poor Farm aka Dewittville Poor Farm Cemetery are located on-line by simply typing in Chautauqua poor farm cemetery. As an aside, the Hall House Library has two books with records of those who resided at the Poor Farm at some time in their lives.

As we are located near the state line with Pennsylvania, I would mention other records that we have such as the Schoonover Funeral Home in Sugar Grove. The Schoonover Funeral Home existed from 1914 to 2004. Many families in our area moved back and forth over the state line so might have been buried in Pennsylvania. Traveling down Jackson Run Rd. in Warren County, you approach Chandlers Valley where there are 3 or 4 cemeteries, the largest being the Hessel Valley Cemetery. We have records for this cemetery and others from the area.

The main point that I would like to make is that Cemetery Records can be full of information, and we have many of the local cemetery record at the Hall House. We also can help you find some of those that we do not have on site. Do not miss these valuable resources.

To read Janet Walberg’s previous genealogy columns or to delve deeper into her writings and insights for searching out and recording your own family’s genealogy, please go to jamestowngazette.com and visit Janet’s own web page.