Cemetery project underway

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Charlotte County Cemetery Project of Virginia is inviting members of the community to adopt a cemetery in the county to preserve the final resting places of the departed.

The project, sponsored by the Charlotte County Historical and Genealogical Society, is a good way to “enjoy the fellowship of friends, get in some wholesome exercise and protect and preserve the final resting places around our county,” according to project organizers.

Society Founder Bea King said the “Adopt a Cemetery Project” was started by then 9-year-old youth member Brittany Austin.

King said by participating in the program, youth members receive a certificate of completion and a recommendation for college. 

“Our goal is to document every cemetery in the county and to encourage people to adopt abandoned cemeteries,” King said.

She said when the group finds an abandoned cemetery, they clean it up.

In order to participate in the Adopt a Cemetery program, no membership is needed. Participation is open to anyone. King said the group currently has nine youth members and 15 adults in the program.

King said youth members volunteer at the archives in Drakes Branch, then go out and document cemeteries for a portion of the day.

“Last Friday, they learned what the different symbols on the tombstones meant,” King said. “Symbols tell what the person may have loved or what their religious affiliation was or an organization they belonged to.”

She said a memorial can tell a lot about a person and who they were.

“We have many people that come from all over the United States looking for their loved ones resting places,” said King.

While she said the group currently volunteers on Fridays, they typically go out on a Saturday, depending on availability. 

According to King, the program provides “great projects for your family, church or civic group or relatives of the deceased interred there.”

To report the location of an old family cemetery or to participate in the program, contact charlottecty@yahoo.com or call (434) 538-0000.