Our speaker for the March 24th meeting was BGS’ own 1st Vice-President, Scott Martin. Scott discussed the laws in Alabama regarding cemeteries and the cemeteries in Jefferson County that have been relocated.
From time to time on various rootsweb lists and yahoo groups that I am a member of the questions arise about these very questions. Scott directed us to the The Code of Alabama 1975 which can be found on-line. Specifically in Section 11-47 (if going via the link, click on Title 11 on the left pane, then Title 2 in the right pane and scroll down until you get to Section 11-47).
The Code of Alabama requires that the cemetery be declared abandoned before it can be relocated and sets forth certain requirements for the individual/company before a cemetery can be relocated. The first step in this process is to file a permit with the Alabama Historical Commission. Also notices must be placed in the “Legals” section of a newspaper in the county where the cemetery is located for two months as well as to be posted at the cemetery in question. If the cemetery is relocated a professional archaeologist must be employed to oversee the relocation.
One of the more interesting things to us genealogists (I think) is that a report must be filed with the Alabama Historical Commission detailing the work done with photos, maps of burial locations, each burial that was re-interred and the contents found during the process – there could even be some history on the family, if it was a family cemetery. There is a lot more to the process and invite you to read the complete Code online.
Scott also discussed the five Jefferson County Cemeteries that had been relocated:
- Ellard Cemetery – moved Summer of 1994 to a place adjacent to Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Trussville
- Devil Tom Bailey Cemetery
- Daniel Watkins Cemetery – moved July/August 1947 to Union Hill Cemetery in Homewood
- Enoch Anderson Watkins Cemetery – moved August 2004 to Union Hill Cemetery in Homewood
- Philips Family Cemetery – moved Sept/Oct 2006 – to Jefferson County Cemetery in Morris – also note in this instance the markers were NOT moved with the remains.
We had a good interactive discussion afterwards.
Our speaker for April is Patricia Crim Dietlein, co-author of the book, Central Park & A Bit Beyond. I will be posting the details soon.