About the Project
The preservation of pioneer cemeteries usually proceeds along two tracks: preserving the physical artifacts that are the monuments themselves, and assembling the historical archive that the monuments represent. These efforts are on-going and interactive. Assembling the archive is of little use if it is not accessible for research, and making it accessible invites more contributions to the data. As genealogists have discovered, the internet has made both accessing and contributing to historical archives much easier. So this site has been launched to encourage that interaction.
With approximately 2500 burials, it has taken nearly three years to make my way through all the monuments and entries in the ledgers. There is still more cross-checking to be done and as folks send more information about these individual's histories, I continue to post it.
This website is different than most cemetery archive sites in that it includes photographs of the actual monuments and a physical survey of their condition. Most importantly it has maps that show the names of all known burials so they can be seen in relation to their neighbors. It is also unique in that it includes information and locations for the 300+ who do not have any visible monuments. Some family plots may have six individuals residing there, but only one may have an actual monument, so this information can be important to genealogists.
About the Photography
As anyone who has done it before knows, shooting cemetery monuments is tricky. Inscriptions usually show best when shot in bright sunlight, but shadows from vegetation and other monuments can make that difficult. Inscriptions may be found on the east, west, south, north and top side of a monument and each direction has a different optimal time window to best show the inscription. That window is only a couple hours long at best. I have learned a great deal about photographing and recording monuments since I began this project, so early efforts show my inexperience at the time. As time allows, I am re-shooting some of the earlier photographs.
I am now using a 60" marking stick with marks every six inches that I photograph with the stone as a size reference. (If you are an Ancestry member you may notice this obviously home-made marker on many headstone photos.) Vertical stones are shot with the marker standing. Low stones are shot with the marker laying in front of the stone unless obstructions require something different. On top-reading monuments I try to place the marker starting at the apron or wherever I can best estimate the apron if it is covered. I do only minimal cleaning (light sweeping or wiping with a cloth) needed to best show the inscriptions.
This photography and website is copyrighted, but if you are working on a genealogy project or other non-profit research, you are free to copy these photographs and any supporting data for your work.
About the Transcriptions
The transcriptions are as close to the original as I can reasonably make them, with the exceptions of arched letters, forward or backward slanting fonts, and of course, artwork, which is described under Engraving or Illustrations. I have tried to accurately reproduce capitalization, punctuation, line divisions, and relative size and spacing. In most cases the photograph of the monument is legible enough to cross check for accuracy. On older or worn stones it is sometimes a judgment call, especially on punctuation, where the difference between a comma and a period can be very hard to tell.
About the Data
The information compiled here comes from four primary sources: the original hand-written ledgers, a ground survey done by caretakers several years ago, my own monument survey, and contributions from family members or other researchers. These contributions may include obituaries, recollections, death certificates, and other sources. Naturally, discrepancies occur, often due to errors in transcriptions and illegibility. If you have corrections or additional historical information you would like to post about anyone in this cemetery, please email me at the address below.
Where information is clear on the monument I have assumed that to be the correct one, but have made note of it when it conflicts with the ledgers. I have not cross-checked everything between the ledgers and the stones, but I have noticed where the ledger usually lists the age of the individual, it sometimes does not agree with the dates on the stone. With more cross-checking, more errors will be discovered and corrected but some will remain, pending further research or information.
I have received veterans' lists from the Sherwood American Legion to help identify veterans. Pioneer status is mostly presumed by age, but is categorized as Confirmed, Likely, and Possible.
About the Data Presentation
The data is presented in two basic formats: geographically by lot and alphabetically by surname. Some of the pages are getting quite large and may be slow to load. Eventually I will split the larger pages into smaller ones to address that. In the mean time I apologize to those who are still using dial-up service.
Help is always welcome. If you are a group leader looking for a service project, I would be happy to talk with you about different possibilities, both on the research side and on the physical restoration side. If you are an Oregon history buff who can help in researching pioneer status or histories your assistance is always appreciated.
To Family Members
If you have family members in this cemetery for whom you can add, or correct information, I am eager to receive that. That could include basic biographical information such as an obituary might contain, their pioneer or veteran status, or how they are related to other cemetery residents. I have begun adding photographs, so if you have a photograph you would like posted, please email it to me with the name. Here is an example I have done for my mother, Dorothy Lehan, which includes both an obituary and a photo.
Charlotte Lehan, Webmaster
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