Many researchers believe that records have always been kept on those individuals buried. This is not the case. I am not sure when the state of Ohio first mandated the recording of burials. During the pioneer days, many individuals were buried on the family farm. Today, many of these family cemeteries no longer exist.
Wayne County, OH Rural Cemeteries
Through the years, many efforts have been made to publish burial records of Wayne County, OH. The first effort was made by the Wooster-Wayne Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution in the mid-20th century. They published a book, Wayne County Cemetery Records: A Partial List of Males Buried in Wayne County. This book focuses only on those males whose ages might have made them eligible for service in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, or the Mexican War. Names of the females and minor children were included for the purpose of aiding in identifying a family. The book is organized by township. Within each township, the names are listed by cemetery. The names are not in strict alphabetical order. Rather, all the surnames that begin with the letter “H” are grouped together. The surnames that begin with the letter “M” are grouped together. There is an index in the front of the book but it is not in strict alphabetical order, either. It is organized the same as the names listed within each cemetery.
In 1975, the Genealogy Section of the Wayne County Historical Society compiled a list of burials throughout Wayne County, OH with the exception of the Wooster Cemetery and Sherwood Memorial Gardens. There is an index in the back of the book but it is only by surname. The book is organized alphabetically by township and within each township, by cemetery. Most of the cemeteries have the individuals listed in alphabetical order. Congress Township is one exception. Most of the burials are listed by row. One other exception is in Mt. Eaton, Paint Township. Abstracts from the “Mt. Eaton Death Records” are included. The Rittman Cemetery in Milton Township is organized differently, too. The new part of the Knupp’s Cemetery includes the burials between 1909 and 1931. These are organized by burial date. Between 1931 and 1961, there is a list of “Memorandum of Burials.” There is a separate section for “Old Babyland” and “New Babyland.” Sections C included the old section of the Catholic burials. The burial entries continue to be organized by Section C, Section D, and Section E. These are not organized alphabetically. There is a listing of “Memorandums of Burials 1961-1973.”
Near the back of the book, there is a listing of those veterans buried in Wayne County, OH. They include soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War.
The book was revised and reprinted in 1980. The revision includes “Corrections and Additions to First Edition of Wayne County Ohio Burial Records.” In addition, several inserts are included.
The second effort was made to record those burials in the Wooster Cemetery. Thelma Ungerer compiled a list of burials in the Wooster Cemetery from 1790-1972. She later added an update for those burials from 1972 to 1980. The update is located in the back of the book. Ungerer compiled her book by placing the names beginning with the letter “A” by burial date, followed by “B” surnames by burial date, followed by “C” surnames by burial date, etc. Some of the earlier burials are not in strict burial date order. Information includes burial date, name of deceased, permit number, section number, grave number, and lot number. Many times there are notes on the right side of the page.
As a supplement to the first Wooster Cemetery book, Edna K. Conrad compiled a book, Wooster Cemetery Burial Permits. Book 1 includes permit numbers 2 through 413. Book 2 includes permit numbers 414 through 836. Some of the information includes the name of the deceased, birth place, death date, place of death, disease, name of parent(s), whether married or single, name of undertaker, who signed for the application, occupation, lot number, cost to dig grave, date of permit issued, and who issued the permit.
In 2003, the Wayne County Genealogical Society completed a revised and updated version of those burials in Wooster Cemetery. The burials go through 2003. The book is organized by section number and within each section number, by lot number. There are two indexes in the rear of the book. One is a general index, giving the section and lot number of the deceased. The second index is by maiden name.
Wayne County Cemetery Preservation Society
Through the years, it has been discovered that the Wayne County, OH Burial Records has many errors. Information was incorrectly read from tombstones, markers were missed, markers were illegible, and some typographical errors exist. It is an excellent guide to those burials in Wayne County, OH but do not treat the book as the Gospel. If there was no stone, then there is no record of the burial. The object of the volunteers who spent countless hours grazing cemeteries was to record those tombstones in existence and those that were legible. Little research was done through other records to verify or complete missing information.
In 2001, the Wayne County Cemetery Preservation Society was established. There was a great concern among several individuals about the disappearance of cemeteries, one stone at a time. In an effort to preserve the cemeteries, the society was formed. Within the Society, there is a group of dedicated members who have taken on the awesome responsibility of rereading the smaller cemeteries in Wayne County, OH. They do additional research to verify the information and fill in missing information. There goal is to make as accurate a record as possible about the burials. Some of their current publications include:
- A Location Guide for the Cemeteries of Wayne County, Ohio
- Blachleyville Cemetery Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Canaan Center Cemetery Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Canaan Lutheran Cemetery Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- County Line Mennonite Cemetery Baughman Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Crown Hill Mennonite Cemetery Milton Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Fountain Hill Cemetery East Union Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Fredericksburg East, Salt Creek Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Fredericksburg West, old part, Salt Creek Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Fredericksburg West, new part,Salt Creek Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Kidron Mennonite Cemetery Sugar Creek Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Kope Cemetery Canaan Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Madisonburg Cemetery Wayne Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Millbrook Cemetery Clinton Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Mohican Church of the Brethren Cemetery Chester Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Moreland Cemetery Franklin Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Newkirk Cemetery Records, Clinton Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- New Pittsburg – Rice Cemetery, Chester Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Oak Grove Mennonite Cemetery, Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Oak Grove, Shreve, Clinton Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Old Dutch Reformed Cemetery, Congress Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Old Edinburg Presbyterian Cemetery East Union Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Paradise Church of the Brethren Cemetery Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Pleasant Hill Cemetery Milton Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Reedsburg Cemetery Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- St. Anne Catholic Cemetery, Milton Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- St. Michael’s Mennonite Cemetery Baughman Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery Wooster Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Tracy Cemetery East Union Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Union Cemetery Sugar Creek Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- Wayne Presbyterian Cemetery, Wayne Township, Wayne County, Ohio
- West Lebanon Lutheran Paint Township, Wayne County, Ohio
These were compiled by Bonnie Knox and others were compiled by both Bonnie and Larry Knox. Much assistance has been provided to Bonnie Knox by staff member Christina Walton.
Other Cemetery Publications
Many other books focusing on one cemetery exist. Some of these records are in book form while other information on the cemeteries may be found in our lateral files. In addition, we have started several township notebooks including cemetery information gathered by the members of the Wayne County Cemetery Preservation Society but not organized in book form, yet.
- St. Michael’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery Records, Baughman Township, Wayne County, Ohio by Martin Frase
- This book includes an index. It has a layout of the cemetery by lot number and includes the name of the deceased and death date.
- St. Mary’s Cemetery: Burials from 1973 to present (1997), edited and index by Virgil Thomason
- The burials prior to 1975 can be found in Wayne County, Ohio Burial Records. There is an index in the book. It is organized by the year of burials. Within each year, they are organized by burial date. Information may include the name of the deceased, place of residence, death date, age, parents’ names, burial date, and section number.
- Overton Church of God Cemetery Records, copied by Wendy Murray
- There is a surname index in the back of the book. The names are listed by row number.
- Emanuel “High Church” Church Cemetery, compiled by Cal and Kay Tritt
- There is not index in this book. It is organized by Row and Grave. Other information includes the name of the deceased, date of death, age, sex and some additional notes.
In 1996, Marvin R. Oswald compiled a listing of the grave sites of Veterans buried in Wayne County, OH. The book, In Memoriam: A compilation of the locations of the grave sites of Veterans buried in Wayne County, Ohio, is organized by townships. Information includes the name of the deceased veteran, the birth and death year of the veteran, which war he or she served in, and the name of the cemetery he or she is buried in.
Grave Diggers Records
On the rare occasion, researchers find journals compiled by grave diggers. These records include the name of the deceased, age, death date, and place of burial. Several years ago, our department was given a copy of one such journal. Sherry O’Dell, Genealogy Assistant at the time, abstracted and indexed the information. The book is called, Burial Records from January 1943 through June 1967. It was completed in October 2000. The index is by surname. Information includes the name of the deceased, the year of burial, the place of burial, which cemetery (when known), and the page in the journal. Most of the burials occurred in the Burbank-Lodi vicinity. The information was verified by using several resources including Ashland County, Ohio Cemeteries; county directories; 1920 Wayne County, Ohio Census; Tombstone Inscriptions from the Cemeteries in Medina County, Ohio; Wayne County, Ohio Burial Records; and the Wooster Daily Record newspaper.