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It is a fact of modern life that many small family cemeteries are coming under pressure by expanding development. This is especially true in rural and suburban settings. It is also an unfortunate fact that many abandoned cemeteries are discovered during earthmoving activities. Whatever the circumstances, it is becoming more commonplace that historical cemeteries must be relocated.

Weaver & Associates has been involved with a number of cemetery projects in the Midsouth. Prior to fieldwork, archival and historical information is researched to determine the age, family affiliations, and possibly the extent of the cemetery. An initial survey of a cemetery usually includes locating, mapping, and documenting all gravestones prior to their removal or restoration. Archaeological techniques, such as geophysical applications, manual probing and/or machine-assisted trenching, are effective ways to locate unmarked grave shafts without disturbing the burials. Disinterment and reinterment of the remains and associated funerary items are done in a respectful, discreet manner, and in compliance with state and local laws. In some cases, remains may be transferred over to relatives of the deceased for reburial.

Weaver & Associates recently completed the relocation of an abandoned cemetery at the Memphis-Shelby County Airport. We have also helped restore vandalized cemeteries, working to record and reconstruct damaged grave markers.