Researching and Recording Methodist Cemeteries
in New Jersey
Statewide, New Jersey
Between 2016 and 2019, in two separate campaigns, Hunter Research conducted background research, field survey and condition assessments for seven selected “orphan” cemeteries associated with former Methodist Episcopal churches in New Jersey, examining their history, current ownership and management status. This work was performed for the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church, which is seeking to clarify their legal responsibilities for the properties and to determine future policy and courses of action in cemetery preservation. Much of this work entailed archival research and detailed in-field documentation of the cemeteries to establish the number, identity and location of each cemetery’s resident burial population. In addition, we created a cemetery-specific geographic information system (CGIS) for five of the seven burial grounds which allows users to identify through an interactive map the locations of memorialized individuals within a cemetery. Also accessible through the CGIS are photographs of grave markers and monuments linked to the memorialized individuals and relevant web links to www.findagrave.com. The CGIS is a tool of considerable potential benefit to cemetery managers and persons intent on pinpointing the whereabouts of a particular memorialized individual, be they relatives, friends, researchers or the merely curious.