Daviess County Cemeteries FAQ'


Daviess County Cemeteries FAQ's

This page answers the following questions
Click to jump to the answer -- or page down to read all questions

How many cemeteries are there in Daviess County?
Where did my cemetery get its name from?
What are the roads like in Daviess County?
What is the condition of my cemetery?
What is a cemetery transcription?
Are there transcriptions for all Daviess County cemeteries?
How are the DAR transcriptions arranged?
Are the transcriptions to Daviess County cemeteries anywhere on the internet?
How accurate are the transcriptions?
Can you do lookups for me?
What is a township--how does it differ from a town?
What other cemetery information can you give me not already on the website?

Q: How many cemeteries are there in Daviess County?

A: There are over 100 cemeteries in Daviess County; my latest count says 102. Different challenges exist in determining an exact number. First, I am not satisfied that all cemeteries have been adequately identified: I think I have identified all medium and large-sized cemeteries, but there could be and probably are a few of the small, family-type cemeteries yet to be identified. Secondly, what one person might call two separate cemeteries, another might call one. Finally, cemeteries often have multiple names and are referred to in different ways.

Q: Where did my cemetery get its name from?

A: (1) From surnames. Reid, Brown, and Ellis are examples of Daviess County cemeteries receiving their name from Daviess County families. In many cases, the surname once owned the land the cemetery now occupies. Be careful however, not to make the mistake of presuming that a cemetery receiving its name from a particular surname contains more tombstones of that surname than any other surname! (2) From churches. Churches often set aside a plot of land for a cemetery, and thus the cemetery received its name from the church. Such is the case with Grand River Cemetery, named after the Grand River Baptist Church that was once there. Other examples of cemeteries named after churches include New Hope, Civil Bend, and Union Grove. Nearly all the early churches are gone, but the cemeteries remain. Knowing your ancestors are buried in a Methodist or Baptist cemetery may yield a clue as to your religious heritage. (3) From towns/groups/geography. Examples of this are I.O.O.F., Winston, Alta Vista, Lock Springs, and Coffey cemeteries.

Q: What are the roads like in Daviess County?

A: Routes and highways listed in the directions on the List such as "route "AA"" or "St Hwy 69" are paved. Roads with names are usually gravel or dirt. Care should be used in rainy conditions when visiting any cemetery.

Q: What is the condition of my cemetery?

A: As a general guide, if the cemetery has maybe 50 names or more it is being mowed and cared for. If the cemetery has fewer names, presume it is completely neglected, overgrown and will be a challenge to even locate it. I estimate about a quarter of all cemeteries are in danger of being lost due to neglect, most of these cemeteries only having only a few tombstones and few or no heirs to care for them. Apparently floods have washed away at least one cemetery and been the cause for relocation of at least one other. There are no funeral homes nor flower shops adjacent to Daviess County cemeteries like those in urban areas. You will also find that some cemeteries--especially small ones--even lack a sign with the cemetery's name on it. Be sure to wear hiking boots and wear plenty of bug repellant to protect from chiggers. I always welcome email from others wishing to pass on cemetery condition information particularly for the small cemeteries.

Q: What is a cemetery transcription?

A: A transcription is a listing of all names and corresponding birth and death dates copied from the tombstones of a cemetery. Transcriptions are usually performed by small groups or pairs of volunteers. The data is compiled and arranged either alphabetically by surname or by order in which the tombstones appear in the cemetery. Transcriptions which list in order of appearance often have an alphabetical index. A loved one buried in a cemetery may not be listed in a transcription because (1) no tombstone was ever placed (2) a wooden cross or marker was used without a name or (3) the stone has sunk or deteriorated leaving it impossible to read. Other times a loved one may be listed in a transcription, but not yet dead--that is, the tombstone is in place with the last two digits of the year yet to be filled in.

Q: Are there transcriptions for all Daviess County cemeteries?

A: No, but nearly all. The Gallatin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution transcribed most of the cemeteries in Daviess County between the late 1950s through early 1970s. The Treeclimbers of Pattonsburg also made a number of transcriptions particularly in the Benton Township area, but these transcriptions have not been published excepting on this website.  A few transcriptions have also been made by other individuals/groups. Nevertheless there are a few hard-to-find, small cemeteries with no known transcription.

Q: How are the DAR transcriptions arranged?

A: Most of the transcriptions are arranged in alphabetical order by surname. Some cemeteries such as the large Brown Cemetery, are listed in order of appearance--which can be extremely time-saving when visiting to find a particular tombstone. At the Daviess County Public Library in Gallatin, MO, there is an index by Cynthia Robinson to the entire DAR collection except for an unknown reason the Old Savage Cemetery in Benton Twp. (There are a few errors in the index, so make sure you consult the actual transcription so you don't get incorrect information!) This index can be extremely useful if you have a relative's name but don't know what cemetery the person is buried in.

Q: Are the transcriptions to Daviess County cemeteries anywhere on the internet?

A: All known links to freely-accessible transcriptions are posted to the Daviess County Cemeteries & Genealogy homepage.  Ancestry.com also has an additional small number of transcriptions available only through paid subscription (all the ancestry.com transcriptions are available on microfilm).  If you are interested in doing your own transcription to a Daviess County cemetery to put online, there are multiple options including the Tombstone Transcription Project, Rootsweb's Daviess County Archives, or submitting it to this website.

Q: How accurate are the transcriptions?

A:  I have noticed in samples I have taken of DAR transcriptions roughly 2/3 of the stones to be transcribed correctly.  When I do find an errors, the error tends to be a single error rather than multiple although there are exceptions.  I also occasionally find (probably around less than 5 percent) tombstones which have omitted from transcription.  Rooting out errors and publishing previously missed tombstone information is one of the purposes of this website.

Q: Can you do lookups for me?

A: I certainly do not solicit doing lookups as I post most of what I know to the website; however, I will generally help out requests for Daviess County cemetery/genealogy help within the time constraints I have.  Please note that I do not have copies of all or even most transcriptions.  There are also volunteers for the following cemeteries: Scotland, Hill (Jamesport Twp), Clear Creek, and Mt. Zion cemeteries which can be requested by following the "Lookups" link at the Daviess County homepage.

Q: What is a township--how does it differ from a town?

A: In Missouri, county land is subdivided into political townships, just as the state is subdivided into counties. In Daviess County there are 15 political townships. They range in size from the largest, Grand River, with just over 50 square miles to the smallest, Harrison, with just over 20 square miles. Therefore, a township may contain from a few towns to none at all.
There is also such thing as a geographical township (sometimes called a congressional township). Think of these like latitude and longitude lines which help identify land regardless of topographical variations. When the federal government began to sell land to Daviess County settlers around the 1840's they had to section off the land first. They accomplished this by creating principle meridians and then township and range lines which intersected to form blocks 36 miles square. These blocks of land were easily divided into 36 numbered square mile blocks called "sections" which were in turn themselves easily divided for sell. Therefore, if one knows the section, township, and range a cemetery is located in, with the help of any plat book one can identify the precise square mile where a cemetery is located. These sections, townships, and ranges are listed on the Daviess County Cemetery List.

Q: What other cemetery information can you give me not already on the website?

A: I am continually improving and adding things to the website as I find the time. Because I am seemingly perpetually behind in updating information, I strongly encourage those visiting cemeteries to contact me for the most up-to-date information. I enjoy feedback, additions, and corrections to the website though my time is limited and it often takes a few days for a response. Please email me  with "Daviess County Cemeteries" in the subject line so I don't get confused with other counties or subjects. Don't feel embarrassed to contact me a second time if a few weeks have passed and I still haven't responded; I have missed messages.



   I have made this website voluntarily and without financial compensation for the benefit of the genealogy community because I love Daviess County, the home to many of my ancestors.  Feedback both in encouragement and an urge to root out mistakes keep me going.  I am most grateful to the Gallatin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Treeclimbers, and other groups for doing these transcriptions in the first place and to those who do the upkeep of these cemeteries. Thanks also to the Daviess County Library staff, and to the many Daviess County genealogists who have helped provide information on these cemeteries.

--Steve Reid
Provo, UT
June 2006