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When Brockington and Associates encounters human burials, we conduct our work with the utmost respect and care. We work carefully with the proper authorities under state and local laws to identify Native American, European American, and African American graves and cemeteries. Many of these sites are small, family cemeteries, which we identify and document in the field. Often such small, poorly marked resources are unknown to project planners and property owners. Working with these cemeteries often requires us to determine how many graves are located in the cemetery and the cemetery’s boundaries. At other times we have been contracted to document known cemetery resources, and have performed services ranging from delineating cemetery boundaries and monitoring nearby construction to the production contextual studies and NRHP documentation.

Cemetery

National Cemeteries NRHP Nominations


Brockington was recently contracted by the National Cemetery Administration to complete NRHP nominations for the five national cemeteries in Nebraska, Illinois, and Alaska. This work included historical research using local or Washington, DC area repositories and analyzing, inventorying, or verifying historic records, as well as, organizing support material such as digital photographs and maps.  More »

Our work has shown that one of the least intrusive methods of identifying grave shafts is to probe the ground with metal, T-handled tile probes. The resistance along with the size and shape of the subsurface disturbance can help verify conclusions. We supplement this approach with more sophisticated methods, such as Ground-Penetrating Radar, when appropriate.

Once a cemetery is identified, we assist our clients in developing plans for preservation if feasible. In cases where cemeteries cannot be preserved in place, they may be relocated with respect and sensitivity, in accordance with applicable state laws. Our staff of physical anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists is experienced in successfully completing all types of cemetery relocation projects.

In November 2009, Brockington staff completed the relocation of 343 graves from the abandoned Union Bethel AME Church Cemetery to Carver Memorial Gardens, in Jonesboro, Georgia. Brockington received a burial relocation permit from the Clayton County Commission, as required under Georgia state law. During the permitting process, we identified and consulted with descendants and county officials on our relocation plans and made arrangements for appropriate reburial with the recipient cemetery, which contains members of several of the descendant families. From development of the permit application through the reburial, we worked closely with our client for approximately one year to complete this project.

For information on our cemetery services, please contact Mr. Michael Reynolds at mikereynolds@brockington.org.