Tombstone Tuesday: New York City Cemeteries Face Gridlock

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Tombstone Tuesday: New York City Cemeteries Face Gridlock

Washington Cemetery, the largest Jewish graveyard in Brooklyn, has no land left for new burial plots. Other cemeteries in the city are in similar straits.
The New York Times reports that some New York cemeteries are running out of room, and with plots becoming scarce, their prices are on the rise. As as genealogist, I am wondering if the record-keeping can keep up with the situation.
I’ve noticed when I’m researching my Chicago relatives’ plots, the cemeteries are usually very eager to point out which ones still have room. Now I know why!
On 24 Aug 1907, my Norwegian great-grandmother bought a very large plot (148 sf) in Chicago’s Mt. Olive Cemetery for $65. The cemetery guy kept telling me how incredibly cheap that was, but I know that $65 to my hard-working immigrant family was a fantastic sum of money.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”


  1. Holly 17 August 2010 at 4:19 PM

    At first glance (clearly I do not have my bifocals on)I thought it was a photo of the city buildings, and then saw they were stones! Just like New York! Wow, what a picture huh!

  2. Sassy Jane Genealogy 17 August 2010 at 7:27 PM

    I wondered if it was the angle of the photograph, but when I read that hey’re starting to bury people standing up, I began to understand.

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