Site News and Updates

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January - June 2008 | July - December 2008 | January-December 2009

October 10, 2010

We believe all the inssues resulting from a rewrite of the Burial Search function. The Burial Search function was completely rewritten to resolve some code issues and the addition of several search option additions and enhancements. As always you can mix and match all of the search options to meet your specific research needs. The following outlines the updates to the burial search:

Surname option: While it's always been possible to search by just a portion of a surname, it wasn't nearly as flexible as it should have been. With this update there are now three ways to taylor how the search looks at surnames.

1) Sounds Like (Soundex): This option will return all surnames with a similar sound. As the first implementation of this feature, it's not quite as fast as we would like; however, there are no known major issues. While it doesn't appear to miss any similar sounding names, some of those returned appear to be a questionable fit.

2) Begins With: This is the basic function that is in all of the searches on the site. It returns all surnames that begin with the letters entered in the surname search box and is the default setting.

3) Exact: Returns only those names that are an exact match to what is entered in the surname box.

Year of Death: This option was added to permit restricting the listing to specific date ranges. Years can be represented by 2, 3 or 4 digits. For example if you enter 180, it will return only those burials that fall within the range of 1800 to 1809. The only quirk with this option is that it will not return dates that have unreadable gaps in the year of death. If the search is for 180, it will not return a year of death of 18?9; however it will return a year of death of 180?. We're currently exploring the possibility of implementing a true range of dates option.

Cemetery Specific: If "Search / View Burials" is selected from any of the Cemetery pages, you can restrict the search to that particular cemetery. There is also an option to remove that restriction and have the search look at all the entries in the Burials Collection. The View All Burials that was originally on the Cemetery pages has been moved to the Burial Search page. While this adds an extra step to view all burials in small cemeteries, this move was necessary to implement the added options/features, as well as, laying the foundation for future options.

Cemetery Sections: For select cemeteries (currently only Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown, Lakeside Cemetery and Sulphur Springs Cemetery, Town of Hounsfield), there is a Section Matrix at the bottom of the page. This matrix permits the browsing of all burials in a specific section of the cemetery. Additional cemeteries will have this option available as section information is refined. Unfortunately for most cemeteries either sections don't exist or we don't have accurate cemetery maps to determine section boundries.

Burial updates: The following cemeteries have been updated recent photo review:

August 28, 2010
Because the Burial Search function was broken, this update to the burial collection has been delayed until the search function has been restored.

Thanks to Eric Anderson, Historian for the Town of Henderson, we were able to spend some time in the Bishop Street Cemetery. Based our exploration, it appears that this cemetery contains significantly more burials than originally estimated. In addition to the four Elmer stones, two intact stones for children of Russel M & Olivia S Jones were uncovered. Additionally there appears to be at least two field stone markers with no inscriptions. The layout of the stones, along with fragments, suggests that there could be as many as 12 burials in this cemetery. The burials for this cemetery have been updated. Our sincere thanks to Eric for making this visit possible.

August 22, 2010
We have been holding off doing major updates to the Burials collection as the burial search is currently being rewritten. The new search will offer a Soundex (sounds like) option, search by year of death (full or partial),  limit the search to a specific cemetery, and review burials by Section within the larger cemeteries. The implementation of the new search option is pending completion of adding section information to Brookside Cemetery, Lakeside Cemetery and North Watertown Cemetery. The initial section option will be limited to those three cemeteries.

Sections 2 and 3 of Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown were photographed and updates have been posted based on the results of the visits. Muskalonge Cemetery, Town of Hounsfield has been updated based on work done by the Friends of Muskalonge Cemetery.

July 11, 2010
Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown: Section Q was photographed and updates posted.

Calvary Cemetery, Town of Watertown: Inscriptions for the stones located in the wooded area behind the main portion of the cemetery have been added. The status of this area is unclear; however, we have not been able to identify any of the individuals listed on the stones as being interred else where in the county.

July 1, 2010
The history of the Trinity Church Burial Ground (also known as the Old Village Graveyard) in the City of Watertown has been rewritten and significantly expanded to include the only known photo that clearly shows gravestones behind the Church. This photo, although undated, was unquestionably taken between 1859 and 1873 . A second photo now included is of Trinity Church taken between 1873 and 1890. In this photo the gravestones are no longer visible as they are obscured by the Watertown Burial Vault, which was built behind the Church in 1873. While it's possible to document the cemetery's 100-year existence, questions still remain as to who was buried in the graveyard and where were they reinterred, if at all. Phineas Sherman and his family were reinterred in Brookside Cemetery; however, there is no information on reinterrment of either the five members of the Jonathan Cowan family nor the child of Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Whittlesey. Clearly those were not the only burials in the graveyard. We sincerely thank the Jefferson County Historical Society, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Dr. Tim Able for both their patience and support in helping us document this long forgotten hallowed ground.

June 28, 2010 - Town of Webb Historical Association , Herkimer County added to the Links & Resources page

June 27, 2010
Mother nature, frequent rains, and a lengthy trip doing family research in the Maryland / West Virginia area limited the time we were able to spend in cemeteries in the local area. However we were able to spend some time since returning in several cemeteries. The results of those visits are included with this update.

Adams State Road Cemetery (Honneyville Cemetery), Town of Adams: In conjuntion with the Cemetery Association, we're doing a full inventory of veterans interred in the cemetery. Current efforts are centered on Sections A and B. (Note: Section markers have been placed in the cemetery which greatly simplifies identifying each section). The results of this partial inventory has been posted.

Rutland Hollow Cemetery, Town of Leray: This cemetery was visited to see the progress of a major restoration effort that is currently underway. Although all the stones were photographed, a fair number are still in the early stages of restoration and were not readable. Our intent is to revisit the cemetery later in the summer to capture photos of those stones after they've been restored.

Walton Street Cemetery, Town of Alexandria: A short visit with two rows on the eastern side of the cemetery photographed. The burials for this cemetery have been updated based on this visit.

Black Creek Cemetery, Town of Wilna: A full photographic inventory was completed. Of the 94 burials reportedly in this cemetery, 86 have been photographically confirmed. A number of stones are unreadable due to a heavy coating of lichen or are broken / buried.

Woods Mills Cemetery, Fort Drum, Town of Wilna: The photograph inventory is approximately 90% complete. Several stones/monuments were not photographed as we didn't want to interfeer with the decendents who were visiting the cemetery. Most of the stones in this cemetery have suffered some damage as a result of the cemetery being in close proximity to maneuver/impact areas on the fort. The cemetery is now protected and families or relatives whose headstones may have been damaged by training operations should contact the Post Judge Advocate.

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown: The review of photos taken in Section C is complete and updates posted. Section Q was photographed and those photos are currently being reviewed.

May 9, 2010
Dexter Cemetery, Town of Brownville and Hillside Cemetery (Hillside-Champion Cemetery), Town of Champion were reloaded to correct issues with the photo numbers. Additionally updates were made to the following cemeteries:

Calvary Cemetery, Huntingtonville, Town of Watertown: One section was photographed in its entirety. Also an abandoned portion of the cemetery located near Cold Creek was photographed as part of our research into the Cold Creek Cemetery that was reported to exist from at least 1803 until the early 1900s. The stones in the abandoned area bear dates in the 1870 to 1890 timeframe suggesting that the area was used shortly after Calvary Cemetery acquired the land in 1869. Without evidence of stones earlier than 1869, it's unclear if this area is in fact Cold Creek Cemetery.

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown: A full photographic inventory was completed for Sections 12, G, R, X and Y. Portions of Sections 13 and C were also photographed. The inventory of sections G, R X, Y and C provided over 100 early- to late-1800 burials that don't appear in any current listings for this cemetery that we have ready access to. We sincerely appreciate the cooperation and support provided by the Brookside Cemetery staff in ascertaining who is actually buried in each of those sections.

April 11, 2010
As part of the site upgrade announced in January, the Marriage Collection has been updated and upgraded. The majority of the new entries are from the last half of 1828 and were extracted from the Watertown Freeman. The remainder of the updates are from the Watertown Re-Union (late-1800s) and the Saturday Globe-Jefferson County Edition (early-1900s).

The Marriage Details page has been redesigned so that more than one source can be displayed for a given record. Also some of the details have been changed slightly to improve readability.

We are considering dropping the Collection Status page and moving the Last Updated date to the entry page for each collection. Feedback on this proposed change would be greatly appreciated. Also we're curious if anyone is actually using the Collection Status page.

April 6, 2010
In addition to the daily updates, photos taken in four cemeteries have been  reviewed and burials updated. Based on this review we now have slightly over 53,000 burials/gravestones available by email.

Depauville Cemetery, Town of Clayton: A review of photos taken last fall have been completed and burials updated.
Evans Mills New Cemetery, Town of Leray: Photos taken last fall were reviewed and burials updated.
North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown: A major portion of Section S photographed and updated.
Smithville Cemetery, Town of Henderson: the western portion photographed and burials updated.

March 28, 2010
Along with the daily updates, the following two cemeteries were updated based on recent visits.

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown: Section Z was photographed as part of our ongoing study of the Trinity Church Burial Ground. Phineas Sherman, Emma his wife and four of their children are now buried in Lot 8 of Section Z. Phineas and his wife were moved from the Trinity Church Burial Ground and it appears that their children were moved from the Arsenal Street Cemetery. The bodies and monument were moved to Brookside Cemetery in 1905 by the City of Watertown as part of a reported effort to establish that the area adjacent to the City Hall was no longer being used as a burying ground.

Oakwood Cemetery, Town of Theresa: Most of Section L and portions of Section K were photographed in response to user requests.

We are indebted to Trinity Church and the Jefferson County Historical Society for the assistance they provided in our study of the Trinity Church Burial Ground. We hope to have an update to the study on the first Watertown burial ground online shortly.

March 3, 2010
The almost daily updates to the site continues. Roughly 50 cemeteries have had at least some minor updates posted to the burials located within them. Review of photos taken in Section NB of North Watertown Cemetery was completed and results posted. Section NB is in the newer portion of the cemetery and has been fully photographed. Approximately 20% of North Watertown Cemetery has been inventoried.

January 24, 2010
Rather than bulk updating collections several times a month, most updates are now being posted on a daily/weekly basis. While the majority of the updates have been to the Burial Collection, other collections, such as Deaths, Marriages, and Civil War, have been updated as well.

Review of photos taken last summer continues. Based on this review, St. Cyril's Cemetery, Town of Alexandria has been updated to reflect the changes/additions. The inventory of St. Cyril's is now about 60% complete.

The site changes that were planned for early January are being delayed due to internal software changes/upgrades. Once the issues are resolved, our plan is to do incremental upgrades to the site. Unfortunately it's not possible at this time to provide a detailed list of enhancements planned for the site as some of the changes are requiring significant structural changes to how the information is stored. Stay tuned as we believe the changes will make finding specific information easier and will also increase the amount of detail being provided on individual records.