Liberty County Historical Commission asking for public’s help in cemetery search and survey

The Liberty County Historical Commission has begun an extensive survey of all cemeteries in Liberty County and needs your help.  There are over 120 “known” cemeteries in Liberty County but many other burial sites that can be found on sites such as Find A Grave and from other resources have not been located. 

Linda Jamison, county chair for the Liberty County Historical Commission, recently stressed the importance of these burial grounds.

“Cemeteries are among the most valuable of historic resources.  They are reminders of various settlement patterns, such as rural communities, settlements, homesteads, and ghost towns.  Cemeteries can reveal information about historic events, religions, lifestyles, professions, and family genealogy,” said Jamison. “Names on gravestones or markers serve as a valuable tool to determine early residents, kinship and reflect the ethnic diversity and populations unique to an area.  Cultural influence in grave marker design, cemetery decoration and even landscaping contribute to establish a narrative of early Texas history.” 

Cemeteries were established in large part to benefit the living and perpetuate memories of deceased family members and in so doing, give character and definition to communities.

Unfortunately, historic cemeteries do not necessarily remain permanent reminders of our heritage.  Across the state and Liberty County, cemeteries are being threatened by development of expanding urban areas, natural forces such as weathering and uncontrolled vegetation, lack of fences to keep cattle and other livestock from toppling headstones, vandalism and theft, including removal of headstones and objects.  Neglect accelerates and compounds the process.  If not recorded and cared for, these reminders of early settlements and settlers could be lost forever.

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation.  Its mission is to protect and preserve the state’s historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education, enjoyment, and economic benefit of present and future generations.  County Historical Commissions were established by the Texas Legislature to assist local commissioners’ courts and the THC in the preservation of each county’s historic and cultural resources.  County Historical Commission members are unpaid volunteers and donate their time and energy to preserve county history.

LCHC is now compiling survey information sheets, maps, directions, and GPS coordinates on each known cemetery in the county. 

“We need volunteers from every area of the county to help with this survey.  If the cemetery is on private property, we will contact the record owner and seek permission to examine the cemetery, photograph and complete the information sheet provided,” Jamison said.

If you are interested in helping the commission complete this very critical historical survey or know of an abandoned, desecrated or unknown burial site that needs to be recorded, please contact the commission by email:  lchc318@gmail.com or by phone/text: 936-334-5813 for more information.

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