Bill Would Create Database Of N.H. Cemeteries

Dec 28, 2017

There are thousands of historic cemeteries and burial grounds all over the state of New Hampshire, and a state lawmaker wants to make it easier to keep track of them.

Senator David Watters of Dover has been fascinated by old gravestones and cemeteries since he was in high school - he also researched them while teaching at UNH.

He says burial grounds reflect New Hampshire's history and tradition.

"In many towns they didn't have a local or central cemetery established you know sometimes into the 1800s."

So people often buried their loved ones near their homes - and now there are at least four thousand historic cemeteries all around the state.

Watters says a central, online database would not only preserve this history, but could help developers or other community members who are planning construction projects.

The House amended his bill earlier this year to allow for a volunteer to run the registry, rather than a paid state employee. Watters says if it passes when lawmakers return to Concord in January, he’d work to change that down the road.