A cemetery is a place where people are buried. It is a special and unique place that requires respect for the dead and those who visit.

Many modern cemeteries are expansive landscapes located far from densely populated areas and outside of town or city centers. They are also often independent of churches and religious organizations.


A cemetery is a place where people are buried. It may also be known as a graveyard or burial ground. Cemeteries are primarily responsible for the sale of physical burial rights such as plots, crypts or niches and providing labor to perform the opening and closing of the ground in conjunction with a burial as well as memorialization of the deceased through a designated marker (headstone, tomb stone or mausoleum). These services are typically provided by individuals who work at the cemetery and are commonly referred to as cemeterians.

Burial records are kept in a cemetery and can be accessed by the public. This is an important resource for genealogy research. However, there is a practical problem with this approach because it is extremely difficult to locate living descendants of older graves decades after their initial purchase and re-use may occur without family awareness or consent. In some cases, families will pay additional money to avoid the re-use of their loved one’s old grave but this is not always possible.


When people die they are typically buried in cemeteries. Until recently, they were buried in church graveyards but as population growth caused these burial grounds to fill up, independent sites called cemeteries began to appear. They are usually located away from towns and cities as they are not affiliated with any particular church or religion.

The earliest cemetery landscapes were inspired by the rural cemetery movement that was established because urban churchyards had become unsightly, overcrowded and unhealthy places. They were considered breeding grounds for disease and had a general unkempt appearance.

The next phase of modern cemetery development was inspired by public parks. During this time, cemetery landscapes were designed to look like lush gardens. Mourners would often leave flowers on the headstone of their loved ones. In the modern era, some of these floral tributes are taken care of by family members while others are handled by the staff. There are even new designs of columbarium walls that incorporate clips beside each plaque to hold a single flower or small posy of greenery.


In a city as teeming with life as New York, it should come as no surprise that the five boroughs house one of the most populous graveyards in the world. While a visit to the cemetery is often not high on tourists’ list of things to do in NYC, many of the locations are becoming park-like green spaces where people can come to relax and explore.

The most common type of cemetery is a public cemetery, which is owned by the city or county and offers more options than a traditional graveyard. This type of cemetery is typically accessible to all people and may offer a range of services, including burial planning and monuments.

Private cemeteries are also common, and some families choose to bury a loved one on their estates rather than at a public cemetery. Extremely accurate burial plot maps are critical for ensuring that all available space within a lot is being utilized.


Most cemeteries have specific rules about flowers, decorations and other items. Call or visit the office to find out what those rules are. In general, the cemetery caretakers want visitors to keep flowers, plants and other items neat, tidy and free of trash and debris. They also like to avoid having to work around unruly children running and playing in and around the graves, monuments or other markers.

If a burial vault or casket is damaged in the course of disinterment, the cemetery will try to restore the entombed remains and the grave, lot or plot to the condition in which it existed prior to disinterment. If not possible, the Cemetery will bill the owner of the lot or grave for the cost of restoration. The same is true of memorials, if they become unwieldy or otherwise difficult to maintain. Likewise, any private contractors working in the cemetery should be prepared to interrupt their work if a funeral procession is nearing.

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