The Cemetery Project
The Portsmouth Town Council has tasked the Portsmouth Historical Society to assist the Portsmouth Town Planner to document and manage the historic cemeteries in the Town.
We are in the process of forming s cemetery project committee that will lead the cemetery project.
For more information on how to participate, e-mail PHSInfo@Portsmouthistorical.org
More details will be coming soon.
The Cemetery Committee is working on the details of the project execution, but, generally, the following process is recommended.
Their are many databases and sources of information on cemeteries and gravesites. The most central database for Rhode Island Cemeteries is the
It has listings of documented cemeteries with varying levels of information and details for each RI Town.
The general procedure for documenting a cemetery site will be:
1. Download the information contain in the above database.
2. Examine the sheet for missing information.
3. Contact the Town Planner, Gary Crosby to determine what additional information he has on the site.
4. Go to the Town GIS database (select the GIS icon on the Town Home Page (www.portsmouthri.com)
(1) determine the plat number that the cemetery is in.
5. Visit the Town Hall Town Clerk’s Office and examine the deed of the property to determine if any cemetery information is contained in the deed.
6. Visit the subject cemetery.
(1) use a GPS app on your smart phone to document the exact geographic location of the cemetery
(2) document the condition of the cemetery site and the gravestones noting any foliage or trees that have infiltrated the site.
(3) compare the gravestones to the list in the RI Cemeteries database.
(4) See the below aides for transcribing headstone information and naming of photos
(5) document all information and return to the historical Society Cemetery Committee for entry into the cemetery database.