2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 27, 2020 3:28 PM by Linda Ellis

    Seeking WPA Cemetery plat maps for Ohio

    Linda Ellis Newbie

      Seeking to learn more about WPA Cemetery records for Ohio. I know about the individual graves registrations, and the cemetery plat maps, but I do not know if every county in Ohio has these or any other WPA cemetery related records? I am looking for WPA Cemetery plat maps for some counties where they are missing. I am missing WPA Plat maps for these Ohio counties: CARROLL COUNTY, GALLIA COUNTY, HIGHLAND COUNTY, JACKSON COUNTY, MAHONING COUNTY, MEIGS COUNTY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, NOBLE COUNTY, OTTAWA COUNTY, PERRY COUNTY, PREBLE COUNTY, SENECA COUNTY, and WOOD COUNTY. Also, are there any other WPA cemetery related records for Ohio? I know about the individual graves registration records that many county recorders offices have, but are there other WPA survey type records for cemeteries in Ohio? Thank you so much.

        • Re: Seeking WPA Cemetery plat maps for Ohio
          Rachael Salyer Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Ellis,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Project Files, 1935-1942 in the Records of the Works Progress Administration (Record Group 69) that include the project files related specifically to Ohio, which are indexed by the series Ohio Indexes, 1935-1943. There may be some maps mixed in with the other records in this series, and a second series called Project Files, 1935-1942 from the WPA’s Division of Airways and Airports in Record Group 69 includes some maps, too.  You may be interested in several other series from Record Group 69 as well, including the series State Files, 1933-1934, the series Records of Programs in New Jersey, New York, and Ohio, 1935-1942, the series Administrative and Operational Correspondence Related to Ohio, 3/1933-3/1936, the series Administrative and Operational Correspondence Related to Ohio, 1935-1944, and the series Reports Concerning Operations in Various States, 1935-1940. We also identified 2 file units related to cemeteries and 37 file units related to Ohio in the series Newspaper Clippings, 1935-1942 in Record Group 69 that might be useful for your research. These records have not been digitized. For information about and access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          In addition, we located the series Works Progress Administration Project Files, 1935-1944 in the Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (Record Group 165) that may include some relevant information. These records have not been digitized. You should contact RDT2 for additional assistance with these records.

           

          Next, we located the series Civil Works Project Files, 1890-1995 and the series Civil Works Project Files, 1909-1994 from the Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (Record Group 77) that includes some records related to the relocation of cemeteries in Ohio. Please contact the National Archives at New York (RE-NY) via email at newyork.archives@nara.gov and the National Archives at Philadelphia (RE-PA) via email at philadelphia.archives@nara.gov, respectively. 

           

          The series Maps and Plans of Public Works Projects in the United States, 1910 - ca. 1952 from the Records of the Commission of Fine Arts (Record Group 66) might also contain some potentially helpful information. For information about and access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Cartographic (RDSC) at carto@nara.gov.

           

          In addition, we located the series The American Guide, 1936-1942 from Record Group 69 that includes some photographs of military and civilian cemeteries. You can contact the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) at stillpix@nara.gov with any questions you might have about these records.

           

          Plus, we identified the series Records Relating to the Federal Lands Inventory Project, 1938-1942 in the Records of the Bureau of Land Management (Record Group 49) that includes county files for Ohio. These records have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives2reference@nara.gov for additional information about these records.

           

          Please note that there were two different kinds of cemetery projects operated by the WPA. The first was done in conjunction with the State Militia (National Guard) commands and sometimes included the Veteran’s Administration (VA). This project was intended to catalog the location of the grave of veterans of all American wars since the Revolutionary War. This information was usually then turned over to the State Militia's Historian's office. By its very nature, such a project would skip cataloging some graves in a cemetery, since many of them would not be for veterans.

           

          The second type was the Cemetery and Vital Records project of the Historical Records Survey (HRS). This project was usually done by employees of the WPA's Federal Writers Project (FWP), with the cooperation of state and county governments. These surveys also included private cemeteries on church-owned property. These surveys were intended to be all inclusive. Not every cemetery or county/church archive was surveyed. In some states every cemetery in one county was surveyed, while the county next door had none surveyed. Presumably, had WPA operations continued, all the cemeteries would have been done eventually.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2, RE-NY, RE-PA, RDSC, RDSS, and RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!