What makes a Texas cemetery historic? Simple. Any cemetery 50 years or older that landmarks the presence of a family or community qualifies. Cemeteries across Texas do just that, memorializing our ancestors and marking time's progress forward in granite, commemorative prose, and bones. Cemeteries interweave the sentimental with the analytical, recording expressions of culture, adoration, and affection alongside historical data like dates, religious alliances, social and military affiliations, and family connections. In fact, some cemeteries serve as the only remaining record of places that no longer exist.
Cemeteries tell dramatic stories of historical settlement, disease, natural disasters and war. They can also be places of a different kind of rest, where shade trees mingle with artful sculptures in stone and colorful wildflowers blanket the ground. Remarkably, there are over 50,000 historic cemeteries in Texas yet only a portion of them have any information on record. Texans can check out all the documented cemeteries to date in any county by searching the Texas Historical Commission website or try scouting them out in person. We might finally discover where they put our Great Uncle Ebenezer.