Denver cemetery’s data “very valuable” to state

In the Denver Post, Sheba Wheeler writes about the historical gold mine for genealogists that has turned up as a result of the research by the Black Genealogy Search Group of Denver, concerning The Riverside Cemetery (Rootsweb website). They researched 86,000 burial cards that go back to the 1870s. You read that right – 86,000 cards.

Excerpts from the article:

Denver’s oldest cemetery has yielded a historical gold mine for genealogists who now have access to important information about the early history of African-Americans in Colorado.

More than 5,000 previously unresearched burial records of blacks who lived and died in the area in the late 1800s have been cataloged by a local genealogy group. Researchers hope the data will paint a more complete picture of the black community at the time, as well as provide clues of lineage for blacks nationwide. …..

It took a year for a half-dozen members of the Black Genealogy Search Group of Denver to review more than 86,000 burial cards dating from 1876 and kept in file cabinets in the cemetery’s administrative office in Denver.

Information from index cards identifying individuals as “Colored, Negro, Black or African-American” – including name, age, residence, employment and next of kin – was converted to a single database.

A printed version is available for research in the Denver Public Library’s genealogy department. The group also is working with the Fairmount Heritage Foundation to make the information available online.

Burial Cards/Records are some of the most important records in genealogy research for those who are missing records in other areas – hopefully this will insprire more groups to do similar projects in other states.

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