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valuable resources

These resources can help anyone interested in learning more about gravestones, genealogy, history and backgrounds of those interred in Ancient Cemetery.

find a grave logo

Find A Grave An ever-expanding database of gravestone information and photos from cemeteries across the US. 

billiongraves logo

Billion Graves is the world's largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data.

cemeteryfind logo

Cemetery Find includes Town of Yarmouth Cemetery records.  Has the ability to locate and map recorded burials.

cape cod gravestones logo

Cape Cod Gravestones - Cape-wide listing of early (mostly pre-1850) gravestones; some photos.

cape cod genealogy society logo

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society acquires, catalogs, and preserves genealogical and historical information, emphasizing but not limited to Cape Cod.

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American Ancestors - New England Historic Genealogical Society; The oldest and one of the largest genealogical research sites.  Census, tax, deeds, wills, military, family histories, diaries, etc. By membership subscription or at local library.  Ongoing programs, tutorials, weekly online newsletter, and personal assistance.  Far-reaching resources.

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Ancestry is one of the largest and most comprehensive online genealogy research sites.  Includes census records, tax, deeds, will, military, family histories, member-submitted family trees, etc.  By subscription or available at local library

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Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (HSOY); Archive and history center of HSOY. Extensive local holdings.  Located in the old cobbler shop adjacent to Yarmouth Port Post Office. Open Tuesday and Thursday. 508-362-3021 or

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Sturgis Library, Barnstable, MA - Includes a large genealogy and family history research collection.

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Yarmouth Port Library - Local history reference section.

south yarmouth library reference section logo

South Yarmouth Library - Local history reference section.

Local Publications

The Barnstable Patriot began publication with its first weekly issue on June 26, 1830.    The Patriot is the oldest continuous, uninterrupted publication in Barnstable County. The Patriot initially covered Cape-wide and national news, with a special focus on the Town of Barnstable.  Online from 1830-2017 ~ through Sturgis Library, South Yarmouth and Yarmouth Port Libraries’ digital newspaper archive.

The Register (also called the Yarmouth Register and Dennis-Yarmouth Register) began publication in 1836, and often espoused opposite political views than those voiced in the Patriot. It, too, covered Cape-wide and national news, with a special focus on Yarmouth, Dennis, and later Barnstable as well. Many family genealogies were printed in the Yarmouth Register over the years when Charles F. Swift was editor, 1850-1903.

Online from 1836 to 2017 ~ through Sturgis Library, South Yarmouth and Yarmouth Port Libraries’ digital newspaper archive.

barnestable county registray of deeds logo

Barnstable County Registry of Deeds - Online searchable data base for deeds and land transfers, which often include family information.

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The Digital CommonWealth is an online library of photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings and other materials of historical interest from libraries, museums, archives, etc. from across Massachusetts. The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth’s sizeable photographic collection is available through this online source.

cape cod vital records book cover vol 1
cape cod vital records book cover vol 2

Vital Records of Yarmouth Massachusetts to the Year 1850.  Two Volumes compiled by Robert M. and Ruth Wilder, 1975.

Available at the local public libraries.

cape cod library local history and genealogy book cover

Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy. Two Volumes compiled by Leonard H. Smith, Jr., 1992. Detailed family genealogies based on Amos Otis correspondence and research. Available at local public libraries.

history of barnestable book

History of Barnstable County, Mass. 1620-1639 – 1686 – 1890. Simeon L. Deyo, Ed., 1890, 2013 facsimile reprint.

history of cape cod book

The History of Cape Cod: Annals of the Thirteen Towns.  Two Volumes, Frederick Freeman, 1858, 1865 and several later editions.

genealogical notes of barnestable families book

Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot.  Revised by C. F. Swift, largely from notes made by the author. Two Volumes, 1888-1890.  Widely available online.

history of old yarmouth book

History of Old Yarmouth, Comprising the Present Towns of Yarmouth and Dennis. Charles F. Swift, 1884. Also 108 individual family histories printed separately. 

images in time cape cod book

Images in Time: Cape Cod Views from the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth. 2003. It is available at local libraries and at the HSOY research/archive headquarters at the cobbler shop.

association of gravestone studies logo

The Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) is an international organization founded in 1977 to further the study and preservation of gravestones through its publications, conferences, workshops, exhibits, and regional chapter programs.

Preserving Grave Markers in Historic Cemeteries, A guide written by Mary F. Striegel, Frances Gale, Jason Church, & Debbie Dietrich-Smith. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior (Technical Preservation Services, 2016)

from slate to marble gravestone carvings book

From Slate to Marble: Gravestone Carving Traditions in Eastern Massachusetts, Two Volumes, James Blachowicz, 2006, 2015.  An encyclopedic, well-illustrated study of gravestones and the men who made them. Includes chapters on many of the carvers who supplied local gravemarkers.

Reading the Gravestones of Old New England,  John G.S. Hanson. 2021.  For anyone interested in epitaphs, it is perhaps the best readable text now available.

a gravestone preservation primer book

A Gravestone Preservation Primer, Second Edition.  Lynette Strangstad. 2013.  A necessary practical guide for those working to restore or preserve a local burying ground.  

the last great necessity cemeteries in american history book

The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History.  David Charles Sloan. 1991. An in-depth overview of how burial practices have evolved through history.

stories in stone book

Stories in Stone.  A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography.  Douglas Keister, 2004.

the daniel farber collection of early gravestone art book

The Daniel Farber Collection of Early Gravestone Art. Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. More than 9,000 searchable images of early (majority pre1800) gravestone art. Includes Yarmouth examples.

Town of Yarmouth chose these two companies to conduct the survey of Ancient Cemetery. This is the first combined GPR and LiDAR study performed on the Cape.

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GeoNAV Group - 3D LiDAR scanning and mapping - fast and accurate real-time reality capture of indoor and outdoor/natural and man-made environments. Specialized in scanning, mapping, and documenting ceremonial stones, features, and landscapes including ancient, sacred, and megalithic stone structures.

rsi radar solutions logo

Radar Solutions International - A Massachusetts based, WBE/DBE certified firm, providing high quality, advanced geophysical and utility locating services to archaeological, environmental, engineering, construction and infrastructure clientele along with government agencies, local communities and the private sector.

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