The R.I.P. Project Volunteers have contributed countless hours of their time and effort to help preserve and document Ancient Cemetery's oldest grave markers.
This is the fourth year of a unique volunteer effort to clean, photograph, record and preserve the gravestones in the older section of Ancient Cemetery
Volunteers were recruited and trained by a certified gravestone conservator, and by the end of 2020 cleaned and documented (almost 700) gravestones and documented (almost 800 records) of individuals.
The Project is supported by twenty-one volunteers actively working in the Cemetery, and by ten volunteer genealogists. Two volunteers co-lead the Project. Volunteers are equipped with cleaning supplies, particularly D2-- the approved biological solution used to safely clean gravestones.
Volunteers detect and report problems about a gravestone’s structure to the town.
An on-going goal of the Ancient Cemetery Project is to collect as much documentary information from each gravestone that is cleaned, enter the information into a data base, and add the information into the Town of Yarmouth CemeteryFind.com data base for Ancient Cemetery.
our tireless dedicated hard working group of volunteers, 2021
Debbie Bianchi has cleaned over 100 stones at Ancient Cemetery!
The Friends of Ancient Cemetery Volunteers are a wonderful, dedicated group of individuals, each of whom contribute a great deal of energy and commitment to the R.I.P. Project. To let you have a sense of what individual volunteers are doing, we will highlight some of their activities.
Debbie Bianchi has been a volunteer with the Project since its inception. Informally, she is known as Deb 100 because of the number of stones she cleaned. The memorial stone in front of Yarmouth Town Hall is legible and has American flags because Deb cleaned it and replaced missing flags. Daffodils bloomed in Ancient Cemetery this Spring 2021 as a result of Deb helping us plant 100 daffodil bulbs in the Fall, 2020.
Deb and Sharon Thurston documented the history of the Eldridge family stones that she and Sharon Thurston cleaned. And, to support our volunteers in their efforts to clean markers, she has written and filmed a video titled, “What’s in Your Bucket” soon to be available on this website for volunteers to watch and learn about Deb's tools and detailed techniques. Thank you, Deb for all you have done!
Deb & Sharon have also produced a short video available on the volunteers web page, What's in My Bucket, which gives a brief tutorial about how to clean grave stones.