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Veterans' Burial Records

UNION COUNTY, OHIO, VETERANS' BURIAL REGISTRATION CARDS (1775-2011)
History Provided by Robert W. Parrott

These records were originally part of the Veterans Graves Registration Project that was first proposed by the American Legion after World War I.  The purpose of the project was to identify and document the burial location of every American who served their country in the military.  In 1933, the American Legion adopted a National Graves Registration Plan and three years later, passed a resolution that funding and labor should be provided to carry out the project by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Those states wishing to participate in the project had to make application to the WPA for assistance.  In 1938, the Ohio American Legion and the Ohio Adjutant General applied and obtained approval for funding through the WPA to conduct a state-wide Veterans Graves Registration Project.

In Union County, the Veterans Graves Registration Project began in August of 1938.  As a WPA activity, the project had to provide local jobs.  Richard Cody of Marysville was hired as the supervisor.  The other five employed to assist were Ray Wood and Howard C. Wood of Richwood, Charles A. Burns of Plain City, Pearl Thorpe of Marysville, and Herman A. Williams of Allen Township.  Later, George Gregg of Richwood replaced Howard C. Wood.  The project was scheduled to be completed in six months.  A temporary office was set up in the Board of Elections rooms located in the basement of the courthouse.

The goal of the project was to complete four things: First, to prepare a comprehensive record of graves in the county of deceased honorably discharged veterans, including those who served in the Confederate army in the Civil War.  Next, to inspect all burial grounds and then to prepare cemetery plot maps in a uniform style, and finally to prepare a card record for each veteran. 

The first step in the project was to locate all the burial grounds in the county.  Initially, only fourteen were known.  By December 1938, sixty-one cemeteries had been located in Union County.  A list of those cemeteries was published in the newspapers and the public was requested to notify Richard Cody if they were aware of any additional county cemeteries.  When the project was completed, sixty-eight cemeteries were found.  This was the first time that a comprehensive list of cemeteries was compiled for the county.  Once a cemetery was located, surveyors were sent to measure the grounds and map the cemetery.  Charles A. Burns was assigned to make plats of all the cemeteries, assisted by Ray Wood and Pearl Thorpe.  Maps were completed for sixty-six of the county cemeteries.  Next, a field crew was sent to check the graves at the cemeteries.  At the beginning of the project, information from every tombstone and any sexton’s records were to be recorded.  As the project developed, however, only the names of males who died over the age of 17 were taken down for each cemetery.  (Unfortunately, these notes made by the workers do not seem to have survived.) Burial information from sexton’s records were difficult to find as most of those records only contained the names of who purchased the burial lots.

Once the lists of names were completed, those names were crosschecked against war records from thirty-one wars, local military rosters and any other historical data to determine if the individual had served the United States in the army, navy, marine corps, air corps or nursing service, either in peace times or war.  If the names matched, the individual was added to the Graves Registration records.  The name was then included on a Graves Registration Card and entered in the Graves Registration Journal.  Each record was supposed to include the veteran’s name, date of birth, date of death, parents’ names, location of burial, type of marker on their grave, service record in detail and the name of their next of kin.  The location of the veteran’s grave was also added to the cemetery plot map.

In 1939, the Union County Graves Registration Project was combined with Marion County graves registration project.  Paul D. Reynolds of Marion was named as supervisor.  Nowall Foreman was hired as a tracer and J.A. Burnside as a draftsman.  George Gregg was assigned to oversee the Union County work.  The project was completed in the spring of 1939.  Approximately $1,700 in salaries and expenses were paid by the WPA on the project in Union County.  When completed, 942 veteran’s graves were located in sixty-seven cemeteries.  Three complete files of veteran burials in the county were prepared.  One of those was placed at the county recorder’s office along with a set of cemetery plot maps.

The state legislature reinforced the purpose of the project on May 18, 1939, when they required the County Recorder to provide a list “for the registration of the graves of all persons who were honorably discharged” from military service.  A function that the Recorder still maintains today as provided in Ohio Revised Code section 317.25.  This also served to continue the program onward after the conclusion of the original project.  The original legislation also stated that “such records shall be available for public examination at all times.”

Today, the Veterans Graves Registration cards are still located at the Union County Recorder’s Office.  The Graves Registration Journals, which duplicate the information on the cards, are at the County Recorder’s Office.  The Graves Registration Plot Maps were transferred from the Recorder’s Office to the County Engineer’s Office.  As with any secondary source lists, the information contained in the Graves Registration records should be verified with primary sources.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OTHER THAN THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE CARDS BELOW.  VETERAN BURIAL INFORMATION SUBSEQUENT TO THE ORIGINAL PROJECT IS PROVIDED BY THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.  CONSEQUENTLY, THAT IS THE INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE COUNTY RECORDER FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE AS PRESCRIBED BY STATE LAW.  THE COUNTY RECORDER CANNOT CHANGE OR ALTER ANY OF THE INFORMATION ON THE CARDS.  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THESE VETERAN BURIAL RECORDS ARE NOT PRIMARY SOURCES, BUT ARE SECONDARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION, PROVIDED ONLINE TO ASSIST RESEARCHERS, NOT TO VERIFY OR AUTHENTICATE INFORMATION.

Cemetery Location Alternative Cemetery Name(s)
 Amrine Cemetery Paris Township  
 Asbury Cemetery Taylor Township  
 Baughn Cemetery Liberty Township  
 Blues Creek Cemetery Leesburg Township  
 Brannon Cemetery Leesburg Township  
 Broadway Cemetery Taylor Township  
 Broderick Cemetery Allen Township  
 Buck Run Cemetery Allen Township  
 Burnside Cemetery Washington Township  
 Buxton Cemetery Dover Township  
 Byhalia Cemetery Washington Township  
 Campbell Cemetery    
 Cheney Cemetery Jackson Township  
 Claibourne Cemetery Claibourne Township  Bethlehem Cemetery
 Richwood Cemetery
 Davis Farm Cemetery York Township  
 East York Cemetery York Township  York Presbyterian Cemetery
 Ford Cemetery Taylor Township  
 Hamilton Cemetery Claibourne Township  
 Hathaway Cemetery Union Township  
 Hensel Cemetery Jerome Township  
 Hopewell Cemetery Leesburg Township  
 Jerome Cemetery Jerome Township  Odd Fellows Cemetery
 I.O.O.F. Cemetery
 Johnson Cemetery York Township  
 Judy Cemetery Liberty Township  Judy Farm Cemetery
 Lower Liberty Presbyterian Church Cemetery Jerome Township  Beard Cemetery
 Lower Liberty Presbyterian Church Cemetery Jerome Township  Ewing Cemetery
 Maple Dell Cemetery Leesburg Township  
 Maskill Cemetery Taylor Township  
 McDonald Cemetery Union Township  Marsh Cemetery
 Merritt Farm Cemetery Claibourne Township  
 Milford Center Cemetery Union Township  
 Miscellaneous Cemeteries Out-of-County  
 Mitchell Cemetery Darby Township  
 Mt. Herman Cemetery Dover Township  
 Mt. Zion Cemetery Paris Township  
 New California Cemetery Jerome Township  
 New Mill Creek Cemetery Liberty Township  
 Oakdale Cemetery Paris Township  
 Old Jerome Cemetery Jerome Township  Jerome Cemetery
 Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery Paris Township  St. John's Catholic Cemetery
 Potter's Field Cemetery Paris Township  
 Price Cemetery Jackson Township  
 Raymond Cemetery Liberty Township  
 Rush Creek Cemetery Washington Township  
 Scott Cemetery Leesburg Township  
 Smith Cemetery Leesburg Township  
 Somersville Cemetery York Township  
 Southardtown Cemetery York Township  Southard Cemetery
 St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery Darby Township  
 St. Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery Darby Township  
 Stoney Point Cemetery Claibourne Township  
 Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery Darby Township  
 Union Christian Church Cemetery Taylor Township  Hamilton Union Cemetery
 Unionville Center Cemetery Darby Township  Old Darby Cemetery
 New Darby Cemetery
 Darby Cemetery
 Watkins Cemetery Millcreek Township  
 Woods Cemetery Union Township  
 York Center Cemetery York Township  York Cemetery