Union County, Ohio

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