Promotin the preservation and protection of the burial sites, cemeteries, and grave yards in Maryland.
CPMBS is a State-wide nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to protecting and preserving historic Maryland cemeteries. Membership in the Coalition is open to Marylanders and others who care about their heritage and their ancestors. The Coalition recognizes that many burial sites are established through a purchased right of burial that is protected by the laws of Maryland, with such right passing on to the relatives of the deceased, and which right cannot lawfully be abridged by others at will. These beliefs led individuals in the summer of 1991 to form a group that would address concerns not covered by existing laws and organizations. Learn more by reading About Us.
We are proud to acknowledge the accomplish of our member, Tina Simmons, who has just published a booklet entitled, “Anne Arundel County Cemetery Art” in conjunction with the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society and assistance from the Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites. The booklet highlights the various art forms of gravestone markings throughout Anne Arundel County.
Exploring the history of Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88 of the Ancient United Order of the Sons and Daughters, Sisters and Brothers of Moses and United Order of Tents.
On September 12, Dr. Alexandra Jones of Archaeology in the Community hosted an amazing panel of women discussing the archaeology and history of African American benevolent societies.
You can watch a replay at your leisure. You may recognize panel speakers who have been heavily involved in preservation efforts related to the Moses Hall No. 88 and Morningstar cemetery site in Cabin John, MD.
We congratulate member Julianne Mangin on receiving the 2019 MPI Award for Preservation Advocacy of the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery/Memorial Park. Her diligence of research and protective dedication has brought this valuable cemetery forward in the public eye.
Visit her pet cemetery blog… https://
“Hood College students will study the area and will eventually turn into a peaceful park for the descendants’ families.”
by: Caroline Morse
Posted: Jun 24, 2020 / 11:07 PM EDT / Updated: Jun 25, 2020 / 07:18 PM EDT
“I just feel bad that people are buried here that were getting trampled over or lost by the overgrowth or forgotten about,” said Neighbor Elizabeth Paul. “That was even before I knew the historic significance.”
Halfway’s historic Colored Cemetery dates back to 1844 and laid to rest over 400 unmarked graves. Spanning over seven acres, Good Samaritans and Daughters of Samaria bought the land in 1897. But, as decades passed, the land was forgotten about, sold in the 1950’s and eventually developed into a neighborhood.
“It was very common for African-American cemeteries to have been built over or just abandoned in the past,” said Hood College History Professor Emilie Amt. “This one became a housing development but this little piece of half-an-acre or less was preserved for a while and then it was abandoned and neglected.”
In 2018, after working on a number of projects on previously unidentified burial grounds, MDOT SHA Chief Archaeologist Dr. Julie Schablitsky had the idea to create a mobile application that would allow volunteers passionate about cemetery preservation to use GIS and Cloud data storage technology to record the location and condition of burial grounds throughout the state. This data could then be shared responsibly with appropriate public and private entities to help protect and preserve both recorded and unrecorded burial grounds.
After years of design, testing, and extensive public feedback MDOT SHA Cemetery Inventory is live and undergoing its most extensive testing to date. Currently more than 150 volunteers have signed up to collect and upload data using the mobile web-based application, allowing archaeologists and GIS specialists at MDOT SHA to develop best practices to collect, vet, organize, and share the location, description, and photographs of Maryland burial grounds.
After an extensive round of testing and troubleshooting this summer, the app will eventually be made publicly available to individuals and groups interested in using it to help record and protect Maryland’s burial grounds. Information on how to participate in the future will be available on the CPMBS website.
Alexander D. Keim, PhD
MDOT SHA Archaeologist
We need your help documenting the current condition of cemeteries in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel has the largest number of known cemeteries in Maryland as well as the oldest known tombstones.
Up until the 20th century, it was common to establish a small family cemetery on private land. Unfortunately, unchecked development and vandalism has destroyed above ground traces of these important cultural resources. Small family cemeteries hold an important place in the fabric of our communities, and the names found on the headstones are often found as the names to nearby roads or geographic features. These cemeteries represent the resting place of those who made Anne Arundel County the place it is today. In order to preserve these cues to the past, and respect the last resting place of our ancestors, County regulations do not allow cemeteries to be moved from their original location. To find out more and to sign up, visit www.aacounty.org/cemeteries. [Download the flyer and share with your community]
Coalition member, Dennis Green, lends a hand and gets some hands-on experience extracting corroded pins from unstable gravestones!
Meetings are open to all members.
The Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites provides financial assistance for worthy projects to rejuvenate endangered historic Maryland cemeteries. The Foundation invites applications for grants up to $2,000 to qualified parties. Application deadlines are January 1 and July 1 of each year.
The project or program must benefit a specific burial ground in Maryland, and Trader funds must be matched by the grantee in cash or in kind. Examples of eligible projects include rescue of an endangered site, gravestone conservation or restoration, documentation, protection of burial site from desecration by nature or by man, cemetery clean-up, and planning for restoration. For further information and the application form, click here.