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Searchable Burial Database is Helpful

November 23, 2010


When the city of Salem began its Web site development in late 2003, administration officials were quick to realize the importance of including information about the city?s many historical assets as part of its presentation. One of these was Crown Hill Cemetery. The number of burials in the cemetery since its creation in 1824 had grown to nearly 11,000. Record keepers had already developed a computer program to manage burial records, which easily converted to a Web format, so the presence of an online database was a certainty.

In developing a searchable database for Web use, great consideration was given to providing a user-friendly environment. Also, realizing that the vast majority of burial sites often exclude mapped access instructions to burial locations, a graphical schematic highlighting specific burial locations was added.

Both the city of Salem and the area?s largest historical and genealogical resource, the John Hay Center in Salem, have web pages that feature searchable database presentations for Crown Hill. In addition, the center also has a number of books on the cemeteries of Washington County that are obtainable by mail or online as well as from its gift shop. Driving instructions to the majority of county cemeteries are also included on this Web site.

Additional plans for online presentations about Crown Hill and the area?s other cemeteries are currently under discussion. Further information about these and other topics of historical and genealogical interest are available by contacting the John Hay Center at (812) 883-6495 or via e-mail at

Thanks to Trent Roberson ( for sharing this information.


Teresa Baer is managing editor of Family History Publications at the IHS Press, which includes THG: Connections, Online Connections, ethnic and migration history, and childrenÕs and young adult books. She loves playing with her grandkids, exploring the great outdoors and discovering information about her ancestors.

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