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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Vermont Old Cemetery Association (VOCA)

For fellow Taphophiles.....

I have been waiting for a while for this particular organization to complete its website construction, so I could post a direct link, etc.... and the other day I discovered that it has been completed.  I used to be a member of this organization, before I moved to Massachusetts over a decade ago.  I am sending in my $40.00 check for a 5 year membership today.  $200.00 will give you a life time membership.

"The Vermont Old Cemetery Association (VOCA) was founded in 1958 to encourage the restoration and preservation of neglected and abandoned cemeteries in the State of Vermont. Vermont cemeteries date back to the 1700's. They are memorials to the people who endured hardships to settle Vermont when it was a Republic, and to their many descendants. In many instances, there are no surviving members of families to watchdog and preserve their family gravestones. It is up to us to safeguard these sacred emblems."

I cannot say enough about this organization!   VOCA has been responsible for the perpetual care and the preservation of countless cemeteries across the state, restoring and caring for some public, and often very forgotten grave yards.  History is discovered and recovered!  

"Our members are constantly working in all parts of the state, in cemeteries large and small, righting and cleaning grave markers, clearing brush, fixing fences, repairing damaged markers, and recording inscriptions."


"The Vermont Old Cemetery Association's book "Burial Grounds of Vermont," was first published in 1991, and edited by Arthur and Frances Hyde.

The book is a record of pertinent information regarding more than 2,000 cemeteries and burial grounds throughout the State. It also includes information on some monumental stones which are not actual burial sites. Information also tells the period of their use, the approximate number of burials, the 'condition' of the burial ground at a particular point in time, when the last survey was completed, and by whom, known lists of interments, and in a few instances a "Research Notes" page with history, maps, photographs and burial information. The book includes maps with black "bullets" with white numbers matching up with verbal descriptions of locations on the descriptive page.

This would be a unique gift to give someone interested in the state's genealogy/history. All proceeds go to help the organization.

Burial Grounds of Vermont is now available on CD for $20. Please send your check to: Charles E. Marchant Box 132 Townshend, VT 05353"


The Association publishes an interesting newsletter four times a year. It includes articles on cemetery laws, care, and preservation aids.  

As a member, you will receive these, free.  They are truly interesting and informative newsletters - and fun to receive in the mail!


From the website:

"Our members are constantly working in all parts of the state, in cemeteries large and small, righting and cleaning grave markers, clearing brush, fixing fences, repairing damaged markers, and recording inscriptions."

"We provide cash grants to individuals and groups who need financial assistance in starting and conducting restoration projects."

"VOCA encourages publicity: newspaper, magazine, radio, 
television, parade floats, cemetery tours, fair exhibits, and can often provide interesting speakers and slide shows."

"Our organization has led the way for other states to participate in cemetery restoration: New Hampshire, Maine, and Wisconsin have followed VOCA's example."

"VOCA encourages memorial gifts of any denomination, for by memorializing your own, you promote the work of VOCA and contribute towards the attainment of its goals. Gifts are tax-deductible."

"We have hundreds of members: a dozen charter members, groups such as towns, historical and patriotic societies, Granges, Home Demonstration and other community groups, individuals and families scattered throughout the entire United States."


The National Cemetery Administration in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death.

For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a Medallion to be affixed to a privately purchased headstone.

Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for internment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.

When burial or memorization is in a national cemetery, state Veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.

Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state Veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.


"If you hear about something in the news or in your community that you think would make a good item for our web page, please drop us an email. Links to relevant articles and pictures are appreciated.
If you have a story that you want to tell about a Vermont cemetery, gravestone, cemetery project, or other cemetery related matter, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Pictures to help tell the story are also very much appreciated.

If you have an instruction, correction, addition, or subtraction for the web site, our contact information is given below.

If you have an idea for a new web page or new content for the web site, we are all ears.

If you have information about a Vermont cemetery that will expand, enhance or correct our database, please contact our Cemetery Database Administrator."


VOCA Webmaster
Barry Trutor

VOCA Cemetery Database Administrator
Tom Ledoux


The website is:  http://www.voca58.org/