Family Cemeteries in Boone County

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The Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board maintains an inventory of family cemeteries in Boone County, in conjunction with the Boone County Public Library. Both organizations maintain copies of cemetery forms. Note that many of those forms are based on information reported by local historians who recorded grave markers beginning the late 1960s. There is at least minimal information on approximately 225 of the estimated 275+ family cemeteries in Boone County. The Review Board has no grave or plot records for active church or commercial cemeteries such as Hopeful Lutheran, Burlington IOOF, or Union-Rice Cemetery.
The family cemetery documentation process is ongoing. At least 1 previously unknown historic cemetery is reported nearly every year. In 2000-2001, an archaeological firm retained by the Review Board located and mapped 50 of these family cemeteries. Similar information on other cemeteries has been recorded by archaeologists, historians, and Library and Review Board staff over the years. Cemetery forms and files are available for review in the Historic Preservation Office. Review Board staff can email PDF copies of cemetery forms upon request. The location and approximate boundary of family cemeteries with known locations are mapped in the county's Geographic Information System (GIS). Over 210 cemeteries are included in the GIS, although the exact location and/or boundary of about 25 of them is not well documented. A Cemeteries Layer may be viewed in the county’s online mapping.
Local Cemetery Regulations, Research, and Preservation
In 1989, Boone County became one of the first local governments in the country to provide regulatory protection for small family cemeteries when it adopted the Boone County Cemetery Preservation Plan. The county's Zoning Regulations (see Article 3166) and Subdivision Regulations (see Article 03 - Section 315) ensure that cemeteries located in proposed developments are documented and preferably preserved in place. These regulations include maintenance requirements for cemeteries preserved in developments; conditions are periodically monitored by Review Board staff. The Library maintains an online resource directory with best practices for Cemetery Research and Preservation.
While relocation of graves is permitted under Kentucky law, this is viewed as a last resort by the Review Board. The Kentucky Office of Vital Records provided guidance for relocations until late 2016, but no longer administers the process. As a result, the Review Board drafted the following recommended guidelines for Cemetery Relocation in Boone County.
For more information about small family cemeteries in Boone County please contact Review Board staff at 859.334.2111 or mbecher@boonecountyky.org or the Boone County Library’s Local History & Genealogy Department at 859.334.2665.