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Historic Cemeteries

Cultural Landscapes of Remembrance

Anne Arundel County preserves cemeteries in place.

Up until the 20th century, it was common to establish a small family cemetery on private land to bury your loved ones. These cemeteries are located in close proximity to older homes. 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. 

When development is proposed near a cemetery, studies must be conducted to verify the extents of the cemetery boundaries. Vandalism often removes headstones, and wooden crosses used by less wealthy families do not survive to mark a graves location. When cemetery boundaries are marked, we often find outlier graves on the edges and outside the cemetery boundaries. To prevent an unexpected discovery when construction begins, we require that a 25-foot buffer be placed around the cemetery to protect against the inadvertent disturbance of undiscovered graves (see Anne Arundel County Code Article 17-6-503) and a preservation easement.

Please see below for a few resources about cemetery preservation. If you know of a historic cemetery that you think is not protected by the County's cemetery database, please contact the Cultural Resources Section.

Resource Guide

Click here for a guide on the preservation and protection of historic cemeteries in Anne Arundel County.

Preservation Stewardship

We need your help in protecting our historic cemeteries! Click here to learn how.

Local Cemetery Art

Explore examples of cemetery iconography in Anne Arundel County by reading this guide.

Endangered Cemeteries

Cemeteries are an endangered cultural resource subject to adverse impacts both natural and man-made. 

County Database

The County has a database of known and rumored cemeteries. Use our search tool to see if your cemetery is recorded.

Cemetery Records 

The Anne Arundel County Genealogical Society maintains a partial list of existing cemeteries that is published online.

2019 Symposium

The County hosted a cemetery symposium in Galesville in 2019. Watch the video and learn more here. 

2020 Webinar

Watch the webinar where Anne Arundel County, Preservation Maryland, and the State Highway Assoc. discuss statewide cemetery documentation. 

Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites

CPMBS promotes the preservation and protection of the burial sites, cemeteries, and grave yards in Maryland. 


Other Resources