15 Item Grab-N-Go Cemetery Bag – BillionGraves

Updated with link to EOGN added.

Via https://blog.billiongraves.com/2018/10/09/15-item-grab-n-go-cemetery-bag/BillionGraves blog.

Standard disclaimer:

I am not an attorney and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult a legal expert.

While I agree with most of the items in the bag, I disagree with at least one – aluminum foil. While it may not be as destructive as using bleach or cornstarch, it can damage an older headstone just as easily.

Here’s my Rule #1 for doing things in a cemetery: Ask the cemetery staff which is and isn’t allowed. Oftentimes, doing anything to a headstone or plot is NOT allowed. FYI, you don’t own the cemetery plot (you or your family member owns burial rights in the plot), and once a headstone goes into a cemetery, the cemetery’s rules cover what you can and can’t do to it. Plus, if you damage a headstone, you may be held civilly or criminally liable for the damage. It won’t matter that you didn’t intend to damage it. Another reason to ask is because some cemeteries have a No Photographing policy: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2012/10/22/cemetery-photos-permission-required/. You can thank a small number of people who think they can ignore cemetery rules for some cemeteries adopting pretty harsh rules.

Update: I hadn’t seen Dick Eastman’s blog post before I posted this, but https://blog.eogn.com/2018/10/09/cemetery-case-puts-property-rights-issue-before-the-u-s-supreme-court/.

Be aware of the neighborhood the cemetery is in. An uncle is buried in New Orleans, Louisiana in a cemetery that’s in a bad part of the city. As much as I would love to find his grave and visit it as well as photograph it, I would need somebody in the area to let me know the safest way to get into and out of the cemetery with minimal risk. Also, being in a safer neighborhood doesn’t mean you are safe as a local cemetery has the occasional drug deal going down and having a cell phone with a camera is a good way to get on their bad side. Ideally, going with one or more teammates is a good thing.

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