New York Marble Cemetery Records
Language of Materials
The New York Marble Cemetery Records collection is made up of the records of the interments at the New York Marble Cemetery. The collection is mostly made up of bound volumes from the New York Marble Cemetery. There is a scrapbook, meeting minutes from the trustee and treasurer's account summaries for the operations of the cemetery.
The New York Marble Cemetery is also known as the Second Avenue Cemetery. The New York Marble Cemetery was established in 1830 and incorporated on February 4, 1831 as New York City's first nonsectarian cemetery. The Cemetery is located between 2nd and 3rd Street on Second Avenue. Perkins Nichols created the Cemetery with Anthony Dey and George W. Strong handling the conveyances. The New York Marble Cemetery is one of two marble cemeteries in the East Village of Manhattan. The other marble cemetery is the New York City Marble Cemetery and is around the corned located on Second Street, between Second and First Avenues. The marble cemeteries were created in response to fears about yellow fever outbreaks in New York City. New York City had made legislation that had outlawed earth graves in New York City. The Cemetery is made up of 156 family vaults the size of small rooms, built ten feet underground, made out of solid white Tuckahoe marble to comply with the new law. To access the family vaults one has to remove stone slabs set below the grade of the lawn. There are no markers placed on the ground; instead, marble plaques are set into the Cemetery's north and south walls giving the names of the families interred nearby. A total of 2,070 people were buried at New York Marble Cemetery from 1830 to 1937. Most people were buried between 1830 and 1870. The first burial recorded was a child of Dr. Post in 1830 and the last burial recorded was that of Charles Janeway Van Zandt in 1937. In 1838, people started to prefer to be buried in rural cemeteries, but it would take a century before people would stop being buried at the New York Marble Cemetery. Many bodies have been transferred to other cemeteries. Descendents of the owners of the vaults can still be buried at New York Marble Cemetery. During the summer season people can visit and plan events there.
The collection is made up of one box and 7 loose volumes and located with the bound volumes (BV). There are no series for the collection. The first seven items are found in the box, five volumes and two folders. The last three volumes, 6-8, are photostatic copies of the first three volumes of the collection.
Scope and Content Note
The collection is almost entirely made up of bound volumes, except for two folders. The Register's books provide name, the age of the person, where the person died, the cause of death, how much the plot cost and where the plot is located. List of Interments sometimes gives when a person died and where the person lived. There is, also, a folder with a photograph of the cemetery from 1905. The Abstract of Tile, Vault Owners and Accounts of the New York Marble Cemetery is a notebook with short histories on owners of the vaults and how he or she paid for the vaults. The Minutes of Trustee with Treasurers' Account has hand drawn maps of the Cemetery with the location of the plots. Assignments and Transfers of Vaults is the contracts of plots and where or what was done with the body if the body was removed from the plot. The notebook labeled "Papers" is a scrapbook of correspondence, financial records, and meeting minutes for the New York Marble Cemetery. The last three volumes are photostatic copies of the first three volumes of the collection. Col. Thatcher L.P. Luquer in June 1934 made the photostatic copies; the copies are only from 1830-1918.
Open to qualified researchers.
Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote to: Manuscript Curator, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024.
Preferred Citation Note
This collection should be cited as New York Marble Cemetery Records, MS 1470, The New-York Historical Society.
Related Materials at N-YHS
The New-York Historical Society has another collection on the New York Marble Cemetery. The collection is called New York Marble Cemetery interments, 1830-1937. New-York Historical Society Main Collection (F128.25 .N49 1999). There is, also, an official website for the New York Marble Cemetery.