Southwick cemetery database discussed

SOUTHWICK- The Cemetery Commission discussed an upcoming survey of the New Southwick Cemetery that will take place to create a full map of each plot in the cemetery. 

Gene Theroux sprays one of the gravestones at the Southwick Old Cemetery. (WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Cemetery Commission Chair Gene Theroux said April 27 that he met with the surveyors April 23. He said he wants to create a complete map of the cemetery to put into a Geographic Information System (GIS) file. The map of the cemetery will mark each grave with a high degree of accuracy, according to Theroux.

“The graves will be marked within five inches of where they really are,” said Theroux.

Once all the cemetery data has been put into a single file, people will be able to search the file to see whether a given cemetery plot is occupied, available, or has been sold already. Theroux said that the file could be linked to the town’s website. 

The surveying project for the New Southwick Cemetery is similar to a project being undertaken in Westfield. Local historian Bruce Cortis is mapping the historic graves of Westfield’s Old Burying Ground. 

Cortis’ project is different, however, because his goal is to create a map of every person who has ever been buried at the Old Burying Ground for genealogy and family research purposes. The burying ground does not take new burials.

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