Wake County Genealogical Society, North Carolina

Wake Cemetery Survey by Township c1978

Digitized by Wake County Genealogical Society in partnership with Upchurch and Allied Families Association
Dedication and Acknowledgements  -  Read about Irene O. Kittinger and her team here. The digitizing project is dedicated to the entire orginal survey crew.  Digitizing Project Team acknowledgement is listed here also.       

LATEST NEWS!   The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has announced our Wake Cemetery Project as one of only four winners for the 2023 SLAM! Idea Showcase.  Our project received an Honorable Mention! The Showcase honors the best ideas for creative and innovative projects, programs, resources, and practices. The competition also looks to share the processes so that they can be replicated by other societies, libraries, archives and museums (i.e. SLAM) to strengthen the genealogy and family history community.
View 2023 Honorable Mention - Wake County Genealogical Society here - “Digitizing the Wake Cemetery Survey c. 1978 Files
View the entire line up of 2023 SLAM Entries here.

New Index Files have been added for all 20 Townships. Please visit them to see our vision of the updated index that can grow as new cemetery information is discovered and added to the file. These new indexes include enhanced directions - road names added to the SR numbers, GPS data - to the original site or as close as the information and changes in real estate would allow, and links to online memorial databases including Find a Grave, Cemetery Census and others.

What is the Wake County Cemetery Survey Project?
Wake County Genealogical Society is proud to present our latest service project, conducted in partnership with Upchurch and Allied Families Association of Cary, NC. It is a perfect effort to commemorate the anniversary of Wake County’s formation – 250 years in March 2021.
The Wake Cemetery Survey by Township, c. 1978 is a gold mine for any researcher with Wake County roots. It sprang out of a short-lived government effort to update the previous cemetery census conducted statewide by the WPA in the late 1930s. The state discontinued their effort when they decided that they could not force counties to comply. It fell to dedicated survey volunteers across the state to redouble their efforts as grassroots citizen led projects in the various counties. The project and what it entailed is described starting on page 8 of the Wake Genealogy Watch, vol. 5, issue 1, if you would like to read the back story.

The records collected by Irene O. Kittinger and her army of volunteers “stitched” the names of the local departed into a rich tapestry of community, location, and context across the fabric of Wake County. There are records of burials for Native Americans, first settlers, patriots, historical figures, and enslaved -all walks of life in Wake are represented. There are accounts of rich and poor resting side by side. You will find records of homeplaces and landmarks that do not exist anymore. You will find the FAN clubs (Friends, Associates and Neighbors) so clearly illustrated in their place and time. The records tell stories of their struggles, survivals, and successes.

WCGS has digitized these records with an eye to providing an experience that is as close to viewing the originals as possible. In addition to the vital statistics that are a part of any Cemetery Survey, the jewels of this record set are the copious notes and family connections scribbled in the margins, on post-it notes, and any spare bit of paper. If you have Wake ancestors to research, you will really want to check this record set. It will surely enrich your research.

Learn more about the history of the original survey, and process of the digitizing the files -
Project Update in Wake Gen Watch - page 8 of the Wake Genealogy Watch, vol. 5, issue 1
January 2023 Meeting Presentation - Slides from Cyndi Deal's presetation

Introduction and Finding NotesRead this section first for easier searching and better appreciation of the scope of the project. Includes global finding notes for all townships, a guide to the original indexes as they appeared in Wake Treasures in 1996-2000 and the search tool for small family cemeteries -Surname Finder. Thanks to Cynthia Gage for building this handy tool.
Includes Wake County township map, Original Creation and Goals of the WCS78, WCS78 newsletter, article - Become a Preservationist, Map with original index locations in Wake Treasures, Graveyards and Cemeteries of Wake County, North Carolina as presented to the Wake County Board of Commissioners in August 1999.

Have a surname, but not sure where to start?
Try this Surname Finder if your people were buried in a smaller family cemetery.
Unsure which part of Wake County to search... 
Bartons Creek – including cemeteries displaced by the Falls Lake Reservoir Project, and a portion of Raleigh and a portion of Durham county that was formerly part of Wake County
Buckhorn – including cemeteries displaced by the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant and Reservoir and small portions of Apex and Holly Springs
Cary – including the town of Cary and portions of Apex and Raleigh
Cedar Fork – including the town of Morrisville and cemeteries displaced by improvements to Raleigh-Durham Airport, and portions of Cary and Raleigh. A portion of Cedar Fork was also carved off to Durham County when it was created.
Holly Springs – including the town of Holly Springs and portions of Apex and Fuqua-Varina
House Creek - including portions of Raleigh
Leesville – including portions of Raleigh
Little River – including the town of Zebulon
Marks Creek – including the town of Wendell
Meredith – including portions of Raleigh
Middle Creek – including the town of Fuquay-Varina and portions of Holly Springs
Neuse - including portions of Raleigh
New Light – including cemeteries displaced by the Falls Lake Reservoir Project
Panther Branch – including small portions of Garner
Raleigh – including the city of Raleigh and downtown.
Saint Mary’s – including the town of Garner and portions of Raleigh
Saint Matthews – including the town of Knightdale and portions of Raleigh
Swift Creek – including portions of Cary, Garner and the city of Raleigh
Wake Forest – including the towns of Wake Forest and Rolesville and a portion of Raleigh
White Oak – including the town of Apex and portions of Cary