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Rhode Island Cemeteries


Rhode Island is well known as the country's smallest state, but when it comes to historic cemeteries don't let it's size fool you. There are over 3400 historic cemeteries in the state of Rhode Island.

This can be attributed to the religious and political tolerance which prevailed in early Rhode Island. Most early Rhode Island settlers came here specfically for the freedom it provided to practice their religon. Many after having first settled in Massachusetts to later be banished by the Puritans for not sharing their views.

Unlike in Massachusetts where past burials are most often found in local churchyards, the religous diversity in Rhode Island led to smaller churches which usually did not have their own cemeteries. The burials are most often found in small family plots which were located on private family land.


From Rhode Island History: The Colonial Era http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/rhodeislandhistory/chapt2.html

The religious freedom, which prevailed in early Rhode Island, made it a refuge for several persecuted sects. America's first Baptist church was formed in Providence in 1639; Quakers, who arrived in Aquidneck in 1657 and soon became a powerful force in the colony's political and economic life; a Jewish congregation came to Newport in 1658; and French Huguenots (Calvinists) settled in East Greenwich in 1686.


The Unique Nature of Rhode Island Burial Grounds
The Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Transcription Project
Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Commission

Rhode Island Cemetery GPS locations

RIHCC - Rhode Island Cemeteries on Google Maps

The file below is a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file suitable for importing into Google Earth if you prefer to view them there. To import this into Google Earth first Right-click the link below and choose "Save Link As..." to save the file to your computer. Then in Google Earth select File/Open and browse to where you saved the file. Highlight the file and click Open. The RI Cemeteries.kml file will now be visible under My Places. Simply check the box next to the file and the cemetery locations will now be visible.

Download RI Cemeteries.kml 442K - Last modified on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Most GPS units do not display cemeteries by default. But cemeteries can be added and displayed on your GPS with a little work. You can add cemeteries to your GPS by adding Points of Interest (POI) files that you have created yourself or by downloading POI's made by others.

The file below is a comma-separated values (CSV) file suitable for loading onto a Garmin GPS unit. Right-click the link below and choose "Save Link As..." to save the file to your computer.

Download RI Cemeteries.csv 105K - Last modified on Sunday, March 24, 2019

To install this on your Garmin you will need Garmin's free POI Loader software tool which is available for download here: http://www8.garmin.com/products/poiloader/

To install on a TomTom the file first needs to be converted to OV2 format which can be done with the free software tool PoiEdit available at http://www.poiedit.com/.

How to Convert CSV to OV2 for Tom Tom Device.doc
  1. Connect the TomTom GPS to your Computer
  2. Open the TomTom drive letter under Devices with Removable Storage (located at start menu / my computer)
  3. Locate your maps folder on the TomTom (called "usa_and_canada" or "north_america" or "united states")
  4. Copy the OV2 files into your TomTom's maps folder

For more information or help in installing this file on to your own GPS unit visit gps-poi.shtml.

Using the Cemeteries List

The cemeteries in the listing are arranged with the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Number first followed by the cemetery name. When trying to locate a cemetery from this list on your GPS device searching for the cemetery number will give faster results then searching for the cemetery name.

The cemeteries are stored as a custom Points of Interest file (POI) and are separate from the built in POI's on your device.

Since this is a custom POI file you may also need to add a custom icon to your GPS unit if you would like to view their location on your map while driving.

The method of accessing the file to search for a cemetery to navigate to will vary depending upon the make and model of the GPS unit.

To navigate to a cemetery on most Garmins:

  1. Select WHERE TO
  2. Select EXTRAS
  3. Select CUSTOM POIs
  4. Select the RI CEMETERIES POI file (If more then one custom POI file exists)
  5. Press SPELL and enter the cemetery number

To navigate to a cemetery on most TomToms:

  1. Select NAVIGATE TO
  3. Select POI NEAR YOU
  4. Select SEARCH
  5. Enter the cemetery number


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