The May 12, 2012 monthly meeting of the Pine Island Area Historical Society included a very informative presentation by Dan Stiller. Dan served as secretary of the Pine Island Cemetery Board for several years. He is still in charge of the Pine Island Cemetery records and lot sales. He shared a great deal of interesting information with us. Information that can be helpful to us at the History Center where we are trying to preserve Pine Island history accurately and to anyone doing genealogical work..
Dan is using Cemetery Information Management System (CIMS) software to keep track of all cemetery records. This system does have the ability to put information out on the internet, but the Pine Island Cemetery Board has chosen not to do this at this time. CIMS helps Dan locate plots that are available for sale. He also takes photos of monuments and keeps copies of obituaries and service folders as part of the cemetery records. A wealth of information is available through these records, but it all takes much time to enter into the software.. Dan has been working at it for about four years and says that it is about 90% completed.
We learned that if you enter a person's name into the software, you will immediately be told the exact spot where the person is buried! It is also possible to view a list of relatives of the deceased. This latter information is constantly being updated, as new family connections are confirmed. Dan would like to have a station set up during one of our Cemetery Walks so that he could collect and verify information for families.
Years ago if someone bought a "lot" it meant that they had six individual lots! Today just individual lots are sold. Purchasing a lot includes perpetual care for that lot. Markers/monuments are personal property of the owner, and he/she should cover the cost of straightening/raising the monument, if needed. When the owner does not do this or there are no longer any relatives available to care for the monument, the cemetery board must cover these costs, so we learned that cemetery boards have ongoing financial needs and responsibilities.