How to Locate Unmarked Graves in Cemeteries
Have the Unmarked Graves in Your Cemetery Located by a Nationally Recognized Expert
GeoModel, Inc. professionals are experts at locating unmarked graves in cemeteries. GeoModel, Inc. professionals use the non-intrusive geophysical method of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate unmarked graves, but they also use their over 20 years of experience to decipher the locations of unmarked graves.
During the unmarked grave detection survey, the located graves are marked on the ground with temporary paint. These paint marks made by GeoModel, Inc. can then be subsequently plotted on a map of the cemetery by a local land surveyor or by cemetery personnel.
Unmarked graves are common in many cemeteries, especially cemeteries that are over one hundred years old. Cemetery unmarked grave records are often lost, vague, or incomplete. There is often no surface expression of the unmarked grave burial location. Due to the sensitivity of these unmarked grave cemetery sites, the challenge is to explore the subsurface without disturbing the soil and burials. GPR is the only viable non-destructive method that can be used for unmarked grave detection.
- The coffin or casket (wood, metal, lead lined, etc) or vault
- Disturbed ground structure and excavation features
- Movement or voids caused by collapse of the coffin or casket
GeoModel, Inc. conducted an unmarked grave detection survey at the Gallatin City Cemetery in Gallatin, Tennessee. The survey was conducted in the older slave section to locate unmarked graves in order to identify and accurately mark the locations of each grave. Hundreds of unmarked graves were detected in the 4-acre area that dates back to the 1800’s. The link to a video on NewsChannel5 is below, and an article in the Tennessean newspaper is further below.
A GeoModel, Inc. unmarked grave location survey is conducted by an experienced Licensed Professional with over 20 years of grave locating experience. This professional is nationally recognized and has been in many newspapers nationwide (See articles below), and has been interviewed by Greta Van Susteren about using GPR to locate unmarked graves:
How Accurate is Ground Penetrating Radar for Locating an Unmarked Grave?
Recent unmarked grave interments (1 to 50 years old) generally produce very distinct grave anomalies in the GPR profile and are most easily detected. Older unmarked graves (50 to 200 years old or more) produce less distinct or minimal anomalies and are more difficult to detect. Remains of unmarked grave burials are easier to locate in sandy soils that do not contain tree roots or stones. In cases where a vault or casket does not exist, or where the casket has completely deteriorated, GeoModel, Inc. can examine the GPR data for disturbed soil, grave trenches, or other indications of the unmarked grave.
Many cemeteries have unmarked graves, old burials (less distinct GPR response), and more recent burials (more distinct GPR anomalies), as shown in the ground penetrating radar image above from the historic Arlington Cemetery.
GeoModel, Inc. indicates the locations of detected unmarked graves by painting on the ground with a single line positioned in the center of the unmarked grave, for the length of the unmarked grave. The locations of unmarked graves painted by GeoModel, Inc. can then be plotted on a map or aerial photo of the cemetery by a local surveyor or by cemetery personnel.
News Articles About GeoModel, Inc. Locating Unmarked Graves
GeoModel, Inc. has conducted numerous unmarked grave detection surveys that have significant interest to the local community, cemeteries, foundations, or government agencies. Below are a few of the unmarked grave locating articles.
A GeoModel, Inc. cemetery survey to locate unmarked graves was featured in the Inside Nova newspaper on-line. The article is shown below:
Another unmarked grave location article is featured in our geomodel.com/news section, and is also included below:
GeoModel, Inc. conducted a ground penetrating radar survey to locate unmarked graves at the Waterford Cemetery in Waterford, Virginia. The unmarked grave locating survey was featured on the Waterford Union of Churches Cemetery website: