Canton, Illinois’ Greenwood Cemetery Gets New Maps and History

An amazing number of cemetery and funeral home records have never been computerized in any way. How often have you pored over a cemetery map that was nearly 100 years old, faded, and tattered at the edges? And that was the only map available? Are there records of this nature where you live? How about volunteering to create digital representations of them?

Greenwood Cemetery in Canton [Illinois] has delivered a computerized hard copy history and map system to Parlin-Ingersoll Library to help people locate grave sites.

This system can be used in conjunction with the publications of the Fulton County Historical and Genealogical Society.

From the time the original 112 cemetery plots were laid out, 167 years ago, four city engineers had created separate grids within the property limits. Early maps were printed on cloth, cardboard, or paper. Daily burial entries were made by the sexton. These became the permanent record of burial activity.
The current board, appointed in 2002, immediately recognized that if the system was not entered into digital storage within the next few years, the disintegrating paper pages of the daily entries would no longer be readable. The maps were fading. Photocopies could not bring back the detail needed to find site locations.

In 2002, the process began of creating computer graphics for the 122 acres of ground that is today represented on 23 maps and five charts. Two instruction pages explain how to use the records. The burial records are in the process of being entered on a master data base. In 1895, a fire destroyed all cemetery records. Fulton County Historical and Genealogical Society headstone inscriptions allow most of the lost records to be restored.

From the May 15, 2006 edition of the Canton Daily Ledger.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

4 thoughts on “Canton, Illinois’ Greenwood Cemetery Gets New Maps and History”

  1. I have made several inquiries about this matter to the cemetery office, library and Fulton County Society, but so one seems to have heard anything about it. What’s up?

  2. Looking for the location of my grandparents in the Greenwood Cemetary in Canton Ill. My grandmother, Rose Houda Vitt MD, was buried in the early 1950s and grandfather, Louis Leonard Vitt MD, died in 1967. They are buried next to each other. Can you give me the location of their graves so we can find them this summer when we’re in town. I’d really appreciate it. They were very strong and dedicated people in my life and I’ve worked to raise my chidren and grandchildren like them.

  3. For Sandra Vitt, I just posted the pictures of Rose & Louis Vitt in Greenwood Cemetery on Find A Grave and The Illinois Ancestors Tombstone Project website

    Bruce Weirauch

  4. I am looking for my grandmother’s grave site in Greenwood Cemetary, Canton, IL. She died 11-23-1963 and was buried 11-26-1963. Her name was Alice Alzinna Anderson. She was born 10-17-1883. Can you give me the location of her grave?
    Thank you.

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