Cataloging Burial Sites for Their Protection
Q: What does it mean to CATALOG a burial site?
Cataloging a burial site means the Wisconsin Historical Society's Burial Sites Preservation Program has filed a written legal description of a burial site location with the County Register of Deeds office.
Q: What types of burial sites can be cataloged?
By law, Wis. Stat. 157.70, all human burials regardless of age, ethnicity, or religion are to be catalogued.
Q: Why is it important to catalog a burial site?
To date a large number of prehistoric and historic Native American cemeteries and burial mounds, as well as abandoned European American cemeteries and family burial plots have been damaged or destroyed as the direct result of urban sprawl, and/or lack of cemetery care and maintenance. By cataloging burial sites, the Wisconsin Historical Society is able to protect the information these sites provide regarding the lives our ancestors lived.
Q. How do I catalog a burial site?
Q: If I agree to have a burial site catalogued, who owns it?
Any catalogued burial site located on private property belongs to the landowner. The landowner does not have to allow access to the burial.
Q: What benefits do landowners receive if a catalogued burial site
on their property?
Because a landowner can not actively use or disturb land containing a burial site, the landowner will receive a tax exemption, if the burial site is catalogued.
Q: Once a site is catalogued is it open to the public?
Whether or not a site is accessible to the public depends on its location. If a site is located on, or surrounded by private property, then permission to access the burial site must be obtained from the landowner. If the site is owned by a municipality, an organization or an association and is not surrounded by private property, then the public can access the site.