Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

What is the Difference Between a Cataloged and Uncataloged Burial Site?

Catalogued vs. Uncatalogued Human Burial Sites | Wisconsin Historical Society

A cataloged burial site is a human burial site believed to still contain human remains, is in a known location, and is listed in the Wisconsin Burial Sites Catalog.

An uncataloged burial site is a human burial site that has been destroyed, cannot be located, or has not yet been listed in the Wisconsin Burial Sites Catalog. If it is determined that an uncataloged human burial site is likely to still contain human remains and if the site can be re-located, it can be added to the catalog.

Cataloged Burial Sites Receive Special Treatment under State Laws

  • The owners of cataloged burial sites are eligible for property tax exemptions.
  • Penalties for disturbing a cataloged burial site, without authorization from the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, are more severe.
  • Requests to disturb a cataloged burial site may be denied.
  • If someone requests to disturb a cataloged burial site, members of the Registry of Interested Persons (RIP) are given 30 days to review the request.
  • Registry members, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and other parties can ask for a hearing to determine if authorization to disturb a cataloged burial site should be granted, and they may appeal any decision to permit or deny disturbance.

Do You Need to Disturb a Burial Site?

Neither cataloged nor uncataloged sites may be disturbed without authorization from the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Disturbance means any ground-disturbing activity within the boundaries of the burial site.

To request to disturb a human burial site, fill out and mail in the Request to Disturb a Burial Site form. The Wisconsin Historical Society will consider the request once the completed form and appropriate supporting materials have been received.

Learn More

See more articles about Human Burials, Mounds and Cemeteries

Have Questions?

Call Amy Rosebrough at 608-264-6494 or email her below.