A List of Historic Cemeteries

An alphabetical list of Alexandria's historic cemeteries.

Page updated on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:34 AM

A List of Historic Cemeteries

Learn more about the historic cemeteries, and see a list of references.

Agudas Achim Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from ca. 1933

This is the cemetery of Agudas Achim congregation, formed in Alexandria by Orthodox Jews who had migrated from Eastern Europe (and now a Conservative congregation). Part of the adjoining Penny Hill Cemetery was deeded to the City by the congregation in 1933. This cemetery is the newest one at the Wilkes Street complex and is quite uniform in appearance. Agudas Achim's cemetery is still active. 

Alexander Family Cemetery  

(No additional information)

Alexandria National Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, 1450 Wilkes Street, from 1862

This is one of the oldest national cemeteries in the nation, if not the oldest, based on 1862 Congressional legislation. There are 3,533 Civil War veterans buried here, including 123 unknown soldiers and 229 African Americans who were members of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) moved here from the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery. All the Civil War veterans buried here are Northern. Thirty-nine Southerners were originally interred here, and then later were moved to Old Town Christ Church Cemetery in 1879.

The original wooden headboards were replaced by marble headstones in 1876. A red stone lodge near the gate is apparently the third to stand on this location. A small stone monument across the road from the lodge commemorates four soldiers who died in 1865 chasing John Wilkes Booth.

  • See Internment.net  for the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs list of those interred.
  • An interactive site for students,  ForUsTheLiving.org, focuses on the Alexandria National Cemetery and its history. This site was developed by George Mason University Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, with the National Cemetery Administration.  

Auld Family Cemetery

4620 Strathblane Place, from ca. 1840s

This family cemetery was located on the Strathblane estate, built around 1816. Strathblane was home to the families of Dr. William B. Gregory and George Auld. The burial ground is at the end of a private drive. A black granite obelisk was the only gravestone still standing in 1992.

Bethel Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1885

This cemetery was formed in 1885 by the Bethel Cemetery Company. By 1980, nearly 11,000 burial permits had been issued. It remains active. Gravestones here are more uniform, with less size and ornamentation. 

Black Baptist Cemetery

African American Heritage Park, Holland Lane, African American cemetery, from by 1885
Archaeological Site 44AX136

The cemetery of the Silver Leaf (Colored) Society of Alexandria, known as the Black Baptist Cemetery, dates from 1885, but there is evidence of burials at this site prior to the Civil War. The present park setting displays six headstones that are reset as close as possible to the associated graves. The Jerome Meadows sculpture in the park commemorate notable African American leaders, institutions, and those buried in the cemetery. 

The cemetery, across a stream from the cemeteries in the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, had been abandoned and was covered with landfill in the early 1960s. Prior to development of the park, there were archaeological excavations on this site. Headstones were found with the names Anthony Hunter, Sarah Hunter, Julia Ann Washington, Mary Rome and Matilda Gaines. In all, 28 burials were located. In some instances shells were placed above the graves, common in African American mortuary tradition.

More on excavations at the Black Baptist Cemetery 

  • Anderson, Adrian D.  The African American Heritage Park, Alexandria, Virginia.  Draft manuscript. Tellus Consultants Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1992.
  • Bromberg, Francine and Steven J. Shephard. African American Heritage Park: Archaeological Investigations. Alexandria Archaeology Publications, 1992, No. 39.  (Contact the Alexandria Archaeology Museum to view this report).

 

Bloxham Family Cemetery

116 South Quaker Lane, from ca. 1795
Archaeological Site 44AX128

The Bloxham family occupied the site from 1795 nearly through the 19th century. The Bloxham cemetery is preserved within the area of the Witter Street Recreation Complex, where the City marked each grave-shaft and erected a fence. After determining the cemetery boundaries, the site was backfilled without excavating the graves. A footstone marked "W.H.W." for William H. Whaley was recovered in 1993 and will be returned to the cemetery. Whaley, a stagecoach owner and husband of Jane E. (Bloxham) Whaley, was buried circa 1850. Skeletal remains, presumed to be of Whaley or another Bloxham family member, have been reinterred at the site. Twelve grave shafts, including one brick burial vault, were discovered in 2004. 

More on excavations at the Bloxham Family Cemetery 

 

Christ Church Cemetery

118 N. Washington Street, from 1776
Archaeological site 44AX88

Christ Church and its churchyard are among Alexandria’s most historic landmarks. This was George Washington’s church and his family pew has been preserved inside. The present building dates from 1771-1773, although vestry records show burials here as early as 1766. By 1809, most burials were banned from the center of Alexandria, both for sanitation and space concerns. The Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery opened in the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in 1808.

The churchyard was first enclosed in 1806. In 1829–1830, a wall and railing with an entrance gate went up along the public, (south) side. The church fenced the north and west sides in 1844 with board fencing; this was repaired after the Civil War. In 1898 the board fence was replaced with a masonry and iron fence.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Alexandria Gazette reported the accidental unearthing of graves in the vicinity of the churchyard. (As reported in Those Upon the Curtain Has Fallen: The Past and Present Cemeteries of Alexandria, VA, by Mark D. Greenly. Alexandria Archaeology Publications, 1996.)

  • On Columbus Street, in front of Christ Church: In 1853, a coffin and remains of a body were found while gas lines were being laid.
  • On Columbus Street, adjoining Cameron:  In 1871, the remains of at least 30 people were discovered during excavations for houses at this location.
  • On Columbus Street, near Cameron: In 1886, several old graves were unearthed while construction crews were excavating for the construction of houses.
  • On the north side of Christ Church: In 1908, workmen digging a trench for a waterline discovered a part of a human skull and some bones.

Parts of the churchyard were excavated by Alexandria Archaeology in 1985 and 1986 in advance of construction. A number of graves were located and excavated, some with only a few teeth or stains remaining. The remains were reinterred in the churchyard.  Archaeologists found that none of the graves they uncovered aligned with an existing headstone and none of the extant headstones in the construction area had an associated grave. Graves were not dug in straight rows as in later cemeteries.

Later, archaeologists monitored the removal of masonry elements on site during the reconstruction of portions of the churchyard wall, and identified, mapped, and photographed 49 grave shafts in the areas of construction. An additional seven grave shafts were identified in the area of the wheelchair ramp; these were preserved in-situ. There was no evidence of a mass grave of Confederate soldiers, despite an on-site monument’s assertion that one existed within the project area. Archaeologists contended that burials lay outside the churchyard, under the sidewalk and probably the roadway, meaning potentially hundreds of unmarked burials.

Excavations showed that some parts of the churchyard had been filled in and other parts leveled off over the years. Other changes to the churchyard included construction of the parish house, brick walkways and raised flower beds. As with the Presbyterian Meeting House, there are many more graves than headstones. At least 396 unmarked graves date from 1787 to 1796, with 174 of them for children. An estimated 540 additional unmarked graves are attributed to years for which burial records are missing.

More on excavations at Christ Church 

Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1808

This cemetery is still active, used by members of historic Christ Church. Grave markers include a large number of obelisks, popular in the mid-1800s. The obelisk drew its symbolism from ancient Egypt and reflected an association with eternal life. Some researchers also believe this form of monument stone was a conscious display of wealth and power. By comparing these stones with stones in the adjacent Douglass and Trinity United Methodist Cemetery, one can see differences in the relative social and economic standing of the three congregations. This cemetery also has examples of stones with a colonial profile dating to the early 1800s, and features work by local stone-carvers William Chauncey and Charles Lloyd Neal.

Colross Plantation Family Cemetery

525 N. Fayette Street, from after 1800
Archaeological Site 44AX197

The Colross Plantation, built ca. 1800, was located on the block bounded by North Fayette, Oronoco, North Henry and Pendleton streets, now the site of the Monarch Apartments. The brick mansion was moved to Princeton, New Jersey in the early 20th-century, and is now part of the Princeton Day School. In addition to Colross's original herringbone brick basement floor, archaeologists found a water cistern, smokehouse and brick burial vault. The burials had been removed, probably when the plantation house was moved. Three burials, those of Thomas Francis Mason (grandson of George Mason) and his two daughters, are known to have been reinterred at Christ Church.

More on excavations at Colross

Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery

1001 S. Washington Street, African American cemetery, from 1864 to 1869
Archaeological Site 44AX179

Existing graveyards were not sufficient to handle the increasing numbers of freedmen who came to Alexandria after the town was occupied by Union Troops at the beginning of the Civil War. In January of 1864, the federal government seized property at the corner of S. Washington and Church streets in order to establish a burying ground specifically for the freedmen. Burials started in March of that year.

The cemetery is the final resting place of approximately 1,800 individuals. Over half of those buried at the cemetery are children under the age of sixteen, due to high infant mortality rates typical of the period and the quality of life endured by the contrabands. 

African American soldiers (otherwise known as “colored troops”) were also buried at Freedmen’s Cemetery. In December 1864, injured soldiers petitioned for the right to be buried at the Soldiers Cemetery. They were granted their request. All troops buried at Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery were disinterred and reburied at Soldiers Cemetery in 1865.

After the war, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau) continued the federal management of the cemetery. Burials by the Federal Government ended at the cemetery in 1869, and the last time the burial ground appeared on a local map was in 1939. Ownership of the land changed hands several times in the mid-20th century, resulting in development of the property. A gas station, buried gas tanks, an office building, a brick factory, parking lots, and an interstate highway have had their effects on the cemetery. Unfortunately, many graves were lost or disturbed.

Extensive research and archaeological investigations took place at the cemetery site during construction of the Wilson Bridge. Archaeology focused on the identification of burial locations to ensure protection during development and future maintenance of the site, and the recovery of information about the cemetery for use in the memorial design process. The site is now the location of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial

More on excavations at Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery 

  • Sipe, Boyd, with Francine W. Bromberg, Steven Shephard, Pamela J. Cressey, and Eric Larsen. The Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial, City of Alexandria, Virginia. Archaeological Data Recovery at Site 44AX0179. Thunderbird Archaeology, a division of Wetland Studies, Gainesville, VA and Alexandria Archaeology, Office of Historic Alexandria, 2014. (Contact the Alexandria Archaeology Museum to view this report).

Douglass Memorial Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, African American Cemetery, from 1895
Non-invasive geophysical survey conducted 2019

This African American cemetery, established in 1895, was named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The cemetery is abandoned and is maintained by the City of Alexandria. The eastern half of the cemetery shows a pattern of burials in sequence of when people died. The other half indicates a practice of relatives being buried together. Records suggest close to 2000 people may have been buried at Douglass, yet fewer than 700 markers are visible today.

In October 2019, researchers working with Alexandria Archaeology conducted a non-invasive geophysical survey at two historic cemeteries maintained by the City, Penny Hill Cemetery and Douglass Memorial Cemetery. This non-invasive survey used two geophysical survey techniques (ground penetrating radar and electrical conductivity) to identify the potential locations of burials without physically disturbing the ground. These instruments were dragged or pushed along the ground and recorded characteristics of the soil that may indicate burials. Similar surveys have been conducted at historic cemeteries elsewhere in the City, including at the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery, Fort Ward, Ivy Hill Cemetery, and St. Mary’s Cemetery. This project was partially funded through a Certified Local Government grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. 

Geophysical Survey

 

Dove Family Cemetery

From 1800s
(No additional information)

Fendall Family Cemetery Site

(No additional information)

Fort Ward Park, The Fort

4301 W. Braddock Road, African American cemeteries, Post-Civil War

  • The Fort: Archaeological Site 44AX90
  • Old Grave Yard: Archaeological Site 44AX153
  • Jackson Cemetery
  • See also Oakland Baptist Cemetery

The Office of Historic Alexandria is engaged in an effort to study and preserve the historic resources of  Fort Ward Park . For up-to-date information on the preservation of post-Civil War resources at Fort Ward Park, including the burials and remnants of the African American neighborhood, see information on the  Ad Hoc Fort Ward Park and Museum Area Stakeholder Advisory Group

“The Fort” was an historic African American neighborhood established on and around the Civil War Fort Ward, now Fort Ward Park. “The Fort” dates from the Reconstruction period after the Civil War to the early 1960s when the park was created. The Old Grave Yard, and other possible burial locations sites selected based on documentary evidence and oral history, were studied by archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar (GPO) and archaeological excavation. 

The 2009 GPR study identified 38 possible unmarked burials in six known and potential cemetery and grave locations in “The Fort” (44AX90) and the Old Grave Yard (44AX153), and was used to identify areas for archaeological testing. The 2010 Phase I investigations focused in the maintenance yard area, including a small area adjacent to the Oakland Cemetery, and in the location of the Short’s family home lot, just north of the cemetery. Excavations found that GPR was not entirely reliable for identifying graves on this property -- some GPR targets were found to not mark the site of graves, and additional graves were located by excavation in areas that had been tested by remote sensing. Archaeologists found unmarked graves in a grassy area south of the Oakland Cemetery. In addition, archaeologists confirmed that the headstone for Mrs. Fitzhugh is directly associated with a burial, and that the headstone marking Clara Adams’ grave is, in fact, marking two burials, likely those of Mrs. Adam’s and presumably her husband, who was laid to rest roughly 2 feet north of Clara’s grave. Graves were also located at the Jackson Family Cemetery.

More on excavations in Fort Ward Park 

Goings Family Cemetery Site

1499 W. Braddock Road, from before 1831
(No additional information)

Home of Peace Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1857

Used by the Beth El Hebrew Congregation (Reformed) Home of Peace is the earliest Jewish cemetery in Alexandria. The Beth El congregation was formed in the 1830s. In 1857, a Hebrew Benevolent Society was established to provide for a burying ground. Several parcels of adjoining land were added to enlarge the cemetery. Two Alexandria mayors are buried here. 

Howard Family Cemetery Site

From ca. 1831
(No additional information)


Ivy Hill Cemetery

2823 King Street, family cemetery 1811, community burial ground 1856

Originally a family cemetery, the earliest burials date to 1811. Ivy Hill became a community burial ground in 1856. In 1866, subscriptions were solicited for the purpose of enclosing the grounds, and a committee was established to seek remuneration from the government for damage sustained during the Civil War. The cemetery is still in use.


Lebanon Union Church Cemetery

121 N. Breckenridge Place, African American cemetery, from ca. 1833

The cemetery is associated with an early 19th-century unincorporated village that formerly stood where Little River Turnpike and the I-395 interchange are today. Now known as Lincolnia, the area is now within the Alexandria city limits. 


Macedonia Cemeteries

African American cemetery, from ca. 1860s
(No additional information)


Methodist Protestant Church Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1829

This cemetery was is now abandoned. Due to its state of disrepair, it is very difficult to associate headstones with specific graves. Within this cemetery, one can find headstone carvings that denote fraternal associations, especially the Improved Order of Red Men. The order, descended from the Sons of Liberty, was named after the War of 1812 for the Iroquois Confederacy, in honor of its democratic governing body.


Moore-Holland Cemetery Site

(No additional information)


Oakland Baptist Church Cemetery

4301 W. Braddock Road (Fort Ward Park), African American cemetery, from ca. 1897

In 1939, Samuel Javins conveyed the land which was referred to as "Oakland Church lot" nine years earlier, to the Oakland Baptist Church, after the death of his wife, Florence McKnight Javins. She inherited the property from her mother, Harriet Stuart McKnight Shorts, one of the founders of the church. Family ownership of the land started in 1879, when Burr Shorts, Harriet's husband, began purchasing 10 acres after living here at least 9 years. The Shorts-McKnight extended family was one of the principal founding families of "The Fort," a post-Civil War African American community. Family members continued living on some of the original Shorts land until the 1960s.

Three McKnight family graves are the earliest known in the cemetery and predate church ownership of the land: James W. Terrell and Maria McKnight Blackburn (1925), and Burney Terrell, wife of James and sister of Maria (1930).

In 1952, Morris Leroy and Lonnie Richard Johnson, aged 9 and 11, were buried in the cemetery next to their father, Morris. Their deaths precipitated change in the City of Alexandria a decade before Civil Rights. Prior to this time, the municipal pool was open to white residents only. The Johnson Brothers, on a hot summer's day, made a "boat" out of a cardboard box and launched it into the river, resulting in their drowning. After the tragic accident, the City opened the Johnson Memorial Pool.

Mollie Nelson, a founder of Oakland Baptist Church, was a midwife and one of the pillars of "The Fort" and "Seminary" community. Born in 1886, she was buried in the cemetery in 1976.

A land exchange with the City of Alexandria reconfigured the burial lot, extending it to the north and shortening the west side. The cemetery, within Fort Ward Park, is marked with an Alexandria Heritage Trail historic sign .


Old Presbyterian Meeting House Burial Ground

323 S. Fairfax Street, from 1760s

The burial ground sits behind the Meeting House which was erected in 1775. Informational plaques are located in the burial ground.

More than 300 persons were buried here – among them are Rev. William Thom, first minister of the Meeting House; John Carlyle, one of the town’s founding trustees; Dr. James Craik, surgeon general during the Revolutionary War and close friend of George Washington; William Hunter, Jr., mayor of Alexandria and founder of the St. Andrew’s Society; and Lewis Nicola, colonel in the Corps of Invalids of the Continental Army. Forty patriots of the Revolutionary War, the largest number in the Commonwealth of Virginia, are buried here and in the later Presbyterian Cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution, which honors an unidentified patriot, was erected by the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution in 1929. Rev. James Muir, D. D., the congregation’s third minister, is buried within the walls of the Meeting House.

The burial ground remained active until 1809, when the congregation established the Presbyterian Cemetery on Hamilton Lane in the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex. 


Penny Hill Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1796
Non-invasive geophysical survey conducted 2019

Penny Hill Cemetery was established by the City of Alexandria for use as the municipal burying ground and was in use for approximately 180 years. Historic documentation exists for 906 burials that occurred during the 20th century, yet only 11 markers survive. Penny Hill was used as a burial ground for indigent paupers and the poor. Freedmen who died in the first years of the Civil War (1861-1863) are thought to have been buried at Penny Hill prior to establishment of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery.

An article in the Alexandria Gazette, July 21, 1885 (reprinted in the Alexandria Chronicle , Spring 1998) describes "A conversation with the Penny Hill Grave Digger." Lewis Dudley, who was born a slave, talks about residents of the "Poor's House" being brought there for burial. His wife was buried "in old Penny Hill, on the western side of the carriageway through that ground. A fence composed of some thin strips and a border of clam shells surround the grave..." 

In the 1920s-1940s, the City Council sold off portions of the old burial ground for the Home of Peace Cemetery and Agudas Achim Cemetery. In 1976, Council decided to preserve the remainder of Penny Hill and to ban further burials there. 

In October 2019, researchers working with Alexandria Archaeology conducted a non-invasive geophysical survey at two historic cemeteries maintained by the City, Penny Hill Cemetery and Douglass Memorial Cemetery. This non-invasive survey used two geophysical survey techniques (ground penetrating radar and electrical conductivity) to identify the potential locations of burials without physically disturbing the ground. These instruments were dragged or pushed along the ground and recorded characteristics of the soil that may indicate burials. Similar surveys have been conducted at historic cemeteries elsewhere in the City, including at the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery, Fort Ward, Ivy Hill Cemetery, and St. Mary’s Cemetery. This project was partially funded through a Certified Local Government grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. 

Geophysical Survey

 

Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1809

This cemetery is still active. Earlier burials associated with Alexandria’s Presbyterian congregation are located in the churchyard of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House at 323 South Fairfax Street, originally constructed in 1775. Over the years, the Presbyterian Cemetery has provided burial space for Alexandria’s merchants, ship captains, veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War (including those who served for both North and South) a half dozen of Alexandria’s mayors, numerous representatives of the city’s governing council, and at least one member of the U.S. House of Representatives. One of the most imposing grave markers, a shroud over the top of an obelisk, belongs to Dr. William Harper, a Presbyterian elder. An unusual skull and bone carving marks the graves of the Pascoe family children.


Preston Plantation Family Cemetery

Potomac Yards, from early 1700s

Potomac Yards was studied by archaeologists before it was developed into a retail center. The study area included the former location of the Alexander family’s Preston plantation and cemetery, dating to the early 1700s. The cemetery’s burials were moved to Pohick Church in 1922. The area was graded in 1933 to accommodate a railyard, so the plantation and cemetery likely were leveled.

More on excavations at Preston Plantation 

 

Quaker Burying Ground

717 Queen Street, used ca. 1784-1890s
Archaeological Site 44AX132

The Quaker Burying Ground is on the site of the Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library. The Alexandria Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends bought a half acre here in 1784 and used it as a cemetery until the 1890s. 

In 1937, the Meeting leased the property to the City of Alexandria for ninety-nine years for use as the site of a library. Archaeological work in 1993-1995 resulted from the City’s plan to demolish and replace a 1954 addition to the 1937 library. Work was coordinated with the current members of the Alexandria Monthly Meeting, the owners and stewards of the cemetery site, who stipulated that the goal was to preserve as many of the burials in situ as possible and that only those graves that would be disturbed by construction activities were to be removed. All excavated human-remains and associated artifacts were reburied on the site. Some of the original headstones were still extant against the wall of the library, and they were transferred to the Meeting’s cemetery at Woodlawn.

Archaeological fieldwork and site monitoring resulted in the discovery of 159 burial features. Sixty-six were located in areas which would be disturbed by construction activities and required complete excavation. Ninety-three burials were left in place. It is probable that hundreds of additional burials remain intact in all sections of the property. While the majority of the burials excavated were wooden coffins simply placed in grave shafts, a number of other burial methods and practices were noted: one burial in an iron coffin containing the well-preserved remains of an older adult male, a brick vaulted structure surrounding the hexagonal wooden coffin of another of the adult male burials, the placement of cobbles on the lid of one of the coffins as a grave-side ritual, the use of planks across the top of another coffin to prevent slumping of the cemetery ground surface, the utilization of outside coffin boxes in nineteen cases, and the encasement of coffins in gray marine clay--possibly in an attempt to prolong preservation.

The artifact analysis suggests that Alexandria’s Friends attempted to uphold the value of simplicity central to Quaker philosophy. While influenced by the “beautification of death” phenomenon of the nineteenth century, the Quakers tempered their adoption of the material trappings of the movement with moderation.  Coffins were primarily of the traditional hexagonal style and did not exhibit excessive ornamentation.  When present, gravestones were relatively plain, as were clothing items, including buttons and hair combs.  Only one piece of jewelry, a simple wedding band, was found. The only other grave goods recovered were a tiny glass bottle (a vial for scent or tears?), an iron key (to a house chest or business, or even more speculatively, to the “kingdom of heaven”?), and an ironstone plate, found on the abdomen of an adult female.  Plates included in graves have been associated with African American traditions, and this may thus be an African American burial; its inclusion in the cemetery would certainly be in keeping with the supportive relationship Alexandria’s Quakers had with this ethnic minority in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Osteological analysis was limited to field examination at the request of the current members of the Alexandria Monthly Meeting, who wished to maintain respect and privacy for the remains. Thirty-two of the excavated burials were identified as adults (nine males, ten females, thirteen of unknown gender), and nine were identified as children. As might be expected among groups of higher socioeconomic status, the Quakers sought out dental care as shown by the presence of fillings in several teeth and the recovery of two dental plates from the burials. The presence of hypoplastic lines indicative of episodes of malnutrition and illness at early ages suggests that even this educated and economically successful population was affected by the serious childhood diseases of the era.

On front of the library is a metal plaque commemorating Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, who was buried in this cemetery. Dr. Dick was one of the physicians who attended George Washington at his deathbed. 

Reports on Excavations at the Quaker Burying Ground 

  • Bromberg, Francine W., Steven J. Shephard, Barbara H. Magid, Pamela J. Cressey, Timothy Dennée, and Bernard K. Means. To Find Rest From All Trouble: The Archaeology of the Quaker Burying Ground, Alexandria, Virginia, Alexandria Archaeology Publications, 2001. (Contact the Alexandria Archaeology Museum to review the report).

 

St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cemetery

1000 S. Washington Street, from 1795

St. Mary's is the oldest public Catholic Cemetery in Virginia and the oldest active cemetery in Alexandria. The cemetery dates to 1795, and Parish records indicate that William Thorton Alexander deeded the land to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in 1803.

 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1809

Soon after the cemetery was established, Benjamin Latrobe designed a new church on South Pitt Street for this congregation, consecrated in 1818. One of its most notable graves is that of the “Female Stranger.” The inscription reads "TO THE MEMORY OF A FEMALE STRANGER Whose Mortal Sufferings Terminated on the 4th day of October, 1816-Aged 23 years and 8 months-This stone is erected by her disconsolate husband in whose arms she breathed out her last sigh, and who, under God, did his utmost to soothe the cold, dull ear of death." Various local legends tell of a mysterious couple arriving by ship in Alexandria. The woman fell ill and died, and the romanticized inscription on her table stone sheds no light as to their identities. 

Shuter's Hill Cemetery Site 

(No additional information)

Summer Hill Plantation Cemetery Site

(No additional information)


Summers Family Cemetery

(No additional information)

 

Terrett Family Cemetery

6363 Lincolnia Road, from the late 1800s
Archaeological Site 44FX115

This small cemetery is located in a private backyard and is surrounded by a 21' x 35' wrought iron fence. There is only one headstone and one fieldstone present.

The Independent Meeting House

200-216 S. Fairfax Street, from before 1810

Three congregations used the original church at this site, erected about 1804-5, and were gone from the site by 1840, the year a newspaper advertisement noted the presence of graves at the site. An 1810 deed contained an agreement not to build over or disturb the interments. No tombstones are present, and no account of remains being moved have come to light.

Trinity United Methodist Cemetery

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1808

This cemetery displays an array of tombstone carvings, including the book and curtain motif and clasped hands, anchors, Bibles, wreaths and doves, associated with a religious revival. 

Trisler Family Cemetery Site

(No additional information)

Union Cemetery of the Washington Street United Methodist Church

Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, from 1860

This cemetery is still in use. Several land transactions have changed the size and shape of this cemetery. 

Virginia Theological Seminary Cemetery

3737 Seminary Road, from 1876

The Episcopal Seminary was formed in 1823, and its cemetery was established in 1876. During the Civil War, the Seminary housed 1,700 wounded Federal troops, and 500 soldiers were buried on the grounds.

 

West Family Cemetery

2400 block Mill Road, from ca. 1780s
Archaeological Site 44AX183

The West Family burial vault was discovered in archaeological investigations prior to commercial development at the Hoffman site. At least seven individuals had been buried in the vault, at least two of whom were interred in the 1780s. Osteological studies tentatively identified the remains of four individuals in the vault as Hugh West’s wife Sybil, their son George and daughter Sybil, and her infant daughter. An additional seven graves were found outside the vault, but only four of the seven were preserved enough for study: two adult males, one adult female, and one infant. Archaeologists cautiously identified one of the males as an African American because of the discovery of a small crystal—common in African American burials. All were reinterred at Pohick Church, according to the wishes of descendants of the West family.

The Wests were founders of Alexandria and contributed greatly to early Virginia. Their large landholdings became known as West End Village.

More on excavations at the West Family Cemetery 


Other Cemeteries and Human Remains

Unidentified Cemetery
4141 Mount Vernon Avenue
 

Unidentified Cemetery
near Orlando Place 

Unidentified Cemetery  
south side of Colvin Street
 

"An Ancient Burial Ground"
100 block S. Royal Street, mentioned 1863

Located on the west side of the middle of the block was the site of “an ancient burying ground,” mentioned in 1863 news accounts of a fire in the buildings on the property. “Some of the old tombstones are there yet, covered over.”

"Many skeletons were unearthed"
106-112 N. Royal Street, found 1841

“Many skeletons were unearthed,” here to make way for the foundations of new houses about 1841, according to the childhood memories of an Alexandria Gazette letter writer. A commercial building now occupies this corner.

Box containing skull and bones
120 North Royal Street, found 1904

A box containing a human skull and some bones was found here in 1904.

Tombstone found under garden gate
Queen Street near Royal, found before 1904

A tombstone was reported to have been found under a garden gate at an “Old House on Queen Street.”

Skull and two leg bones
208-210 N. Lee Street, found 1897

Bones were found here in 1897 during excavation behind a bakery.

An underground brick vault containing “portions of what are supposed to be human bones”
Southwest corner Queen and N. Union Street, found 1872

An underground brick vault containing “portions of what are supposed to be human bones” was found at this corner in 1872.

Human remains, perhaps from 1803 yellow fever epidemic
Alexandria Canal, Montgomery and N. Royal Street, maybe from 1803, found 1843

Human remains were found during the 1843 excavation for construction of the Alexandria Canal. The Alexandria Gazette attributed these graves to victims of the 1803 yellow fever epidemic.

Infant skeleton “concealed between the garret floor and the ceiling”
S. Union and Wolfe streets, found 1823

A skeleton of an infant was found “concealed between the garret floor and the ceiling” of a house at this intersection in May, 1823. In the 19th century, skeletons of still-born infants or fetuses were sometimes not buried within cemeteries.

Infant skeleton found in privy/well
500 block King Street, ca. 1820-1835, found 1977
Archaeological Site 44AX1

While archaeologists were excavating a privy/well prior to construction of the Alexandria Courthouse, they discovered 36 bones of an infant. They have surmised this burial dated from 1820 to 1835.

Amputated limbs from L'Overture General Hospital
Prince and S. West streets, buried 1863-1865, found 1879

L'Overture Hospital was a Union military site provided for the care of sick and wounded African American soldiers and escaped slaves or slaves freed by Union forces. The hospital covered most of the city block at Prince and West Streets. In 1879, construction workmen found bones from amputated limbs here.


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