Cemetery records getting organized

FLINT TWP. — In an update to the township board about software purchased last year to organize cemetery records, Clerk Kathy Funk recently reported that work on creating a database is well underway.

For Cronk Cemetery on Beecher Road, records for 500 graves have been completed. Work on the 3,221 graves at Bristol Cemetery on Bristol Road is ongoing.

The purchase of the Pontem data management software was approved by the township board last December. Before the software purchase, cemetery records for Cronk consisted of a spiral bound notebook and the “plot map’ for Bristol was greatly inadequate for tracking burials. It took two or more days to verify records and sometimes an actual visit to the cemetery to figure out who was where.

No burials have taken place at Cronk since 2012 but Bristol still is active. Bristol also is where many of the township’s founding families are buried.

After all data is inputted to the database, the next phase will require software that makes the data available by mapping, Funk said.

She added that working on the Cronk database produced some interesting history Of the 500 records processed, 17 were for veterans. Of those 17, nine fought in the Civil War including one who died in the infamous Battle of Bull Run in Virginia in 1861.

“There is a lot of history here,” Funk said. “I urge people to out and visit. I don’t think Cronk gets a lot of visitors.” Most of the Cronk burials occurred in the 1800s, she said.

After the databases are complete, the next step will be global imaging that will enable pinpointing of grave sites right down to the plot level. The last step will be to make the records searchable online for anyone to use.

The ultimate goal is to make it easier for families to locate a decease relative or to select their own final resting place. The organized records also will preserve history and assist genealogists in their research, Funk said when the board agreed to purchase the software.

She thanked them for doing so.

“We now have a way to permanently preserve our information,’’ she said.

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