Friday, November 16, 2007

The grassy patch at Mount Hope Cemetery

I went to Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego today to try to get a picture of the gravestone of Harriet N. Barkley, who died 15 November 1900. I obtained the death certificate on Tuesday down at the County Clerk's office in downtown San Diego, and it said that she was buried at Mount Hope, which is the oldest continuously operating public cemetery in San Diego (since 1869).

At the cemetery office, I asked about her grave site. They didn't have a Harriet Barkley who died in 1900. They did have a Harriett Barclay who died 16 November 1900. Close enough, I figured (my correspondent warned me about the different spellings). She is buried in Section 1-7, Block 43, Lot 4.

The office gave me a map for the cemetery as shown below, with a "local" map
below. The "local" map has numbers corresponding to the deceased who are buried within a 15 foot radius of the target person, who is marked with a star on the lot map. Information about the target person, and the names of the "neighbors," are also on the page to the right of the cemetery map. The page provided by the cemetery is shown below:

The dashed line to the right of the lot map is the cemetery fence, and the road above the lots is the road heading east to the fence.

Unfortunately, not every grave has a stone - whether above ground or in the ground. I found the stones of #07 John Nicholas, #03 Annie Chambers, and #02 Fred Chaffee. Harriet's grave is about two feet east of Fred Chaffee, in the center of the grassy patch shown below.

I also took pictures with views to the north, east, south and west of Harriet's grave, including the stones for Nicholas, Chaffee and Chambers noted above. I'm sending the map and four pictures to my correspondent along with the death certificate.
This cemetery has a lot of people buried in it. The San Diego County USGenWeb site at has a link to the Tombstone Transcription Project for San Diego County at There are over 14,000 Mount Hope tombstones transcribed in the database at I checked for the gravestones noted above, and they are all on the transcribed list. Unfortunately, the grave information for those without stones is not included.
I sure wish every cemetery provided the "grave-finding" maps like Mount Hope does. It would make the searching job a lot easier. In this case, the graves are not marked with section-block-lot numbers. The Section numbers are marked every so often on the curb by the road. Without the map, it would be difficult to find somebody.

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