Steven Lasky <steve725@...>
This is just a follow-up on my previous posting about the new searchable
database available on the new Mt. Ararat Cemetery
website(www.mountararatcemetery.com.) I just returned >from a short visit to
the cemetery in search of some answers, and I wanted to share them with you,
anticipating that questions regarding these matters will probably come up at
some point. Here we go:
1. Some of you will undoubtedly discover that there are dates of death
listed on this database >from as early as 1910. The office manager at Mt.
Ararat checked a few of these burial records for me, and he found that they
were, for the most part, reinterments >from other cemeteries. There is no
mention of this when you look at any of these burial listings, but now you
know. Also, even though the web site states that the first interment at the
Mt. Ararat was 1933, it was really 1931.
2. If you do a search just using the year of death of 1909, you will find
481 entries with the same date of death, 1/1/1910. You will also get the
same list of names if you do a search just using the year 1910. This
1/1/1910 date is the default setting and is not meant to indicate that the
person's date of death was 1/1/1910. Either the cemetery had no date of
death for these individuals in their computer before the data was uploaded
to the new website, and it defaulted to this same date, or there was some
other reason for it. Either way, if you happen to find a name of interest in
this database with a date of death of 1/1/1910, contact the cemetery for the
correct date. Again, you will find dates of death for a small number of
entries before 1931, but as I've said, these are most likely all
3. Regarding planting, care, etc., there are no plants or vegetation (just
grass) on any of the graves in this cemetery, just shrubs, etc. in between
family headstones, on one or both sides of the stone. Also, there are no
individual matzevot (gravestones), i.e. the cemetery permits only family
headstones, one per family. So typically you will have one headstone with
the family surname(s) inscribed on it and, in the minority of cases, symbols
that indicate whether the deceased were Cohains, Levites or Israelites. You
will generally find footstones made of granite for each individual burial.
Because of the small size of these footstones, the information on them is
limited. You will find the deceased's first name, surname, dates of birth
(when available) and death, perhaps in only fifty-percent of the burials the
Hebrew name of the deceased and their father, and a few words, e.g. beloved
wife-devoted mother and grandmother. No other significant inscriptions per
se. Lastly, there are sections in this cemetery that don't even allow for a
family headstone, and you there you will find individual footstones only.
4. The cemetery says that they are not really "set up" for taking gravestone
photos. They will consider taking photos on an individual basis (no charge),
especially for those who already own plots.
5. So remember that you will find errors in this database, just like all the
others. Please give them plenty of time to work out the kinks.
I hope these notes will help those of you who have an interest in those who
are buried at Mt. Ararat Cemetery.