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Pioneers

A PIONEER FAMILY is defined as one of the group of settlers who came to the Washington Territory prior to November 11, 1889, the date the Territory became a state, whose members are interred in the Lynden or Greenwood cemeteries. This definition makes no distinction regarding the age of the family member as long as he or she was born prior to the date that the Territory was admitted as a state.


The formal policy regarding pioneers is as follows:
With the assistance of the Lynden Pioneer Museum, other groups within the community, various publications and cemetery records, a list had been developed of the pioneers buried in either the Lynden or Greenwood cemeteries.

The Whatcom Genealogical Society, Bellingham, Washington, published the 1889 Territorial Auditor's Census as their Washington State Centennial Project. The information was extracted from the microfilm of the Territorial Auditor's Census of Names of Persons Residing in Washington Territory on the 1st Monday in April , 1889 filed in the Bellingham Public Library (Ref 929.3797 W).
  1. The information was a complete transcription of the census in Whatcom County by Albert W. Custer, County Assessor, and showed the Microfilm Page number for each entry.
  2. The Census included Age, Sex, Race, Marital Status, Birthplace and Occupation.
  3. The Census was in the order in which the Census Taker interviewed individuals, i.e. moving from house to house or farm to farm.
  4. Family members are indented under the Head of the Household on the transcription.
  5. Although the order of the Census report was efficient in terms to enumerating individuals, it presented a problem in terms of trying to find a specific individual within the Census report.
  6. The Whatcom Genealogical Society solved that problem by preparing an alphabetical Index of Family Names with a notation of each Microfilm Page number wherever that family name appeared in the Census.

Each family name on the alphabetical Index prepared by the Whatcom Genealogical Society was then painstakingly compared to the Cemetery District 10 records of interred individuals to locate matches. The result was a list of individuals who met the definition of a pioneer as established in this policy.

There were some individuals who died prior to the 1889 Census and who are interred in the Lynden and Greenwood cemeteries. There are separate lists of these individuals.

If evidence comes to light that any other individual qualifies under the definition of pioneeer familites, he or she will be added to the list.

Civic groups will be sought to assume responsibility for the beautification and maintenance of each gravesite subject to the approval of the commissioners.



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