Phase II of the restoration of the oldest section of the Holy Mother of the Rosary Polish National Catholic Church cemetery located on Dale Road in Cheektowaga, NY is scheduled to begin on Thursday June 5th. Lisa Anselmi PhD, the Assistant Professor and Chair Archeologist of the Anthropology Department at Buffalo State College, along with her 10 students and Assistant Professors, will be searching for unmarked graves with the use of their ground penetrating radar equipment. By determining if there has been previous ground disturbance, locating these graves will help confirm occupied and vacant burial sites and perhaps even find unearthed headstones.
The Anthropology team will be canvassing the cemetery a total of five days: from June 5 through Wednesday June 11th, 9 am to 4pm. Former and current parishioners and the interested general public are encourage d to visit the cemetery and observe while work is in progress. As the early burial records had been destroyed years ago in a parish office fire, recreating and documenting these interments has been a long, difficult task. Parishioner Deborah Lasek, Project Coordinator, along with her assistant, Maureen Gleason and Edward Dudek cemetery groundskeeper, with additional help from some volunteers from the community along with members of the cemetery board and parishioners, have been unearthing, leveling and restoring of the frail headstones. Numerous hours have been devoted to the reading, transcribing and photographing the faded lettering on the legible stones. All documentation is then being entered into a database for the church’s permanent record to replace the lost information. Requests for death certificates, burial permits and any other proof of interment such as a funeral card, is being asked to be provided b y the deceased descendants.
Contact 681-3526 or bring copies directly to the cemetery restoration staff. An information table will be set up at the cemetery.