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Historic Cemeteries Program


On May 25, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed into law CS/CS/CS/HB 49 (Chapter 2023-142, Laws of Florida) creating a Historic Cemeteries Program within the Division of Historical Resources.

The Historic Cemeteries Program serves as a governmental center to encourage municipalities, planning departments, colleges and universities, community organizations, and other stakeholders to work together to preserve, rehabilitate, and share information relating to abandoned and historic cemeteries.

Program Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities of the Historic Cemeteries Program include:

  • Coordinate the recording and updating of Florida Master Site File records of cemeteries in the state of Florida established at least 50 years ago.
  • Develop guidelines for use by state agencies, local governments, and developers in the identification, location, and maintenance of abandoned and historic cemeteries.
  • Research, identify, and record abandoned cemeteries, with an emphasis on abandoned African-American cemeteries.
  • Assist with efforts to identify relatives and descendants.
  • When abandoned cemeteries are located, provide notification and guidance to relevant persons including relatives, descendants, funeral directors, religious organizations, qualified nonprofit organizations, and property owners.
  • Assist constituents, descendant communities, state and federal agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders with inquiries relating to abandoned cemeteries.
  • Encourage the placement of historical markers for erased, forgotten, lost, or abandoned African-American cemeteries.
  • Coordinate with the University of South Florida’s Black Cemetery Network to facilitate the inclusion of abandoned African-American cemeteries in the Black Cemetery Network.
  • Work with the Department of Education to develop curriculum relating to abandoned and historic cemeteries, with a focus on citizenship, social responsibility, and history.
  • Subject to legislative appropriation, provide grants to research and protect abandoned African-American cemeteries.


Additional Information


Guidelines for Care of Cemeteries and Human Remains 
Florida Historic Cemetery Inventory
Abandoned African-American Cemeteries Grants