Old City Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina

Back in 2009, I worked a booth at NGS, which was held in Raleigh and was a fantastic conference. After helping to set up the booth the day before the conference officially began, I attended the wonderful African-American Genealogy Forum, which was held at the North Carolina Museum of History, and then wandered around the city with a colleague, searching for historical sites.


We made our way to the City Cemetery of Raleigh, aka Old City Cemetery, which was recognized in 1798 as Raleigh’s first cemetery. Originally 4 acres, it was laid out into quarters, “with the northern two quarters reserved for residents, the southwestern for visitors, and the southeastern for Negroes, both free and slaves”. Today, the cemetery has grown to about 7.5 acres, and is very scenic along the edge of downtown Raleigh.

Entrance to the City Cemetery:

City Cemetery Sign, Raleigh, NC

The cemetery:

City Cemetery, Raleigh, NC

The Raleigh City Cemeteries Preservation group has made a walking map of City Cemetery and also maintains a comprehensive list of the individuals buried at the cemetery.

Unfortunately, we spent more time chatting about things historical while wandering the cemetery, so I did not have a chance to take too many photographs. The city of Raleigh was an interesting mix of northern and southern cultures, modern, yet intrinsically linked to its past with historical monuments large and small throughout the city (it was a bit disconcerting to walk over the the AAGF and pass numerous monuments celebrating Confederate heroes and figures).


Both the city and cemetery were lovely to visit, I would love to go back and see more!

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