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Gravesite Survey Task Force (GSSTF)
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Isle of Wight County Historical Society

The GSSTF is a volunteer county-wide effort to record the complete grave marker inscriptions on all grave markers in the county and to document the information in a database in support of Isle of Wight County´┐Żs effort to become a Certified Local Government (CLG).

The database will become part of a formal Archeological Survey contracted by the county through the College of William and Mary and funded by Isle of Wight County, the Town of Smithfield and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

GSSTF volunteers meet twice weekly at a pre-selected cemetery site with permission of the property owner. The team assembles at 2PM on Sunday and 10AM on Wednesday. Complete grave marker inscriptions are recorded, including footstone markings, manufacturers marks and the data on other attendant markers such as Freemason, UCV, GAR, Elk, IOOOF, Woodman, VFW, AL, KofP, etc. Digital photographs are made of selected markers with intrinsic artistic and/or historic value.

In addition to the CLG use mentioned above, the GSSTF database may be used 1.) by the county for purposes of informing land owners of the presence of these archeological sites on their property, 2.) as a genealogy database available to the public for research, 3.) as reference material by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Historic Resources and 4.) for the perpetual care of all human burial sites located in the county.

The Certified Local Government (CLG) Program is a national historic preservation initiative that provides technical assistance and grants to local governments seeking to keep for future generations what is important and significant from the past. The CLG Program builds on initiatives of local communities throughout the nation and helps preservation groups by linking them to the national historic preservation program established by the National Historic Preservation Act. Under this act, CLGs are required to: 1.) Establish and maintain a qualified historic preservation commission, 2.) Maintain a system for identifying historic properties, 3.) Provide for public participation in the local historic preservation program, and 4.) Enforce appropriate legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties.

Volunteer assistants are always needed to help record marker inscriptions.

Please contact:

Albert Burckard Site Coordinator 357-6685
Ernest Powell Data Base Recorder 365-4530
Jeff Stark Advisor/Scout 848-8888

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