Let?s Go Detect A Cemetery!

BigWaveDave

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Nov 22, 2013
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Ok, before y’all get your panties in a bunch...hear me out.

Not once ever have I, never even considered, and I would be the first to punch a punk in the neck for detecting a cemetery....

So then my wife has a girlfriend at work, who has given me the greatest permission since I moved here. Her house has given me about 15 silvers, as well as my latest Honorable Mention for returning her long lost bracelet...JP has been very supportive of my hobby, lets me hunt her place whenever I want.

Turns out, she is old Garrett County, like 10 generations going back to late 1700’s.

She owns a chunk of land, deep in the woods.... nobody knows about it other than her immediate family. In those woods is her family cemetery. No other families, just her kin.
Last one to be laid to rest was in the 40’s...her Grandmother. Her elderly mother will be interred when her time comes, (soon really)and JP is pretty sure that’ll be it.

IT WAS HER IDEA to offer me the opportunity to beep the cemetery.
Says she knows I’m not finna dig up bodies, but thinks I might find some cool stuff.

So now I got the ol moral and ethical dilemma situation bouncing in my head.

Do I say hard no.
Do I say thanks so much, but I feels kinda funny and I’ll let you know, and wait to get Tnet consensus....
Or do I say hold my beer....I got high tones all over Uncle Ebenezer.

Can’t wait to hear what the Tnet Peanut Gallery has so say about this.
 
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Terry Soloman

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May 28, 2010
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Let your gut be your guide. Not my judgement to make. :skullflag:
 

Treasure_Hunter

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Jul 27, 2006
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Private cemetery, owner's permission, best of luck!
 

smokeythecat

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Nov 22, 2012
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Considering its a cemetery, and people don't do long term anythings there, no parties, no volleyball, no picnics, I wouldn't bother doing it.
 

Charlie P. (NY)

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Feb 3, 2006
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I wouldn't. I haven't (I have come across old cemetaries in old woods - one of the Pike family now on state land that I look in on occasionally to clear branches).

But with the owner/families permission I would. 12" isn't going to disturb anything relieved from this mortal coil.
 

Tony in SC

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Jun 8, 2006
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Normally I would say no. I have detected cemeteries looking for lost markers. In your case I would say go for it, but if I found a ring, locket, or any personal item on a grave I would put it back. Coins and nonpersonal stuff, I would keep.
 

1637

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May 26, 2011
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i think that anything you find should go back on the graves ,so why bother.
brad
 

Tnmountains

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Go for it and return anything that may be family related.You have permission on private property and you are not a grave robber. Do it with the utmost respect is my advice.
 

Squirrel322

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Jul 4, 2016
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A family plot on private land and you have permission from the family? I say do it.

I don’t think there is anything inherently disrespectful about detecting. In regards to the act itself, If it’s not disrespectful to dig an entire new grave next to an old one, why would it be disrespectful to dig a coin 6 just inches down? In my opinion, the sensitivity to respectfulness comes from a cemetery being a place of shared community. Probably most people wouldn’t be pleased to see someone digging in the dirt around their mom’s grave. However, as detectorists, most of our mom’s probably wouldn’t care if their son was digging in the dirt around their plot,

With the blessing of the family, I think you are good to go. None the less, if the night after you are awoken by a voice saying “give me back my golden arm” then you F’d up......
 

fyrffytr1

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Mar 5, 2010
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I don't know if I could do it. It was common practice to leave small items, especially coins, on peoples graves. So out of respect to those people I couldn't remove anything from a cemetery.
 

jeff of pa

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Dec 19, 2003
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already said, You have Permission & the General Public can't see you and Get their panties in a Bunch !

don't dig deeper then elbow's length

and say hi to

Linnea & Barbara


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jeff of pa

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you can always take the holier then thou approach too

memorials would be where red x's are,or at least on the grave.

losses and trash between graves where blue x's

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btw in this case I guess it won't matter.

But Small narrow Scoop or screwdriver only if Permission for a more public cemetery.
Never Spade or relic Shovel. where Appearance matters .


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malenkai

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May 4, 2016
153
485
Chester County, PA
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If you feel the need to ask TNet, I think you have answered your own question. JMHO, no judgment here.
 

CASPER-2

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Jan 3, 2012
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Considering its a cemetery, and people don't do long term anythings there, no parties, no volleyball, no picnics, I wouldn't bother doing it.

long ago in the 70s and 80s - it was okay up here in New England
long as you have permission from church, cemetary owners or grounds keepers
i would not want to be seen with a long handled shovel that most use - i use a large
knife when land hunting and cut nice clean plugs

As far as nothing being there - in colonial times - some people would drop or bury
a copper coin on grave or at cemetary entrance as an offering to the "ferryman"
we never hit ones with new stones - new being 20th century
I was on a club hunt looking for cellar holes and we came across a 1700s one
most of us stayed away - it had like 30 stones from pre 1800s
Woman detectorist ended up finding a rare spanish gold coin that had gold wire
crimped around it and made into a stick pin - beautiful coin/relic

I have not hunted one since 80s -
I know old time hunters that made some real nice finds in them
I personally found a couple of hands full of colonial coppers and LG cents
a long with seated coins and other silver

men - mourners ...carried handkerchiefs in pockets with coins - pull it out
out come the coins
women - mourners...same thing...handkerchief in pocket book or pulse
dig for it amoungst loose change and other items - pull it out ...same result
up here...anything done in the snow and an item is dropped - its gone
I definitely would tell everyone- you got an ancient one - try and hit the outside at least
everyone hung around outside before and after burial - ive done well outside stonewalls

Sounds like a crazy person but i would talk to the persons below
Hey...if you believe in the spirit being down their - these real old timers
get no visitors would probaly love the company
If i was buried and part of me was in there - Id love to have some company
I would read their name and say "hello there John Smith...hope you are in heaven"
and talk while i hunted - luckily no one ever answered back
people now visit friends and relatives visit now and talk to them
Ive helped many cemetaries repair or restore stones from vandalism
It not "grave robbing" - and dont find it disrectful if you take the proper care when hunting
Its all up to your heart and your head and your beliefs
make sure you get permissions though
 

Tpmetal

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Jan 4, 2017
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Considering its a cemetery, and people don't do long term anythings there, no parties, no volleyball, no picnics, I wouldn't bother doing it.

actually people back in the day used to picnic at or next to cemeteries all the time..... not sure about smaller family plots, but larger ones for sure. Go visit a family member and have lunch.
 

SlateBeltDigger

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Sep 30, 2020
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Bangor, PA
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This is just my opinion...I'd work the perimeters and the pathways in and out, but leave the burial sites alone. I'd be creeped out if I dug up a gold tooth or something like that.
 

CoinHunterAZ

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Feb 18, 2013
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Personally, I wouldn't feel quite right about doing it. I think mostly just out of respect for those who are buried there.
 

Truth

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Apr 13, 2016
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I have found more gold wedding rings then I?ve ever found anywhere else in a cemetery. Talk about lucky!!
 
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vinnywop

Jr. Member
Oct 9, 2020
47
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Stafford, VA
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No judgement here either. I would think one would have better luck finding things around it than in it. Also considering that 1) you have permission 2) the land owner almost seems encouraging of it, 3) we all understand that none of the buried will be disturbed, 4) most finds are probably 8" or less deep, if it were me....I'd lean toward going ahead and doing it. Best of luck whatever you decide!
 

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