Old German Catholic Cemetery

Zanesville, Ohio

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The Old German Catholic Cemetery is located on the south side of Wheeling Avenue, approximately one block south of US-40, in Zanesville, Ohio (Wayne Township, Muskingum County). The coordinates are 39° 56' 24.51" N, 81° 59' 1.59" W.

The Old German Catholic Cemetery, also known as the Saint Nicholas Catholic Cemetery, is very small, and it is no longer active. In fact, the cemetery used to be larger; most gravestones were moved to Mount Olive Cemetery several years ago. Although the grounds are well maintained, most of the remaining gravestones are in bad shape. Most have been broken, and many are stacked throughout the cemetery.

I received the following e-mail from Tricia Shumate Lewis "Willow" in August 2012:

The Old German Catholic Cemetery was taken care of by the St. Nicholas Church. When they decided to purchase a piece of land for their own cemetery, they attempted to get folks to disinter their relatives from the old cemetery and re-bury them in the new one. Some families did; others didn't.

St. Nicholas church stopped caring for the Old German Catholic Cemetery sometime in the 1970's and it was overgrown and run down. A local lady got a group together to try to get it cleaned up and taken care of.

Here in Zanesville, it has a tendency to be called the Old St. Nicholas Cemetery. According to St. Nicholas Church records it is actually named the Old German Catholic Burying Grounds.

Many of our genealogy society members participated in the clean up, the old Latin records for burials in the Old German Catholic Burying Grounds have been transcribed, the cemetery has be 're-drawn' based on old records and much work has been done to make it presentable.

You are correct that the new St. Nicholas Cemetery is Mt. Olive and that some of the bodies were moved - that was the reason I was given for the abandonment of the Burying Grounds by St. Nicholas Church.

When my son and I found the Old Burying Grounds (about 2003/2004) it was run down, over grown and more stones were damaged and off their bases than there are now because so many people have worked so hard to get it fixed. There was even an article in the Times Recorder - front page - "Old Cemetery Gets New Life" - that explained some of the history.

Many thanks to Marty for visiting this cemetery with me, and for helping me find it!

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