St. Mary’s, Albany

St. Mary’s Cemetery, Albany, NY
Re-Interment Records

The old St. Mary’s Cemetery was located on Washington Avenue in Albany. Very little is known about this old cemetery but obviously it was run by St. Mary’s Catholic Church in downtown Albany. The original St. Mary’s Church was built in 1797 and that Parish is the second oldest Parish in New York State. So it is safe to assume that burials in this long closed cemetery would date to about the time of the founding of St. Mary’s Parish.

The disinterment from St. Mary’s Cemetery began around 1875 and the removal work was not finished until 1917. The closing of this cemetery coincided with the closing of many other family and church cemeteries in the Albany city limits.

Some of the factors contributing to the closing of these small local cemeteries were:

1. The urbanization of the city which made the land too valuable to put the dead in.

2. Concern about health issues. When people were embalmed originally, the morticians used arsenic and there was a feeling that the toxic arsenic substance would bleed into the water supply. The practice of using arsenic for embalming was banned in 1911.

ALBANY RURAL CEMETERY – 1844 – MENANDS, NY PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE RURAL CEMETERY MOVEMENT

3. About the same time there was the new trend in making cemetery’s park like. Cities saw the rise of the landscaped cemeteries located outside of urban areas.

ALBANY HIGH SCHOOL – WASHINGTON AVENUE BUILT ON SITE OF CLOSED ST. MARY’S CEMETERY

This was known as the Rural Cemetery Movement which presented an idealized view of nature. These new parks usually included rolling lawns, a water source such as a lake or pond, groves of trees, and recreations of picturesque architecture. All of it designed to recreate a peaceful, pastoral scene of beauty. Before the development of parks, the public was encouraged to visit and enjoy nature, art, and contemplation, and use the cemetery for outings such as picnics, carriage rides, or an afternoon stroll.
After St. Mary’s Cemetery was closed the land became the site of a small park later known as St. Mary’s Park. After World War II, the park was used as a site for temporary housing for returning veterans. Today the land formerly occupied by the cemetery is the site of the Albany High School.

Information on most of the names of the removals from this cemetery and location of where they were removed to has been lost over the years.However, detailed information on 910 of the removals that were later re-interred in St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, New York, were preserved. These records which are now part of this data base will show the following information:

Name
Identity as to Adult or Child
Residence Address
Interment Date
Lot and Section Numbers
Lot Owner’s Name/Remarks

ST. MARY RE-INTERNMENT RECORDS

wdt_ID Year Month Day Last Name First Name Lot Sec. Residence Adult or Child Lot Owner Remarks
1 1875 Jan 11 Lyman Michael 91 14 63 Colonie St., Albany a M. Lyman
2 1875 Jan 13 McGrath Denis 23 27 Stafford St., W. Troy c McGrath
3 1875 Jan 14 Seevy Francis 12 14 16 S. Pearl St., Alb a McHugh Mr. P. McHugh takes charge of remains
4 1875 Jan 16 Nolan Ann 58 27 82 First St. Alb a L. Nolan
5 1875 Jan 18 Kelly Patrick 98 14 33 Renss. St a Mrs. Kelly
6 1875 Jan 19 Enos Ennis Edward 39 31 109 Canal St. a M. Ennis
7 1875 Jan 19 Galvin Mary E. 59 27 147 Lumber St. a J. Galvin
8 1875 Jan 26 Galvin James 59 27 147 Lumber St. c J. Galvin
9 1875 Jan 28 Brennan Ann 53 14 189 Broadway c C. Spellman
10 1875 Jan 28 McQuade Mary 27 27 106 Broadway, W. Troy a Mr. McQuade

NOTES:

1. To read the history of St. Mary’s Church see the write-up in the
Church Memorials and Family Names section of the website.

2. For more information on closing of Albany area cemeteries see the
data base on the State Street Burial Grounds on the website.

For further information on this project please contact Bill McGrath at seamus@nycap.rr.com

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