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Cedar Grove Cemetery

Other Link Cemeteries Website
*Cedar Grove Cemetery records are located at the Elmwood Cemetery office.


Cedar Grove Cemetery was established as Norfolk’s first municipal cemetery in 1825 following the closure of St. Paul's churchyard and the enactment of an ordinance restricting the creation and/or use of private burial grounds within city limits.

Like Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Grove was designed in the Victorian park fashion. It is different from Elmwood Cemetery in that it has several large family vaults, which were popular from 1830 - 1870. These vaults are half above ground and half below ground and are usually an arched structure of masonry or concrete containing either shelves or enclosed spaces inside upon/in which to place coffins. Family vaults could hold up to 20 family members. Cedar Grove also has some unusual honeycomb tombs wherein a rectangular chamber is enclosed by an arc of outer walling so that the graves multiply outwards from the original single cell at the center.

Cedar Grove one of three known sites containing mass burials of Yellow Fever victims. Yellow Fever struck Norfolk in 1795, 1802, 1821 and 1855. At the height of the 1821 and 1855 epidemics, nearly 100 Norfolk citizens died on a daily basis. The bodies were loaded onto a wagon and brought to Cedar Grove Cemetery. If the family had a lot, the body was buried on the family lot. If the family had no lot, the body was buried in a mass grave.

Notable burials in Cedar Grove include many Civil War soldiers and Norfolk founding families.

Aerial Photograph & Map

Interment Information Online
USGenWeb Archives, a cooperative network of volunteers that provides genealogical information on the Internet, has partnered with the Bureau of Cemeteries to provide an interment catalog of Cedar Grove Cemetery. The Bureau is currently working with Web Cemeteries to implement a web-based cemetery management system that will enhance public access to interment information. If you cannot locate an interment, please call 757-441-2654 or email for more information.

Cultural Resource Management
A cultural resource management program has been implemented for Cedar Grove Cemetery in an effort to conserve the legacies of those who rest within.  Volunteers are necessary to reach program goals.  If you are interested in helping with this effort or volunteering in another capacity to conserve Norfolk's historic municipal cemeteries, please visit the Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation website at and get involved today!  

Norfolk Notables Project

The Norfolk Notables Project began in 2011.  The goal was to gather information on notable individuals interred in Norfolk's historic municipal cemeteries and make it accessible to the public.  Though the project is far from complete, we are excited to announce that thanks to the research efforts of Bureau of Cemeteries interns Oliver Garland and Daniel Hennelly and the generosity of historian Stephen Forrest, information about Cedar Grove Cemetery Notables can be viewed online.  Kudos to Robert Hitchings, Troy Valos, and Bill Inge with the Norfolk Public Library's Sargeant Memorial Collection, City Historian Peggy Haile-McPhillips, Tim Bonney with the Friends of Norfolk's Historic Cemeteries, Donna Bluemink with US GenWeb Archives, and Dr. Thomas Bogger with the Norfolk State University Black History Archives for their considerable contributions to this project.  If you would like to contribute information on a Norfolk Notable, please contact Bobette Nelson at 757-510-5879 or email  

Cemetery Events, Volunteer Opportunities, Conservation Information
Click here for information about Norfolk Historic Cemeteries events, volunteer opportunities, and conservation information.