African-American Genealogists to be Aided by WWU Research

Persons interested in researching African-American genealogy in St. Louis now have a new source to assist them—a web site hosted by William Woods University.


Dulany Library at WWU received a digital imaging grant in 2003 from the Missouri State Library to digitize photographs of funerary art from the Greenwood Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo.


The photographs, along with a database of cemetery records and biographical information on famous African Americans interred at Greenwood Cemetery are now available via the Internet. The web site is hosted by William Woods University and the URL is http://greenwood.williamwoods.edu.


Research on the history of Greenwood Cemetery and the African American community it served was conducted by Gary Kremer and Brett Rogers, both members of the history faculty at William Woods University, as part of a grant received from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to the Friends of Greenwood Cemetery Association.


Kremer and Rogers documented the funerary arts represented in the cemetery and prepared an application to place the cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery was placed on the National Register in February of 2004.


Greenwood Cemetery is especially noteworthy for being the first non-sectarian commercial cemetery for African Americans in the St. Louis metropolitan area and it reflects and records the general social development of African American life in St. Louis. It is located at 6571 St. Louis Ave., Hillsdale, Mo.


Erlene Dudley, library director at WWU, states, “The Greenwood Cemetery web site provides not only images that were digitized with grant funds and a history of the cemetery but also includes a database of names of people interred at the cemetery. This database can be searched by first name, last name, or age and is an excellent resource for anyone researching African-American genealogy in St. Louis.”