W.P.A. Tombstone Registration Project
Story County, Iowa


Search Story Co. W.P.A. Tombstone Records

The Graves Registration Project of the Work Program Administration (W.P.A.) was performed in the late 1930's and early 1940's. It is not known precisely when this work was performed in Story County. There are some dates of deaths in the late 30's, however most are much earlier. This project supposedly read the markers in the cemeteries, however many records do not include the cemetery names. I do not know if this is because of disorganization in keeping the transcriptions, or if some of the data was taken form other sources, such as death registers.

As with any transcription errors may have been introduced. In the case, the original transcription could have contained errors, the typing of that information into an alphabetized list added errors, and certainly the transcription of that list into the form presented here may have introduced errors. The list of cemeteries certainly had errors. For example the Colo cemetery was incorrectly listed as the Colorado cemetery throughout the listing. This probably happened when the list was compiled from the original transcriptions by somebody accustomed to the old state abbreviation of Colorado as “Colo.” but unfamiliar with Story County.

The surnames starting with letters “A” through “D” sometimes had the age at death, and for the Nevada cemetery often had the actual plot location. It is unlikely this information was only collected for those names, therefore it is assumed that when the data was originally compiled into a typed list it was decided to stop adding the additional information starting with surnames beginning with “E”.

The W.P.A. tombstone registration data is comprised of:

  • Name. I have separated the surname from the given names so the surname can be used for searching. In some instances, the given name of a female contains a possible maiden name (such as, Jennie Blackman Allen). In these instances, I have indexed those names and show them in the search results along with the results for the actual surname.
  • Date of Birth I have reformatted the date into the dd mmm yyyy format. This date was not always available.
  • Date of Death I have reformatted the date into the dd mmm yyyy format. This date was not always available.
  • Age. This is the age at death. Usually when the age was given either the birth or death date was missing.
  • Cemetery Name
  • Other Information. Included here is any other information included in the W.P.A. record. On occasion a transcriber's comment will be included here in italics.

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