Cemeteries that have been Moved – Part 3 of 3

Tombstone being moved out of St. Patrick’s Cem.

This is the last of the reports on cemeteries of Monroe County that have been moved. These are all Catholic cemeteries formerly in Rochester. When Holy Sepulchre Cemetery was started in 1871 the Rochester Diocese asked that these cemeteries no longer accept new burials except for families that already owned plots in the cemeteries. Thus some of these cemeteries were moving old graves to Holy Sepulchre at the same time they were adding burials to the old cemeteries.

  • St. Patrick’s Cemetery. The church was founded in 1822 and they had a small graveyard next to the church. Then in 1827 they asked the City of Rochester for 60 plots in West Cemetery and they used that until 1838 when they bought 21 acres on the corner of Field and South Clinton Streets. The cemetery went all the way up to the top of Pinnacle Hill. In 1935 the remaining 4769 burials were moved to Holy Sepulchre Cem.
  • St. Joseph’s Cemetery. The church first had a small cemetery that opened in 1840 on Lyell Avenue at Mt. Read Blvd. This quickly filled and in 1843 another cemetery was started where Goodman Street crosses East Main Street. The property was desired by the railroad and the burials were moved to Holy Sepulchre in 1872. Not sure when the burials on Lyell Ave. were moved.
  • Ss. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery was located near 732 Maple Street. The cemetery was closed by the City of Rochester in 1876 for reasons of health. Approximately 1300 to 1500 burials were moved to Holy Sepulchre in 1898.
  • St. Boniface Cemetery was located near the southwest corner of South Clinton and Highland Parkway. The cemetery was used from 1866 to 1917. The burials were moved to Holy Sepulchre in 1957.
  • Holy Family Cemetery was located at 1117 Maple Street. It was used from about 1866 until at least 1915. Approx. 1400 burials moved to Holy Sepulchre in 1955 with only about 118 being identified.


  1. Thanks for the series on the old cemeteries. I wonder what happened to the tombstones for St. Boniface Cemetery when the burials were moved to Holy Sepulchre in 1957. I recall reading somewhere that they were stacked at the location of the old cemetery for a time.

    • I think they did the same thing for all the old Catholic cemeteries. They would let family members claim them. The tombstones that no one claimed went to the City dump.

  2. Thanks for the story. My Hanggi relatives were buried in St. Joseph’s in 1848 and 1863 but I couldn’t find them. Thank you for leading me to Holy Sepulchre. They are not listed by name, but it led me to search within the plots of each of their children at Holy Sepulchre and I did find 2 unknown people buried (without death or burial dates) with 2 of the married daughters in Section 11. Since I can’t find anyone with similar names in with the other children’s plots in Holy Sepulchre, I am going to take a leap of faith that these are my 4x great grandparents graves.

  3. When Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery was closed and the burials moved to Holy Sepulchre, were there written records identifying the remains being moved? If so, are they accessible?

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