Cemeteries of Illinois

A Field Guide to Markers, Monuments, and Motifs
Author: Hal Hassen and Dawn Cobb
A first-of-its-kind illustrated guide
Paper – $19.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 06/19/2017
Cloth: 06/19/2017
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About the Book

Illinois is home to cemeteries and burial grounds dating back to the Native American era. Whether sprawling over thousands of acres or dotting remote woodlands, these treasure troves of local and state history reflect two centuries of social, economic, and technological change.

This easy-to-use guidebook invites amateur genealogists, historians, and cemetery buffs to decipher the symbols and uncover the fascinating past awaiting them in Illinois’s resting places. Hal Hassen and Dawn Cobb have combined almost three hundred photographs with expert detail to showcase how cemeteries and burial grounds can teach us about archaeology, folklore, art, geology, and social behavior. Features include:

  • the ways different materials used as gravestones and markers reflect historical trends;
  • how to understand the changes in the use of iconographic images;
  • the story behind architectural features like fencing, roads, and gates;
  • what enthusiasts can do to preserve local cemeteries for future generations.

Captivating and informed, Cemeteries of Illinois is the only guide you need to unlock the mysteries of our state’s final resting places.

About the Author

Hal Hassen is an archaeologist. He directed the Cultural Resource Management Program for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from 1990 to 2015. He is coauthor, along with Dawn Cobb, of the Illinois Historic Cemetery Preservation Handbook. Dawn Cobb is a bio-anthropologist. She has been the director of the Cultural Resource Management Program for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources since 2016 and is a Research Associate at the Illinois State Museum.


"An essential guide to Illinois' cemeteries."--News-Gazette

"A valuable addition to any genealogist's library."--Danville Commercial News

"Hassen and Cobb have done a great job of introducing readers to the state's cemeteries. This book should be required reading for anyone with an interest in or planning to visit Illinois' cemeteries." --AGS Quarterly

"The volume is a fascinating read, and the hundreds of photographs makes this a rich resource and ready reference." --Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society


“Aimed at people who may want to learn just what all those burial grounds are about. The fact that it is directed at a single state is what makes it unique. A good read, and the photos especially are a delight.”--Ian W. Brown, University of Alabama