Chapter 711 of the Texas Health and Safety Code defines a “cemetery” as “a place that is used or intended to be used for interment, and includes a graveyard, burial park, mausoleum, or any other area containing one or more graves.” Did you know that this same chapter requires anyone who finds an unknown or abandoned cemetery to file a notice with the county clerk’s office within 10 days of discovery?
Section 711.011 requires that the notice include a legal description of the land where the cemetery was found, along with the approximate location and evidence of the cemetery discovered.
This law also requires the county clerk’s office to record the notice within the deed records of the county and to send a copy to the Texas Historical Commission (THC).
One of the THC’s rules (13 Tex. Admin. Code §22.6) gives the Commission the authority to preserve cemeteries through the Historic Texas Cemetery designation. Preservation is done by recording boundaries in the county deed record.
The “Notice of Existence of Cemetery” form may be found on the THC web site. You will also find a link to the cemetery coordinator and contact information for the THC’s regional archeologists if you would like more information.
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The mission of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying is to protect the residents of Texas by regulating, licensing and renewing the licenses of only competent surveyors; surveyors able to provide accurate surveys which will result in the orderly use of our physical environment.
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