All physical records of the cemetery are on loan by the retired owner of the cemetery to a trusted friend (of hers and ours) who is working with us over time to preserve and transcribe the records which are stored in a commercial fire safe. We do not have direct access to these paper records, nor are they readily available to research due to off-site storage and ongoing transcription work by the volunteer with limited time. (Note: as of September 2016 we are in discussions regarding the permanent disposition of the paper records when the deed transcription is complete.) Below are more details of what we have and expect to have soon.
Computerized burial records, transcribed from the death certificates filed with the cemetery, and supplemented from hand-written ledgers, from 1926 (date of a fire in the cemetery office) and 1994 (when records were no longer kept). These are being refined and updated continuously and will soon be placed on this website.
The burial records for 1926-1994 are estimated to be 95% accurate, accounting for transcription of handwritten records and original recording errors and omissions.
There are an estimated 10,000 people buried in Hillcrest, of which we have approximately 8,000 names.
The grave purchase records (deeds) have not been fully transcribed, but when complete, this list will be made available on this site. We also have a sort of ledger book that shows owner surnames and spaces used in a visual format for some sections. We hope to add photos of these pages online soon.
We have old plat maps to help with locating graves from the records. Some areas are not clearly mapped, but searching nearby graves can usually help us find marked graves or pinpoint graves without markers with some accuracy. Copies of these maps and new illustrations incorporating aerial imagery are being added to this site as time allows.
Hillcrest is still an active cemetery, with about 20 burials a year. Please contact us if you have had a family burial since 1994, so that we may add them to the records. Likewise, if you have accurate records for burials prior to 1926 or for surnames not in the list below, please help us by sending the information along.
We hope to update our records with an on-site transcription one day, but have only begun this process in the oldest area, section 1.
Key terms: Section: One of 10 main divisions of the entire cemetery Block: The first subdivision of a section—usually a long, narrow strip (not applicable in some areas) Lot: The breakdown of blocks into smaller areas—usually 4 or 6 graves, but varies. Space: The subdivision of a lot designed for one adult burial. Sometimes these are split into East 1/2 and West 1/2 for two infant or child graves. In almost all cases, spaces in Hillcrest lots are numbered from 1 at the adjacent walkway.
Historical Society: A copy of the basic information in our records (name, year of death, burial location) is now available for viewing at the East Point Historical Society, located near the cemetery. They also have maps and some basic knowledge of how to read them. For information on visiting them, please visit their Facebook page. (We hope to send them more materials soon!)
findagrave.com: Finally, some volunteers placed the bulk of our existing records online at findagrave.com in 2010. They were working off an old print out of our records that did not include some corrections, but it is fairly accurate still as we didn't edit all that many entries. At this point we do not expect to have search functionality on this website, so perhaps a future project with some volunteers will be to update the work of these volunteers and eventually let findagrave.com become the ultimate source of information for the burials of Hillcrest.