(Please Note: The following section on Yolo County cemeteries was researched, photographed, and contributed by Peggy B. Perazzo.)
Yolo County has many cemeteries within its
boundaries. Some of these still exist, and some may be lost
forever. According to records I have found, there are no existing
cemeteries in Clarksburg, Dunnigan, Madison, West Sacramento,
or Zamora. On this page I would like to present to you as many
cemeteries and old grave yards as I can locate in Yolo County.
Below you will find two lists of Yolo County
Cemeteries. The first list is of cemeteries that are in existence
today. Clicking on the cemetery name will take you to information
about the history, location, and hours that each cemetery is
open to the public (if known) and the records held in the Yolo
County Archives (as of July 1999) and other repositories. The
next list is of those cemeteries that we have some, or very
little, knowledge of from the past. In most cases, there is
nothing left of these cemeteries. Many of these old cemetery
locations are on private land, so please obtain permission before
attempting to access these old cemetery sites.
To access lists of those buried in the cemeteries, you can
contact the cemeteries to see if they have the lists. Another
good source to check is the Yolo County
Archives, as they have several cemetery burial lists in
the archives and offer research assistance by their volunteers.
Sometimes people were not buried in their own county of residence,
but were buried in adjacent counties. For that reason you will
find a listing of links below the Yolo County cemetery lists
with information on cemeteries in counties adjacent to Yolo
Yolo County Cemeteries - Online Resources:
Stones & Monuments,” a section of
the Stone Quarries & Beyond web site (cemetery monuments,
mausoleums, and accessories), including a section on: “From
Quarry to Cemetery Monuments,” which presents
the progression in pictures of the stone from the quarry to
the old monuments found in California cemeteries.
Below are some web sites that include Yolo County cemetery
transcriptions, photographs, and lookup offers. Peggy
Historical California Stone Carvers, Stone Cutters, & Monument
Dealers on Stone
Quarries and Beyond. (Includes photographs of some cemetery
stones in Yolo County. Use the alphabetical list to find
local Yolo County carvers and companies.)
Find-a-Grave - Yolo County
Political Graveyard - Yolo County
Random Acts of
Genealogical Kindness (cemetery lookups)
County California Cemeteries Project
Yolo County Transcriptions on internment.net
Tombstone Transcription Project - Yolo County
Cemetery Stone Carvers and Monument Companies Represented
in Yolo County Cemeteries:
Another element you will find about the history
of each cemetery, when it is known, is information on the stone
carvers or monument companies who signed some of the marble
stones in the cemeteries during the last half of the 1800s and
early 1900s. I am researching these carvers, so I have added
this information to that of the cemetery histories.
You will find further information on Yolo
County stone carvers and companies on the following web site:
Historical California Stone Carvers, Stone Cutters, & Monument
Dealers on Stone
Quarries and Beyond. (Includes photographs of some
cemetery stones in Yolo County. Use the alphabetical list
to find local Yolo County carvers and companies, although
other carvers and companies signed cemetery stones located
in Yolo County cemeteries.)
You might also be interested in reading
the the following brochures about stone carvers and stone
quarries (PDF): (1) Some
Stone Carvers & Monument
Companies that Produced the Yolo County Cemetery Stones in
the late 1800s-early 1900s, by Peggy B. Perazzo, & (2)
Stone Quarries, by Peggy
B. Perazzo. These
brochures were used in a display for David Wilkinson’s “Stones
of Woodland” tour
during the annual Stroll
Through History in September in
Woodland, Yolo County, California.
If you wish more information on these stone carvers or monument
companies, please feel free to contact me. Also, if you have
information on these carvers and companies, please contact Peggy B. Perazzo.
YOLO COUNTY CEMETERIES OF THE PRESENT:
YOLO COUNTY CEMETERIES OF THE PAST:
CEMETERY LISTINGS IN COUNTIES ADJACENT TO YOLO COUNTY:
The following sources can be found either at the Yolo County
Archives or the Yolo County Library in Woodland. Some of these
books are available at the Yolo
County Historical Society.
|Capay Valley - The Land - The People, 1846 - 1900,
By Ada Merhoff, printed by Roger C. Frank, Woodland, CA,
|Cemeteries in Yolo County,
A paper prepared by Shipley Walters, October 1989, Yolo
|Davisville '68: The History and Heritage of The
City of Davis, Yolo County, California,
Compiled By Joann Leach Larkey, Research Chairman, Davis
Historical Landmarks Commission, Davis, California 1989.
|Knight's Landing - The River, the Land, and the
by Shipley Walters with Tom Anderson, Yolo County Historical
Society, Woodland, California, 1992.
|Reflections of Woodland and Yolo County,
The Democrat, Woodland, CA, 1995.
|Woodland - City of Trees - A History,
By Shipley Walters, Yolo County Historical Society, 1995.
|Yolo County Historical Resources Survey,
|Yolo County: Land of Changing Patterns
By Joann I. Larkey and Shipley Walters, Windsor Publications,
Yolo County Archives Cemetery Folders:
| Davis Cemetery
Woodland's Jewish Cemetery
St. Louis Family Cemetery
| Woodland Cemetery
Yolo Cemetery/Knight Ranch
St. Joseph's Cemetery
Mary's Chapel and Cemetery
Yolo County Cemeteries of the Present
The Capay Cemetery is located in the Capay Valley in the northwestern
corner of Yolo County along the south bank of the slough running
through Lamb Valley on County Road 22 near Road 85B one and
one-half miles west of Esparto, California.
Address inquiries to: Capay Cemetery District, 24727 County
Road 22, Esparto, CA 95627
The Capay Cemetery was established by the Order of Odd Fellows
in 1876. The cemetery started with six acres of land. In 1924
the Capay Lodge No. 230 IOOF sold the cemetery property to the
Capay Cemetery District.
The Yolo County Archive folder contains: plot map with some
names but no dates and papers relating to the establishment
of the cemetery.
Mark Riley of Capay, California, wrote a very interesting,
informative article on the Capay Cemetery and other local cemeteries
in an entitled, "History
of the Capay Cemetery District, with a Note on the Older Cemeteries
of Capay Valley," which is located on the Capay
Valley Community Web Site. The article includes photographs
of some of the cemeteries.
Capay Cemetery Transcription: Fred Kemmerle has transcribed the names in the Capay Cemetery. You will find his transcription on the Interment.net Cemetery Transcription Library web site.
(The following photographs were taken by Peggy B. Perazzo, used with permission )
Description of Capay Cemetery:
I made a visit to the Capay Cemetery in July,
1999, very early in the morning. The Capay Cemetery is a jewel
of a cemetery. The cemetery presently covers about 13 acres.
Many people refer to the Capay Cemetery as the “Esparto
Cemetery.” This is probably as it lies close to Esparto,
which does not have its own cemetery. The Capay Cemetery is
a part of the Cache Creek Cemetery District, which also includes
Capay Valley, Lamb Valley, Hungry Hollow, and Esparto areas.
The appearance of the Capay Cemetery is unique
among the cemeteries I have visited. It is shaped in a long,
narrow rectangle divided into many various-sized rectangles
interspersed with roads. Although located along the winding
country Road 22, for the most part of that length you cannot
see the road from the cemetery, which helps create the atmosphere
of privacy. The cemetery land rises gently uphill from the entrance
to the back of the cemetery. The back of the cemetery is against
bushes and dry hills, and the other side of the cemetery has
fields nearby, although the trees and bushes block the view
of them. The cemetery is not covered in grass, although it is
covered with a type of ground cover and appears green in many
spots. People have planted trees and bushes near their relatives'
graves adding to the beauty and color. The trees in the cemetery
include oak, myrtle, pine, silk (or mimosa); and the bushes
include toyon, redbud, juniper, roses, manzanita, and several
shades of tall oleander bushes of white, pink, and dark pink.
There were other trees and bushes I was not able to identify.
This area in Capay Valley is known for its
excellent bird watching.
During my time in the cemetery, I saw many different varieties
of birds including a vulture sitting on a fence post at the
back of the cemetery high up on the hill. The vulture sat on
the post holding his large, outspread wings to the sun. The
caretaker told me they do that frequently in the early morning.
I also saw a colorful peacock that lives there and a rabbit
running around the cemetery that is also a usual inhabitant.
He also told me you can see wild turkeys about the cemetery
at times. Unfortunately, western Yolo County is known to have
many rattlesnakes, so be cautious.
The caretaker mentioned they had experienced vandalism over
the years, and unfortunately, this continues. He said at one
time all of the stones had been pushed over and some were broken,
but a local group helped to repair and place them upright again.
The oldest stone in the cemetery belongs to
Silvanus Arnold, who died in 1867. Of the many old cemetery
monuments, there were several marble cemetery stones from the
last half of the 1800s and early 1900s that were signed by the
stone carvers and companies who created them. These signed stones
came from Woodland and Sacramento. (You will find a list
of these carvers below.) There were also several interesting
old monuments made of sandstone and some of metal. Amongst the
old cemetery stones, there are also some unique modern graves.
Also, amongst the graves are many colorful flowers and twirly
things of many colors moving in the breeze.
After about an hour after I arrived, a beautiful breeze started
coming up from the entrance of the cemetery where the cemetery
monument sits. The monument states:
These grounds hold the graves of pioneer
settlers in the Capay Valley and Lamb Valley and those
of Esparto's early families. Established in 1876 by the
Trustees of Capay Lodge No. 230 Independent Order of Odd
Fellows. It was the first public cemetery serving Capay
In 1893, the cemetery grew when Bill
and Doc Duncan sold five acres to the trustees, enlarging
the original six-acre site purchased from Jessie Aldrich
and B.F. Cross. In 1894, two and two-thirds acres of Maria
Hoppin land rounded out the cemetery.
Placed by the Capay Cemetery District Board of Trustees
and the Yolo County Historical Society.
Stone Carvers & Company Names Found on Signed Marble
Cemetery Stones in the Capay Cemetery:
| H.P. Martin, Woodland
Shafer & Barnes, Woodland
| U.G. Rogers, Woodland
Wm. Boyne & Co., Sacramento