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Lot and Plat Books, 1870 - 1936


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The College Burial Ground and Holy Rood Collection is comprised of records of two cemeteries used by Holy Trinity Catholic Church (Washington, D.C.) that are on real estate owned by Georgetown University. In 1817, the parish established the College Burial Ground (also known as "The Old Parish Cemetery") for burials of church members. The site was on a slope next to the what was then the western wall of Georgetown Visitation Convent. In 1832, Georgetown College purchased land in Georgetown Heights (now overlooking the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and 35th Street, N.W.) to establish a new burial ground, Holy Rood Cemetery (originally named the "Upper Burial Ground" or "Upper Graveyard"); it was first used for burials in 1833. In each of these cemeteries, there were separate sections for lot owners who paid the full fee for the lot and poor people who could not afford them. Each of these sections was segregated by race. Even after the establishment of Holy Rood Cemetery, the College Burial Ground remained in use until 1900, although burials at that site were infrequent by the 1850s and rare after the Civil War. In 1953, Georgetown University removed the graves at the College Burial Ground and transferred them to Mount Olivet Cemetery. In 2019, Holy Trinity Church had erected a columbarium at Holy Rood Cemetery.

The records of these cemeteries are intermingled because of the custodial relationship between Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Georgetown University. The bulk of the records document the ownership of lots and graves by the white and Black members of Holy Trinity Church at Holy Rood Cemetery. Nevertheless, there are some important records of lot ownership and the distribution of "poor lots" for the College Burial Ground between 1817 and 1840 and the disinternment of graves in 1953. For comprehensive research of these cemeteries, researchers will also need to consult the Sacramental Registers that are part of the Holy Trinity Church Archives.

Records include correspondence, land deeds, and other records organized by subject; financial records and account books that document payments by lot owners and expenses for burials and cemetery maintenance of the College Burial Ground and Holy Rood Cemetery; internments records providing information on the people buried in individual graves in the Holy Rood Cemetery; lot books that list the people buried in each lot of Holy Rood Cemetery; plat books and maps that show the layout of Holy Rood Cemetery; and indices to the records of Holy Rood.

Materials Related to Slavery From the Collection:

The records within this collection document the Black community of Georgetown (free and enslaved) from 1817 through the 1960s, including references to individuals enslaved or employed by Georgetown College.


  • 1870 - 1936


From the Collection: 10 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Archives Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057