Established in 1854, The Woodland Cemetery provides a final resting place for all denominations.
Woodland Cemetery is located at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Highland Avenue, and is one of the oldest cemeteries on Staten Island.
The Cemetery was originally established in 1854 through a grant of land comprising six acres by John King Vanderbilt (a first cousin of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt) and his wife, Amy, to the German Mission Church of the Episcopal Church, operating out of St. John’s Parish, Clifton. In May 1869, a group of Staten Island residents, interested in establishing a cemetery, met at the public house of Frederick Gieser (later known as Credos Hotel) on Bay Street in Stapleton. These residents organized themselves as the “Woodland Cemetery Association.” In October 1870, the Association obtained all of the property previously set aside as a cemetery from the German Mission Church and, a few years later, additional property was obtained, bringing the Cemetery to its current size of about ten acres.
You can view the original of these documents below (Links will open in new tab).
Current Cemetery Status
Woodland Cemetery continues to operate to the present day, serving the needs of Staten Island residents as a final resting place. Like many small privately-held cemeteries on Staten Island, The Cemetery has in recent years come upon difficult times as population has changed, original plot holders have either died leaving no heirs or moved away, and Cemetery property has endured less than sufficient care. Unlike other cemeteries, however, Woodland has not been officially declared “abandoned”, but has remained “active” by having a few burials each year.
For the last 10 years, the Trustees of Woodland Cemetery have been working with the Division of Cemeteries to create a restoration plan and revive this historic Cemetery. In 2019, new officers were elected. The Cemetery’s president, vice-president and treasurer formed an Executive Committee, which oversees the day-to-day operations of the Cemetery, as well as restoration efforts.
There is something unique about the Woodland Cemetery Board. Each of the members comes from different walks of life, with different life experiences and talents. Further, it has been the mission of the Board of Woodland Cemetery to serve pro bono — meaning, no one is paid. The Trustees and officers serve without compensation, offering their time and effort on a strictly volunteer basis. The Cemetery holds a special place in the hearts of the Trustees, for it is the final resting place for their ancestors.
Restoration and cleanup are underway. 90′ of fence has been installed along Highland Avenue. New signs have been ordered and will be installed by the end of October. Our landscaper and his crew did an amazing job mowing and weed-whacking in the back of the Cemetery.
The Board looks forward to working with the public to bring Woodland back to life.
A Note About Our Records...
The Woodland Cemetery’s burial records are handwritten and have been maintained in manuscript-type old ledgers for over 150 years! The older burial records are handwritten in old German text.
Transcription of the burial records into a computerized database was recently completed, thanks to the efforts of several volunteers. It was a painstaking task — thousands of records needed to be entered, organized and sorted.
What information is available?
Depending on the year of burial, at a minimum, the burial record may contain the first and last name of the deceased, the date of burial, and the grave’s location. In later years, other information, such as the age of the deceased, the undertaker’s name and the price paid for the plot and/or burial are included.
Many people are disappointed to find out that the records don’t contain a lot of information. The fact is, Woodland is a very large, public cemetery, and the only information kept by the Cemetery is the information required to be kept by law.
To have your loved ones included in this list, please email us their Name, Rank, Branch of Service, Dates served, Lot #, and any comments (please limit to 20 words or less).