Date of Award

May 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Patricia B Richards

Committee Members

Dawn Scher Thomae, Jean Hudson


archaeology, cemetery, comparison, historic, liberty, wisconsin


This thesis is an historic archaeological comparison of the two cemeteries that comprise today’s Liberty Cemetery in Kenosha County, Wisconsin: the Old Cemetery (1844-1883) and the New (1885-1924). Salem, Wisconsin’s first settlers arrived in the 1830s, and shortly thereafter some began burying their dead at a place called Liberty Corners. The burial grounds continued to grow, and within a few years, the church across the street began overseeing it. The church transferred the graveyard to a private organization in 1884, and that group mixed a new cemetery—called Liberty Cemetery—into the same grounds as the old one. This thesis compares these cemetery groups and assesses differences between them with the ultimate objective of understanding the source population’s economic standing, religious and familial affiliations, and worldview. Both historic and archaeological evidence are utilized: primary, secondary, and tertiary documentation comprise the historic evidence, and gravemarkers provide archaeological data. Gravemarkers were subject to frequency seriation. Conclusions in this study were drawn using the results from frequency seriation and historic documentation analysis, and they found that gravemarker form and iconography may have been impacted by the source population’s familial affiliations and ideology, but marker material type was not influenced by economic status.