The City of Austin’s oldest cemetery is located generally southeast of the intersection of IH 35 and Martin Luther King Boulevard (MLK). Access to the cemetery can be gained from East 16th Street on the west side and from midway between MLK and East 14th Street on Comal Street on the east side. Maintenance and burial services are provided by the InterCare Corporation under contract with the City.
The first burial was said to be made in 1839, but the oldest and first-known gravestone dates back to 1842. The cemetery is mostly full; new burials are infrequent. More recent burials occur in the Oakwood Cemetery Annex, which is located directly to the east. Gravestones in the Annex are not included in this listing.
As shown on the maps included with this register, the forty-acre cemetery is subdivided into four sections of approximately equal size. Except for Section 1, the oldest portion of the cemetery, individual lots are arranged in a regular pattern across each section. The lots, 25 feet by 30 feet in size, are individually designated by lot numbers, which were assigned as the cemetery expanded in size. Because of racial customs prevailing in the early days of the cemetery, Negroes and Mexicans were buried in areas separate from the white people. Negro burials generally occurred in a large undivided area designated as “Colored Grounds” which is located in what is now Section 4. Mexican burials generally occurred along the fence lines on the outer boundaries of the cemetery. Paupers were also buried along the fence lines, generally in unmarked graves. Two separate burial grounds for Jewish people have been set aside in the cemetery by Beth Israel. Beth Israel I, the older of the two, is in Section 1; and Beth Israel II, containing the more recent burials, is in Section 4. “The original, and thus oldest, portion of the cemetery is designated as the “Old Grounds.”
This register is the result of an on-the-ground survey of all gravestones in the cemetery by Robert E. Tieman and Kay Dunlap Boyd. This process began as part Austin Genealogical Society’s Cemetery Surveys and it occurred over a period of more than two years ending in the Spring of 2006. The names and dates are recorded exactly as they were spelled on the gravestones. Gravestone locations are directly associated with the section and lot numbers as indicated on the maps. Although this register includes the names on 10,753 gravestones, it is highly probable that more than this number of people have been buried in Oakwood. Unfortunately, many gravestones could not be read because they were severely weathered or damaged. Also, it is known that many of the graves are without gravestones. Persons hunting for a grave not included in this register are advised to research other burial records in the possession of the InterCare Corporation or the Austin History Center.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: THESE RECORDS ARE A PORTION OF A COPYRIGHTED BOOK AUTHORED BY ROBERT E. TIEMAN, AND THEY SHALL NOT BE REPRODUCED, COPIED, OR USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN PERSONAL GENEALOGY. PERMISSION FOR OTHER USES MUST BE OBTAINED FROM ROBERT E. TIEMAN.
To search for a name in this alphabetical register, Windows users should press keys CTRL and F to bring up the search box. Then type in the last name of the person. Macintosh users should press keys APPLE and F to bring up the search box.
Additions or corrections to this register may be forwarded by e-mail to Robert E. Tieman for consideration in later updates.