Philadelphia County - United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery



From the History Of Philadelphia, 1609 – 1884, By J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, Volume III, pp. 2075 & 2360. Three volumes published in Philadelphia by L.H. Everts & Co., 1884.


Secret Orders & Societies – p. 2075 -


"The Order of United American Mechanics was founded at meetings held July 8th and July 15, 1845, at Jefferson Temperance Hall, Philadelphia, when an organization, styled the American Mechanics' Union, was formed for the protection and encouragement of workingmen, and the providing of relief funds. On July 22d this society took the name of Experiment Council, No. 1, of the Order of United American Mechanics of the United States. It chartered Enterprise Council, No. 2, Sept. 2, 1845, and Perseverance Council, No. 3, Oct 21, 1845. In November of the same year these three instituted the State Council of Pennsylvania. In 1858 the order completed its fine hall, corner Fourth and George Streets, at a cost of forty-five thousand dollars. It has three hundred and fifty-four councils in the State, including forty-three in
the city."




United Order of American Mechanics

(United Order of American Mechanics poster courtesy Library of Congress

LC - DIG - pga - 04167)




Burying Grounds and Cemeteries - page 2360 -


"The American Mechanics' Cemetery was projected by members of the Order of
United American Mechanics and Daughters of America, who purchased grounds
adjacent the Odd-Fellows' Cemetery, on the northeast side of Islington Lane.
Their rights were confirmed by an act of the Legislature March 20, 1849.”



The United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery was founded in 1848-1849 and situated on approximately 8.50 acres, consisting of 3,250 lots, and originally located at Islington Lane and 22nd Street in North Philadelphia (about 22nd & Diamond Sts.) The cemetery sold lots to Order of American Mechanic members, their family and friends.



American Mechanics Cemetery Entrance

(Entrance to United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery, ca. 1950.

Photographer, J. Sturgis Nagle)




Newspaper Ad Voting to Remove Cemetery

As the area became overpopulated and congested it was no longer suited to the needs of a peaceful eternal resting place, and in November 1950 the Cemetery Association voted to sell the property to the Philadelphia Housing Authority.


The bodies were removed and reinterred at Philadelphia Memorial Park in Frazer, Chester County, which was founded in 1929 as a non-sectarian burial ground. Along with the remains of people from United American Mechanics Cemetery, three other Philadelphia area cemeteries have also moved to Philadelphia Memorial Park; German Lutheran Cemetery, Union Burial Ground and Belvue Cemetery.


Philadelphia Memorial Park became steward of the burial records when the graves were transferred, and the collections include account books, burial listings, correspondence, deeds, lot records, minutes, and receipts. The collection also includes information for Philadelphia Memorial Park. Belvue Cemetery and United American Mechanics Cemetery are the best represented burial grounds of the associated records now housed at the Chester County Historical Society.



The United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery Collection below is organized into three separate record sets; the first is dated 1852 – 1862, and these transcriptions were done by GSP volunteers ca. 2004 then entered into a MS Excel database.


The first set, two files covering 1852 – 1862, is arranged alphabetically and includes the following information:




The second set, “Soldier Burials and Headstone Requests” consists of “Data procured from the Archives of the United States, Washington, D.C. pertaining to soldiers buried in the American Mechanics Cemetery, 22 and Diamond sts., Philadelphia PA – Applications for Government Headstones in American Mechanics Cemetery.”


This second set of records is brief, including 6 pages of soldier’s names, their regiment and the cemetery section in which they were buried. Some include dates of death.



The third set consists of headstone transcriptions of United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery done in 1950 by Mr. Charles R. Barker and Mr. J.E. Sturgis Nagle, both lifetime members of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. Please be sure to read the file titled “…Transcriptions J.S. Nagle – Introduction – Map – Images” as this will explain the motivations and reasons for these transcriptions and photographs.


This set of the United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery collection was organized, indexed and photocopied by GSP volunteers Frances Smith and Trudy Slaven ca. 2000. The first two files are indexes which lead to page numbers within the remaining handwritten files wherein you will find that persons headstone transcription. These indexes are divided by surnames INDEX – ABEL to LAWRENCE, Sam’l and INDEX – LAWRENCE, T. to Z and includes 840 pages of transcriptions.





Map of United American Mechanics and Daughters of America Cemetery - Click HERE



Map of Philadelphia Memorial Park, United American Mechanics Section - Click HERE





This collection is available only to members of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.

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