THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - When Thomasville city officials brought cadaver dogs into their historic cemeteries earlier this year, they weren't sure what they would find. "Now that we have the ground penetrating radar, we're able to find people buried there who have long since been forgotten. Families have gone on. Generations have moved on. They've passed on and it's as if that person's been forgotten," said Omega Mapping Services Owner Len Strozier.
It did not take long for the city to realize they had multiple unmarked graves so they brought in Omega Mapping Services. "We're looking to determine where the unmarked graves are so we can accurately get a map and record this area for peoples who are interested in genealogy, but certainly for the city of Thomasville from a historical perspective," said Senior Assistant City Manager Kha McDonald.
Over the last two weeks more than 800 unmarked graves were discovered in the Old and Flipper Cemeteries. "Not only are we drawing renderings of what we see on the surface, but we're in the process of doing a ground penetrating radar scan," said Strozier.
Strozier says some of the unmarked graves discovered at the Old Cemetery in Thomasville date back to as early as the mid to late 1700's.
City officials say these discoveries are great for both locals and potential visitors. "You can see names, familiar names out here that you'll see on streets and on historic houses so it gives you a very good indication of where our history began and where our founding fathers are currently resting," said McDonald.
Strozier says he's working on matching a name to each grave and plans to put together a complete roster of his findings.
Omega Mapping Services has located 267 unmarked graves in the Old Cemetery and 554 in the Flipper Cemetery, which still has 25 percent of it's grounds to be surveyed.