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Holy Name Cemetery
823 West Side Avenue, between West Side and Tonnelle Avenues

 

Postcard of Holy Name Cemetery Office c1910
Courtesy, Jersey City Free Public Library

Holy Name Cemetery Office
Photo: P. Shalhoub, 2001


Holy Name Cemetery is the Roman Catholic burial ground in Jersey City administered by the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark. The 68-acre cemetery on West Side Avenue is the largest cemetery in Jersey City with approximately 267,000 burial plots and mausoleums. Begun in 1866 for the city's, and later the county's, Catholic residents, it was formerly known as the Hudson County Catholic Cemetery. In its earliest days, the cost of a single plot was only $10.

Prior to the founding of Holy Name, Catholic burials took place at the old St. Peter's Cemetery, founded ca. 1849 on a narrow plot of land west of Tonnelle Avenue (now Truck Routes 1 & 9). This first Catholic Cemetery was too small to serve the needs of Hudson County's large and growing Roman Catholic population, and land on West Side Avenue was donated for the establishment of a new and much larger cemetery. By the twentieth century, access to St. Peter's Cemetery from the busy highway became increasingly difficult and the Archdiocese curtailed burials in 2003. Its records are maintained by Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, NJ.

Holy Name Cemetery is remarkable for its beautiful monuments and artwork. Joseph Verzi of Catholic Cemeteries comments that the array of statuary and elaborately carved stone monuments one observes at the burial site was the creative work of local artisans when it opened. They needed employment "so they made gorgeous statues for the cemetery." Verzi adds, that prior to the Depression, art work came to the cemetery from building construction in New York City: "A lot of the fancy artwork for those buildings ended up being shipped over to the cemetery for memorials and markers, some as high as 10 stories; big crosses and statues came from those buildings. It was the only work the artists had." (Rounds, Jersey CITY Magazine)

Several former Jersey City mayors are buried at Holy Name including Frank Hague, Mark Fagan, John V. Kenny and Thomas F.X. Smith. Other notable burials include those of former state senator Thomas Cowan, NJ Supreme Court Justice Marie Garibaldi, and Congresswoman Mary Teresa Norton.

A section of the cemetery is dedicated to the burial of priests and nuns who had served in the city's Roman Catholic parishes and parochial schools. Veterans from the Civil War and Spanish-American War have been buried there as well.

In 2005, due to a shortage of space, a granite mausoleum with 1,300 crypts was built for new interments. A neoclassical two-story granite mausoleum was added on West Side Avenue in 2010. Among the stained glass windows in the latter are those from the former St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church in Jersey City, founded in the 1860s. Designed in Austria for the church's German congregation and completed in 1896, the windows offer a historic feature from the community to the contemporary memorial facility.

Other Jersey City cemeteries on web site: Speer Burial Ground/DeMott Burial Ground, Jersey City/Harsimus Cemetery, Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery, and Old Bergen Church Cemetery.

Last Modified: June 29, 2017  

Reference:

Egan, Colin. "The Hudson Underground." Hudson County Magazine Fall 1991:37-40.

Rounds, Kate. "Who Said You Can't Take It With You?" Jersey CITY Magazine. Fall/Winter 2016/17:70-71
Zinsli, Christopher. "The History and Diversity of Jersey City's Cemeteries." Jersey CITY Magazine. Fall & Winter 2004/2005.

By: Carmela Karnoutsos
Project Administrator: Patrick Shalhoub