Do you have African American ancestors from Saint Augustine, Florida or the surrounding areas?
Or do you know someone who does?
Do you live in St. Augustine and have ancestors buried at the Pinehurst and San Sebastian Cemeteries?
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WAIA - the West Augustine Improvement Association - has taken over ownership of two of the oldest African American cemeteries in Florida, and we are now searching far and wide for relatives of the many souls in these cemeteries, as we're trying to bring dignity back and honor those buried there - before their names are lost forever.
We are a small non-profit community organization on St. Augustine's west side - one of the last remaining African American communities in the oldest city in the nation.
The Pinehurst and San Sebastian Cemeteries were the main cemeteries for the African American population in St. Augustine, mainly Lincolnville (over town), which is now mostly gentrified, and West Augustine (New Augustine), which is under threat from development and gentrification.
While unmarked graves make it difficult to determine how old these cemeteries are, the oldest known grave dates back to 1879. Many of the people buried here were born into slavery before being freed in the mid 1860s, but there are also graves from the 1990s in danger of losing their markers.
Check out the press tab to learn more about what we have accomplished since taking over the cemeteries.
Reach out via messenger on FB or IG, or email westaugimprovementassoc(at)gmail(dot)com to let us know about your ancestors, or to be put on the email newsletter list.
Thank you for helping us spread the word, as we gear up to launch a campaign that will make a significant impact on the black cemeteries in the oldest city in the nation.