Old Mission Catholic Church Cemetery
San Luis Obispo County California

Introduction and Brief History

Old Mission Catholic Cemetery is located at 9 South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, California This cemetery is on the east side of Higuera Street and is sometimes confused with the I.O.O.F. - Lady Family - Sutcliffe Lawn Cemetery [Currently called the San Luis Cemetery] on the west side of Higuera Street.

This is the third cemetery location used by the Mission. The first was located inside the Mission quadrangle. The second location, after 1860, fronted on Higuera Street. Both Carmel and Pacific Streets dead-ended at the cemetery on the opposite side.

On July 1, 1877, a law was passed by the City Council prohibiting burials within the city limits. After several extensions were granted, the present cemetery opened December 1, 1877. Some tombstones indicate earlier burials. These were probably moved from the two prior locations.

There were two news articles printed in the Daily Republic in October of 1888 [October 16 - October 22, 1888] with regard to the removal of bodies: "Work was commenced last Tuesday on the removal of all bodies from the old Catholic Cemetery. The work will be pushed forward until all the bodies are removed to the other cemeteries." [Page 86]


"The old Catholic cemetery will be cleaned out today and the old settlers will probably be disturbed no more until Gabriel toots his horn on the morning of the final round-up." [Page 88]

 In April of 1990, Members and Friends of the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society extracted full names, dates of birth and death, secondary comments, i.e. family relationships, war veteran data, photos, age, and other pertinent information as noted on the tombstone. Each section, including both mausoleums, was extracted according to the map sections.

This cemetery is under the direction of the Monterey Diocese - Monterey, California.

>>>Thank-You <<<

To the volunteers who spent the week of April 23, 1990 in the rain and hot sun copying 3,130 tombstone inscriptions. Their help is greatly appreciated.
 Sylvia Anderson, Chairperson
Chris Bashaw, Friend of the Society
Doreen Case, Society Member & L.D.S. Member
Judy Chambers, Society Member
Kodi Coyote, Friend of Society, Halcyonite
Joan Hayes, Society Member
Caroline McGinnis, Friend of the Society
Robert McIntyre, Friend of Society, L.D.S. Member, Ray Miklas, Society Member Lyn Pfost, Society Member Roselma Quinn, Friend of Society, Halcyonite

. . .To the SLOCGS Computer Interest Group and the input of:
Maxine Bickham,  Patrcia Glau,  Cheryl Hoffman,  Ray Miklas and Shirley Smith.

. . .And a special thanks to Cheryl and Gil Hoffman for setting up the computer program and coordinating this monumental task.

 The Old Mission Cemetery was photographed in June and July of 2008.

 My Thanks to the following for their work in photographing this Cemetery: Shanda Gibbs, Betty McElhill, Rich & Teri Miller, Kitty Mynat, Tim Tryon, and Pam Meeds Williams. Also to Jill Beeson-Gomez for her work on the database. 

There are 4071 recorded interments, along with many unknowns.

A "Basic Database" can be found here, in fully searchable pdf format, it contains the following information: Name, Date of Birth, Date of Death and a notation as to whether a Headstone was found.

 A Map of the Cemetery can be found Here.

Headstone Images are available as an attachment to an email.

 Additional Transcribers Notes are available - Please Contact SLOCGS

All of the photos and databases that are contained on this site and in linked directories are watermarked and are the property of SLOCGS [San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society, POB 4, Atascadero,  San Luis Obispo, California]. The headstone photos may be used for personal genealogical purposes and none other. They are put online as a service to the Genealogical & Historical Community.

Site Updated: 31 October 2015

This Site belongs to the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society