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  1. My grandfather, Evelyn Laws, and my father, Claude Laws, left Farmington in the early years of the 20th century and moved to St Louis where I was born in 1934. Neither my father or grandfather ever gave me much information on the family in Farmington. Only recently have I discovered the existence of the Laws Cemetery where 13 of my relatives are buried.

    I am planning to go to St Louis in June 2011. I would very much like to drive down to Famington and visit the Laws Cemetery. I understand that this now lies upon private property. Can you tell me how I can gain legal access to the cemetery?

    Your assistance will be appreciated.

  2. Author

    Hello – well, from what I understand about Missouri law, you can’t really be denied access to a cemetery as long as you’re going there for a valid reason (ie research or visiting family). However, getting across that private property can pose a problem. Last time I read the law, so barring any possible changes they might have made in the last several years, the sheriff is supposed to allow you access if the people owning the surrounding property try to deny it. Unfortunately, I don’t really know for sure how to make all of this happen.

    I think if I were you, I would start with calling the courthouse and finding out who owns the property. I am not positive of the exact location of this cemetery but I would think they should have it on record and be able to find it and can tell you who owns the surrounding property. I would then try to contact that person and if they are not cooperative, I would again call the courthouse and see if you can find out the exact law. If it is still the same, then I would talk to the sheriff’s department and see what they are willing to do for you. The cemetery is in Ste. Genevieve County, so you should call that court house which is, I believe: (573) 883-5589. If not, they should be able to direct you to the proper department, I THINK it is the recorder’s office to start, but I’m not positive.
    Best of luck!!

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