A Brief History of the Smith Family Nauvoo Cemetery
Mormon Historical Studies
Joseph and Hyrum Smith were the first buried in what is now the Smith Family Cemetery. After their bodies were moved to the small cemetery ground outside the Nauvoo Homestead, the remains of other family members were moved near them. Later, Lucy Mack Smith, Emma Smith, and other family members and friends were also buried there. In the 1920s, the cemetery was threatened by the rising waters of the Mississippi River, so several burial sites in danger of being covered by the water were moved. During the excavation, Joseph and Hyrum's remains were discovered next to Emma's burial site. All three were moved to safer ground and reburied. Markers were made for Joseph, Hyrum, and Emma using the flat stone that was previously used to mark Emma's burial site. In the 1990s, the Joseph and Hyrum Smith Family Foundation and the RLDS Church attempted to find the burial sites of Joseph, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. These were found in 2001, with the help of archeaologist T. Michael Smith and a new ground penetrating radar system.