New York Marble Cemetery

Using a Family Vault

Marble Cemetery vault owners are among the very few people who may still be buried on Manhattan below 86th Street. All that is required is an affidavit of descendancy from a vault owner of record, approved by the Cemetery, and payment of a burial fee to cover the work, all of which must be done carefully by hand. Filing an affidavit in advance does not commit anyone to burial, it just makes things a lot simpler for the family.

Most burials would cost about $5,500, not including any charges by funeral homes handling traditional burial preparations. In addition, there are two empty vaults for sale by the cemetery for potential new owners.

There are a few caveats. Ashes cannot be scattered above ground, since they will not be recorded in the registers as a legitimate burial. Individual memorials, other than temporary flower arrangements, may not be placed on the grounds. The original family plaques help visitors identify the locations of the vaults.

The Cemetery encourages green burials with biodegradable materials such as narrow wood caskets, willow baskets or, better yet, simple containers of ashes. These should allow for space in every vault room for generations to come.

For an explanation of the procedures, detailed fee schedule, and affidavit form, please contact