The Maine Old Cemetery Association was founded in 1968 through the effort of Dr. Hilda M. Fife of Kittery, Maine, and several of her friends. Dr Fife's interest in caring for Maine's long neglected cemeteries evolved from her concern for a small cemetery near her house. She and her friends determined that the many small graveyards throughout the State must be protected from neglect and vandalism.
Dr. Fife died in 1990, but the organization she founded continues. And, in fact, MOCA flourishes - it has more than 600 members from forty-odd states and several Canadian provinces. Three meetings are held each year in various parts of the State where the public is invited to hear speakers, tour local cemeteries, and learn about MOCA's activities. In addition, MOCA sends a quarterly newsletter to its members and friends that provides solid information: reports of specific concerns and current legislation; instructions on care and restoration of gravestones; and updates from individuals and organizations who share in similar endeavors. MOCA awards certificates to acknowledge the work of individuals or groups who are working to preserve Maine's old cemeteries.
The result of MOCA's work to preserve and care for Maine's neglected cemeteries provides invaluable information to families in search of their roots. To the ardent genealogist, the transcriptions taken from the gravestones and entered into database are gems. MOCA holds extensive records, some of which have been published.