It was the duty of the church sexton of Bethel AME Church to dig the grave or have someone do it; supervisor the management of the Bethel Burying Ground and maintain the upkeep of the cemetery’s grounds. The sexton was also responsible for the official paperwork that went along with every burial. The law stated that no sexton was permitted to bury a body without a note (see above image) from an attending physician or a family member stating the deceased name, age, date of death and cause of death.
The contents of this note were then entered on a form (See image below) from the Health Department. This form along with the note had to be delivered by the sexton to the Health Department by the Saturday of every week for publication. Often the physician would not have all that information available to him and later the sexton would fill in the missing piece on the official form. Such was the case with the above.