While construction of the first church was underway, thought was given to laying out a cemetery on the land surrounding the church structure. Both projects were completed at about the same time, so that when the Bishop John Hughes came to dedicate the church on August 31, 1845, the feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus, he also consecrated the adjacent burial ground. Both the parish and its cemetery were named for the saint of the day. In 1847 the cemetery was enlarged, but within 30 years already was almost full.
Fr. Michael McAvoy, who became pastor in 1875, found it necessary to purchase yet more property for the cemetery. Since no more land was available next to the existing parish grounds, he bought a tract of land called Underhill Farm, abut two miles from the church, on what is now East Tremont Avenuefter it had been laid out, the new burying ground was blessed and opened for use in 1876, but by the end of the first World War this section of St. Raymond's would also need to be expanded. To do this Msgr. McKenna, who had become pastor in 1888, acquired the Seton Estate, home of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton's family, which adjorned the cemetery and was immediately united to it. The properties comprise what is now called the Old Cemetery.