Monday, October 31, 2011

Mausoleums and More


A gorgeous fall day in south Texas prompted a visit to Mission Park South Cemetery on San Antonio's south side. No gravestones of pioneers migrating west, here the overall impression is of the opulence of the 1920's - those grand days before the Great Depression.

Sanderson MausoleumHouston Mausoleum

Nolte Mausoleum

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hilton Head to Vicksburg III

The last cemetery stops of the trip home to Texas were in Mississippi where Debby and I made a few stops to find the graves of distant cousins. It seems that Paulding, Mississippi where some of our Reeves family's descendants had relocated was only a few miles out of our way so we made a little detour to the cemetery there.

Paulding in Jasper County had been a metropolis during the Ante-Bellum period but was devastated by Reconstruction. When the railroad passed it by, the days of prosperity were over for the community. The passing of the community's affluence is evident in the cemetery where older graves with elaborate iron fences were neglected and overgrown that day.


wife of


Died Aug. 6th, 1874

Aged 25 years 1 month

and 11 days

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kentucky's Red River Meeting House

The cemetery at the Red River Meeting House just south of Russellville in Logan County, Kentucky contains the graves of numerous soldiers of the Revolution and the War of 1812. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The "Shaker Movement" of the Presbyterian Church began at the Red River Meeting House and the great revival of 1800 produced the first ever camp meeting. It is said that thousands came in wagons and stayed for days.

The cabin currently located at the site was built in 1994 to replace the original which collapsed in 1856.

to the Memory
Born in the Highlands
of Scotland in 1787
Immigrated to this country
in 1809 and Died
in 1849

At right - the back of the stone
is said to be the
23rd Psalm in Gaelic

(Thanks to my cousin, Debby Johnson, for her photos.)

Bogus Grave Memorials on Find A Grave

No tombstones today - I thought instead I would get on my soapbox in regard to the current abundance of bogus grave memorials on Find A Grave. I have always felt that Find A Grave was a wonderful resource and have submitted all of the cemetery photos I take to that site. I also search Find A Grave in the course of researching various individuals. It’s a great source of birth and death dates for those who lived long before birth and death certificates existed.

However lately I see more and more bogus grave memorials entered there. Yesterday I discovered a fictitious grave memorial for a great great uncle. One of his descendants had previously submitted a photo of his gravestone and entered a memorial for the cemetery where he is actually buried which is in the same county. There was another bogus memorial in the same Kentucky cemetery by the same person (not a descendant) for another great great uncle from the same family who had actually died in another state.

Am I the only one who is concerned about this practice and how rampant it is becoming on Find A Grave? Find A Grave doesn’t seem to care and apparently has no restrictions as to whether entering a memorial should require the presence of a legitimate grave in the cemetery. They also don’t make it very easy to contact them to complain – hence my post here.

It concerns me that these practices will eventually ruin the site as a tool for researchers if they haven’t already. I’m not sure whether I will stop submitting my photos there but I may investigate the new Cemetery Transcription Project of the US GenWeb Archives as an alternative to Find A Grave.

Anyone else have an opinion?

January 2014 - Update
This week I've encountered another incident concerning a bogus Find A Grave memorial. I received a message through Find A Grave requesting that I add a relationship link to the memorial I had placed several years ago for Thomas Slayden at Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield, Kentucky. The link was supposedly to his father Stokley Slayden, memorial number 123010442, at a cemetery in Weakley County, Tennessee. Several years ago a memorial (84242079) had been entered for Stokley Slayden at the Baltimore Cemetery in Graves County, Kentucky where both he and his wife Nancy are buried. The person who made the duplicate memorial in Weakley County had copied the photo from the legitimate first memorial and used it for the bogus one. I wrote the person and nicely told them that I had linked the grave of Thomas Slayden to his father's actual grave in the Baltimore Cemetery and that they should delete their duplicate. Today I see that they have now added their duplicate memorial along with the purloined photo to the Baltimore Cemetery.

There are genealogists who praise Find A Grave and promote it, but I personally have serious misgivings about the entire site based on the numerous incidences of fraudulent memorials.

I have to wonder how many people have made trips, possibly from some distance, to visit a cemetery where the grave as listed on Find A Grave doesn't exist.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Brick Church

The Brick Church of current day Alamance County, North Carolina began as the German reform church known as "Der Klapp Kirche" (The Clapp Church). It was established by my 7th great grandfather Jorg Valentine Klapp and his brother John Ludwig, who with their parents and siblings left Rotterdam on the ship the James Goodwill arriving in Pennsylvania on September 27, 1727.

Living in Berks County, Pennsylvania until around 1745, Valentine moved south to North Carolina where he settled in the Beaver Creek section of Guilford County. John Ludwin Clapp and other family members soon followed.

The original wooden structure was replaced by a brick building in the 19th century. Some of the burials in the church cemetery date to the 18th century.

Barney Clapp

to the Memory of


who departed this life
Sept. 27, 1844

Aged 80 years 8 Ms and 10 days

A soldier of the Revolution

Elizabeth Clapp

In Memory of


Born January
the 24, 1811

and died October 22

Daniel Foust


Oct. 18, 1783

Feb. 28, 1882

Aged 93 Ys 4 Mo & 15 Da

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Maplewood Cemetery of Mayfield, Kentucky

Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky is a large, diverse cemetery. There are very old stones, crypts and Confederate monuments, not to mention the Woolbridge Monuments. I have many relatives interred there - the Bolingers, Beadles, Slaydens and even a Pryor or two. There are so many photos from this cemetery that it may develop into a series but for today, just one post.

The famous Woolbridge Monuments of Maplewood were extensively damaged when a tree fell on them during the severe ice storm that Kentucky experienced in the winter of 2008-2009. Thankfully they have now been restored.

Woolbridge Monuments

Angel RockOne of the largest monuments in Maplewood, called the Angel Rock, was erected by William Slayden for his wife Agnes Mayes Slayden and their five young children.
Slayden Monument


Lucinda (Wingo) Bolinger
May 13, 1856

George W. Bolinger
July 3, 1781
May 18, 1885

Capt. A. J. PryorGeorge W. BolingerJames Nicholas Beadles

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hilton Head to Vicksburg II

A. L. PogueReturning to Texas from North Carolina, my cousin Debby and I made occasional side trips to places of interest and areas where ancestors or distant relatives were said to be buried. The second installment of these road trips includes points in Alabama looking for Debby's Johnson relatives with a few unknown interesting tombstones included just because they were there.

In Tallapoosa County, Alabama, we happened upon a Pogue family plot in the Dadeville City Cemetery with some unique stones. Since cousin Kay has Pogue ancestors, we brought her a souvenir in the form of Pogue gravestone photos.

Pogue Family Plot

Pogue Family Plot
Dadeville, Alabama

Debby photographing Lovejoy MonumentDriving west from Dadeville crossing below the Lake Martin dam, we located the monument to Debby's ancestor Samuel Lovejoy in the Red Hill area. Although the actual site of his burial is unknown the monument was erected on land that had been part of his original plantation. Before leaving the area around Red Hill, an unplanned stop at the Refuge Cemetery provided more tombstone photos of Debby's relatives - the Meltons.

Wm. F. MeltonMelton GravesRobert B. Melton

Melton Graves
Refuge Cemetery, Red Hill, Alabama

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Road Trip to Tehuacana

Tehuacana in Limestone County, Texas is little more than a ghost town today, but at the time Texas was naming a capital, Major John Boyd had proposed it as a site for the capital. He lobbied extensively and Tehuacana only lost to Austin by a slim majority.

Our road trip to Tehuacana was inspired by the discovery of a deed for land in Limestone County on Tewockony (later Tehuacana) Creek to my ggg grandfather J. J. Wingo during the period of the Republic of Texas. He had settled in Kentucky's Jackson Purchase around 1830 and no one had any idea that he had ever ventured to Texas. The reason for his return to Kentucky is unknown but within a short time he had sold the land and returned to Graves County, Kentucky where he lived the remainder of his life. The knowledge of his Texas adventure caused a few of his descendants to set off for Tehuacana on a November day a few years ago. As with all genealogical road trips, a stop at the local cemetery was a must.

Hon. John Boyd

Born in Nashville, Tenn.
Aug. 7, 1796

in Tehuacana, Tex.
May 4, 1873

John Boyd was a member of the first and second congresses of the Republic of Texas. He was instumental in persuading the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to make Tehuacana the site of Trinity University.

Carrie L.
Dec. 11, 1872
5 Ys, 10M, 17D

Minnie M.
Feb. 6, 1874
1 Yr, 3M, 12D

Children of
W.P. & M.C. Gillespie

Rev. R.D. King

Son of
Rev. Samuel King

One of the Founders of the
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Jan. 18, 1801

Apr. 21, 1882

The building where Trinity University was located before it was moved to Waxahachie in 1902 and was later occupied by Westminster College now stands vacant in Tehuacana along with numerous other buildings from more prosperous days. My cousins insist that they had an encounter with an other worldly presence while taking the pictures below of the abandoned building and were completely shaken by it. Area residents later told of the local legend that the building is haunted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mill Springs Battlefield

Driving across Kentucky on a southerly route in an effort to retrace the migration of our ancestors and travel from Kentucky back through the Cumberland Gap into Virginia, we came upon a little known Civil War battlefield just outside of Nancy, Kentucky.

Zollicoffer Park is named for Confederate Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer who is said to have died on this spot. Additionally the park contains a Confederate Cemetery and memorial.

Confederate Cemetery

On that sunny fall day, it was hard to imagine the carnage of a Civil War battle in this beautiful, quiet place.

Confederate MemorialHistorical Marker - Death of Gen. Zollicoffer

Hilton Head to Vicksburg - I

While driving along a major street on Hilton Head Island, I noticed an abandoned, once elegant cemetery with a mausoleum at the back of a vacant undeveloped area. The cemetery beckoned me to turn around and have a closer look.

It is called the Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery although the chapel was destroyed prior to 1868.

Mary Irvine, wife of W. IrvineMary Whaley Davant and sons Samuel & John J. Davant

The mausoleum was vandalized during World War II and the cast iron coffins of William E. Baynard and his wife Catherine were thrown into the nearby marsh.

William E. Baynard

Catherine Adelaide Scott Baynard

(Many thanks to Dickie who helped me overcome technical difficulties to save these photos from a disk malfunction.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Camp Beauregard

In southern Graves County, Kentucky just a few miles north of the Tennessee border atop a rolling hill, Camp Beauregard Cemetery gives no hint of its tragic history. Originally a Confederate military training camp, it was only an active military installation from September of 1861 until March of 1862. During that time approximately 1,500 confederate soldiers died of diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia and thyphoid fever and the camp was closed.

Area residents claim that the now private cemetery is haunted, but my cousin and I spent a lovely spring morning there several years ago and encountered no one, unearthly or otherwise.

Camp Beauregard

Confederal MemorialIn 1909, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed a memorial to the fallen soldiers within the cemetery. The Confederate memorial is inscribed -

In memory of the loyal men who
died here September 1861 to March 1862
for the Confederate States of America,
and were thus denied the glory of heroic
service in battle.

Camp Beauregard Cemetery

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back in Texas - Moore's Chapel Cemetery

Moore's Chapel Cemetery's last burial was in the 1880's. The stage road that went past it and the chapel for which it is named are long since gone. Only the cemetery is left to mark the location on the back side of my cousin Debby's farm in Leon County. The fence isn't very decorative, but Aunt Ruby put it there years ago to keep the cows out of the cemetery.

Little Georgie Nippert (Front) Little Georgie Nippert (Back)

Georgie Nippert

Mar. 10, 1883
Aug. 23, 1885

We loved this tender little one
And would have wished him stay
But let our Father's will be done
he shines in endless days
(Inscription on Reverse)

Carolyn Rabe

Sept. 19, 1841
Good Friday 1889

James Thomas Nippert

Nov. 30, 1862
Oct. 10, 1889