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Sand Flat Cemetery, Smith County, TX - A Unique Genealogy Project

Prepared on October 5, 2014 by Jeff Lewis Bott



Contents

Introduction
Greetings,

My name is Jeff Lewis Bott. I currently have 110 blood relatives buried in Sand Flat Cemetery and I will also be buried there. Hopefully not any time soon! If you would like for me to to help determine how many blood relatives you have buried in Sand Flat Cemetery, please send an email to sandflatcemetery@gmail.com and I will contact you.

There are a total of 714 people known buried in Sand Flat Cemetery at this time with an additional 35 unmarked stones and stakes. Since the names of the individuals are unknown, they are not listed in the computer program file.

A Point of Clarification - Sand Flat Cemetery is across the street (CR313 West) from Antioch Baptist Church and although the church and cemetery are separate entities, the cemetery has sometimes been referred to as Antioch Cemetery. Antioch Baptist Church has also been referred to as Sand Flat Baptist Church.

Location: Sand Flat Community, TX NW-43 Latitude: N 32:29:19.6 Longitude: W 095:16:59.7 Directions: From Tyler, take Hwy 14 North (State Park Hwy). At the intersection of Hwy 14 & FM 313 W (Sand Flat road), turn left (west) and proceed about 1/2 mile and the cemetery is on the right side (north) of the road.

To avoid confusion, there are a total of seven cemeteries in the State of Texas that are named Sand Flat Cemetery. Each of these cemeteries is located in a different county.

Here are the names and locations of each Sand Flat Cemetery with a link to the FindAGrave location on the Interent. Please remember that the Sand Flat Cemetery on this website is located in Tyler, Smith County, Texas.

Sand Flat Cemetery
Angelina County
Texas, USA

Sand Flat Cemetery
Sand Flat
Johnson County
Texas, USA

Sand Flat Cemetery
Alvarado
Johnson County
Texas, USA

Sand Flat Cemetery
Rains County
Texas, USA

Sand Flat Cemetery
Tyler
Smith County
Texas, USA

Sand Flat Cemetery
Grand Saline
Van Zandt County
Texas, USA

Sand Flat Cemetery
Mineola
Wood County
Texas, USA

Location: Sand Flat Community, TX NW-43 Latitude: N 32:29:19.6 Longitude: W 095:16:59.7 Directions: From Tyler, take Hwy 14 North (State Park Hwy). At the intersection of Hwy 14 & FM 313 W (Sand Flat road), turn left (west) and proceed about 1/2 mile and the cemetery is on the right side (north) of the road.

The GPS location for the Sand Flat Cemetery front gate is as follows:
Latitude: 32.48878059515051
Longitude: -95.28321415185928

A history was written in 1984 about the Antioch Baptist Church and the Handbook of Texas Online has a brief history of Sand Flat, Tyler, Lindale, Winona, Red Springs, Starrville and other towns and cities.

The first known burial in Sand Flat Cemetery was W. B. Thorn, age 17, Oct 29, 1840 - Mar 4, 1858 and the latest burial was Glenn Ray Weaver, age 82, Feb 6, 1927 - Dec 29, 2009. Since there are many unmarked stones, there could have been earlier burials in the cemetery that are not known.

If you are a descendant of someone buried in Sand Flat Cemetery and would like to exchange information, I have many of the deceased individuals descendants in my genealogy database. For privacy reasons, I do not post birth dates and marriage dates for living individuals on the Internet. Please send me a private email for data exchange of living individuals and their family members.

This Sand Flat Cemetery database contains only a small subset of my total database containing over 61,000 people.

Currently I have the following websites operational: Currently I have the following websites operational:

Descendants of Silas Baker (b. abt. 1804 NC - d. 1861 TX)

Descendants of Gebhard Bott (b. abt. 1620 Worsdorf, Germany - d. Germany)

Descendants of Alexander Coulter, Sr. (b. abt. 1740 - d. TN)

Descendants of Jackson Harwell (b. 1773 VA - d. 1852 GA)

Descendants of William P. Johnson (b. 1830 SC - d. 1888 GA)

Descendants of Abner Kirk (b. 1831 SC - d. 1912 TX)

Descendants of Jesse Lane (b. 1733 NC - d. 1806 MO)

Descendants of John McDougal (b. 1785 NC - d. 1822 AL)

Descendants of James McMurry (b. 1774 NC - d. 1858 AL)

Descendants of Samuel McReynolds (b. 1749 PA - d. 1807 TN)

Sand Flat Cemetery Burial Listing

Sand Flat Cemetery, Smith Co., TX - Genealogy Project

What's New
I have recently added photocopies of Death Certificates for many people listed on this website. Most of the death dates that I have found range from about 1910 through 1976. This will be an ongoing process and new photocopies will be added as I find them. To view the death certificate, navigate to the person's home card that you have an interest; then, click on the little photo icon.

Some valuable genealogy information is contained on a death certificate such as: full name, age, birth date, place of birth, death date, place of death, father's full name, mother's first name and maiden name, occupation, cause of death, funeral home, cemetery, etc.

Of course, the information is only as complete and accurate as the person knows that makes the statements. I have found both errors and omissions on death certificates. However, this will be true for most genealogy data. You must weigh the accuracy of the death certificate against other data that you have for the deceased person.


Privacy Policy
My objective in genealogy research is to identify all ancestors and descendants in a particular family tree and to collect, organize and computerize the data on them. The basic data includes the individual's name, the date and location of birth, marriage, and death. I try to find and copy the original source records when possible. Other records and documents include such items as obituaries, newspaper articles, photographs and family stories. This data is used to generate an HTML format for website publication. Once a family website is published on the Internet, other genealogist and family members are able to locate the information using web search engines and contribute to the family research.

As a genealogist, therefore, I have collected information and data from many sources over the past 25 years. I understand and respect the privacy issues that people have for this information and have a reasonable and responsible privacy policy in place for this Genealogy website.

In years past, we did not need to worry about our personal data, but that was a simpler and safer society when I was a young boy growing up in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Today, we must be extremely cautious to prevent misuse of our personal information. Identity theft and credit fraud are rampant.

There is concern that information shared with relatives and the general public on genealogy websites makes it easier for unscrupulous individuals to commit criminal theft and fraudulent acts. However, the personal information that the identity thieves and credit fraud perpetrators want are full names, social security numbers, dates and places of birth, current occupation, employment data, bank and credit card account numbers along with the PIN numbers.

A few facts, such as your full name and your mother’s maiden name, are not enough information to access bank accounts. Never use maiden names or social security number as answers for security questions, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) or passwords.

THE 100-YEAR RULE USED ON THIS WEBSITE

The practice used on this website is: All individuals under the age of 100, with no known death date by me, are treated as confidential persons and therefore, dates and places for these individuals will not intentionally be displayed on my genealogy websites. However, if they are listed in a published United States Federal Census their name may still appear on this website.

PRIVACY TECHNIQUES USED BY GENEALOGIST

Public domain information includes names, dates, and places. Privacy law does not apply to public domain information. Please note that one does not have privacy rights for name, birth, marriage, and death information, contrary to popular thought and reason. If you have a serious problem with your name being on a public forum such as this, please read the OPT OUT PROVISION below.

Genealogists that post data on their websites have various opinions regarding privacy issues. Some common techniques to implement privacy on genealogy websites are as follows:

1. Total restriction of any type of data whatsoever for living individuals.

2. Restriction of data on living individuals except to designate them as Living or Confidential.

3. Restriction of data for living individuals to their names, sex and photographs.

4. Restriction of data for all individuals under the age of 100, with no known death date by me, are treated as confidential persons and therefore, dates and places for these individuals will not intentionally be displayed on my genealogy websites. However, if they are listed in a published United States Federal Census their name may still appear on this website. Note: This is my 100-YEAR RULE.

5. Restriction of any data on living individuals born after the latest United States Census has been made public record.

6. No restrictions of any type on living or deceased individuals.

PERSONAL DATA SECURITY

Data of living individuals gathered by me from all sources, including but not limited to, personal information, email, street addresses, phone numbers, etc. is not provided to others. However, most of this information is public domain and is easily accessible to others using Internet search engines, paid genealogy subscription services and genealogy libraries.

The following statement is a stark reality; if someone wants to gather private information on you badly enough, there are numerous pay sites on the Internet that will disclose all of your personal information for a price! This information could easily have your full name, names of your family members, occupation, employer, social security number, pending and past lawsuits, bankruptcies, marriages, divorces, home address and it’s value, etc. etc. The point made here is that criminals are much more likely to obtain information they need to commit fraud on you from this type of source as opposed to a genealogy website that contains only your full name and relationship in a family tree!

Therefore, if you would like to contribute to this family tree, any family information that you send to me implies permission to use that information online without limitation except that it is for genealogical purposes. All information sent to me will be used on this family website using restrictions from the 100-YEAR RULE.

OPT OUT PROVISION

Please understand that the dates and events concerning individuals that are posted on this site are public information. Information for living individuals under the age of 100, such as birth dates, marriage dates or a divorce date remains private. No social security numbers for any living person are ever included.

Since we live in a free and open society in the United States of America, I have the right of freedom of speech and freedom of the press from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that allows me to publish public information concerning individuals from my family tree with no obligation to remove anything!

That said, if there are extenuating circumstances why an individual or a group of individuals should be removed, I would be happy to examine the reasons to do so.

If you would like for me to consider removing your name from this website, please contact me with your reasons at sandflatcemetery@gmail.com. If I decide to do so, it may take up to 30 days for the deletion process to occur.

ERRORS AND OMISSIONS

I have used my best effort to minimize factual errors for the information contained herein. However, I have found from experience that in genealogy research, absolute perfection cannot be achieved!

Please use this website as a useful guide and not something that is absolute in fact. Be very aware that even the information chiseled in stone on a cemetery marker may not be correct. For example, did the person tell the stone carver the correct dates? Did the stone carver misread the information given to him?

Also, some of the information on this website was provided by others without documented sources and there is the possibility of errors in their data.

Therefore, please use your own sources to verify and check the data that is of interest to you. If errors of any kind are found, please contact me and I will gladly correct them.


Mission Statment
In order to remember and honor our deceased ancestors and relatives buried in Sand Flat Cemetery, this website was designed to identify each person buried in the cemetery, their parents, spouses and their children.

Another goal is to provide photographs of each cemetery marker and of each individual and their families along with articles, stories and obituaries whenever possible.

We owe a great debt of gratitude, indeed the very essence of our being, to our ancestors that have predeceased us all. Our meager efforts of tribute are the least that we can do to show our appreciation for their lives. Lest we not forget, we are only one small step behind them!

Background

Families living in Sand Flat and the surrounding area in the mid to late 1800's and the early 1900's were a close-knit community with neighbors often marrying neighbors. Sometimes a wife would die giving childbirth and the husband would marry her sister or another widow struggling to raise children by herself. People tended to have large families in the agrarian society of the times. Hardships were commonplace because many people died of influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia and other common ailments that are more successfully treated today.

I have often wondered how some of these families were interconnected and this effort is a beginning in order to answer that question. It is not uncommon for the Sand Flat area family descendants, such as many others and myself, to have many blood relatives buried in the Sand Flat Cemetery.

To assist people in understanding their connection and "roots" to those buried in Sand Flat Cemetery, I am using a comprehensive computerized genealogical program that can output in HTML language for an Internet website. The program can display a wealth of information such as:

1. Every interred person's full name, maiden name for females, date of birth, date of marriage, date of death and date of burial
2. Exact location of the grave in the cemetery
3. Photograph of the individual
4. Photograph of the grave marker
5. Public records that contain federal census records, birth, death, marriage and other dates
6. Obituaries for the individual
7. Stories, articles and biographical information for the individual
8. A list of every interred person's parents, spouse and children

The best way today to communicate with large numbers of people and to share information is through an Internet website. With a website, the Sand Flat Cemetery Association and all who have an interest, will have access to more accurate records of whom is buried in the cemetery and information can be shared quickly and easily.

Burials in the Sand Flat Cemetery date back to the mid 1800's and the cemetery has served the Tyler area and specifically the Sand Flat, Tyler, Red Springs, Lindale, Starrville and Winona communities well over the years.

The information herein is a first attempt to compile a comprehensive program of this nature and it is still "under construction". To the best of my knowledge, this is the first effort to computerize data for an entire cemetery and place it on a website. Therefore, I am open to any and all suggestions for additional features or improvements in any manner.

This project is strictly voluntary and the Sand Flat Cemetery Association will not be asked to pay costs of any kind. Therefore all of my time and materials and anyone else that volunteers their efforts will be strictly gratis. I think of it as community service and giving something back to society.

My desire, along with hundreds of other descendants of the deceased buried in Sand Flat Cemetery, is the current and future preservation of the Cemetery with the long-term goal of achieving perpetual care.


Annual Sand Flat Cemetery Association Meeting
There is an annual meeting and luncheon on the first Sunday of June each year at the Antioch Baptist Church across the street from the Sand Flat Cemetery. Please send me an email or letter with your contact information and I will put you on the Sand Flat Cemetery Association mailing list to receive an invitation with all of the details.

The current, but relentlessly increasing, annual cost incurred to maintain Sand Flat Cemetery is approximately $7,000.00. This includes mowing the grass, weed eating around the cemetery markers, weed and fire ant control, occasional fence repair and replacement, tree trimming, dirt removal, insurance and other miscellaneous maintenance costs.

To visualize a country cemetery that has gone to neglect without proper maintenance, just view a McDougal Cemetery Photo. Here are more McDougal Cemetery Photos. The cemetery is in deplorable condition and it is on the State of Texas property. The State of Texas will not maintain it and you cannot get to the property now without a guard escort.

This cemetery is located near the intersection of Hwy 271 North and Hwy 155 North in Tyler. An early East Texas Pioneer, Joseph McDougal and his wife Amira McMurry McDougal, my GGG grandparents, once owned this property. They, along with a number of their children and other family members, are buried on these grounds that later became Camp Fannin during World War II. Later the property was transferred from the U.S. Government to the State of Texas to build the East Texas Tuberculosis Hospital. It is now The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler.

The reason that the McDougal Cemetery Photos are on this website is to show in no uncertain terms, that without proper funding and caring people, the Sand Flat Cemetery could be in the same ramshackle condition. It is happening to many private and small community cemeteries all over our State. Please help us keep Sand Flat Cemetery from ever suffering the same fate as McDougal Cemetery!

Below is the Sand Flat Cemetery Association's Annual Memorial Services Invitation Letter for Sunday, June 7th, 2009. Everyone with an interest in Sand Flat Cemetery is invited to attend. The meeting is always held on the first Sunday in June. Please read the invitation letter below and for more details read the IMPORTANT NOTE further down this page.


If you would like to make a TAX DEDUCIBLE CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION to help maintain and preserve the Sand Flat Cemetery, please mail your check directly to the Secretary-Treasurer, Teddy McDowell, 1630 CR313 West, Tyler, TX 75706-2812. Your assistance is much needed and will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your interest and support in preserving the Sand Flat Cemetery and our Smith County Texas Heritage!


One last clarification: only the people buried in Sand Flat Cemetery have their full name listed in CAPITAL LETTERS. For example: BOTT, FRED LEWIS is buried in the cemetery, but if the name were written as: BOTT, Fred Lewis, then he would NOT be buried in the cemetery.

People with first name initials only, such as, HERRING, J. B. are designated with an * to indicate that they are buried in the cemetery. For example, HERRING, J. B.* is buried in Sand Flat Cemetery whereas HERRING, J. B. would NOT be buried in the cemetery.

Helpful Hint: Be sure to click on the actual photo or the photo icons.

JUST CLICK ON EVERYTHING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

I hope that you find this website useful and informative! However, it is still under construction and I am open to any and all suggestions for improvements.

The contents herein are for an individuals' personal use and MAY NOT be used for commercial gain in any form or fashion. If you have any questions, comments, additions, corrections or constructive criticism, please email me at sandflatcemetery@gmail.com.

Sincerely,


Jeff L. Bott

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