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HARRIS CEMETERY, Santa Fe Pike, right on old TVA Rd, MAURY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Below is an E-mail exchange from Debbie Chance (a descendent & researcher) which reveals much family history about the Irvine's interred here in the Harris Cemetery and other places.

Date: Sun, Jun 14, 2009 6:44 am
From: dchance@lauderdale.k12.ms.us (Debbie Chance)
To Wayneal1@aol.com (Wayne Austin)

How exciting to hear back from you! I am happy to share my information with you. I have copies of old letters that Charles M. Irvine sent to his son in Texas. Those letters have been a blessing. We found information in them about the family that we would never have come across by any other means. I will go back and study the letters to see if I can find anything else that I may have missed.

This (Harris Cemetery) was considered the old family burying ground. There use to be a house place on the property that mother learned about when she was in Columbia a year or so ago. We think this will our ancestors home place-the first Irvine in the area. It is something we are investigating. In the letters we have, one letter talks about Charles M. Irvine's will and his son tells the brother in Texas that the place at Chappell Church is to be sold. Chappell Church was once located near Harris cemetery and was later moved to the present location.

The following Irvine's are buried at Harris Cemetery:

1. James D. Irvine 1812-1850 He was born in Va and was married to Mary D. Walker. His children were Joseph Irvine and Crawford Irvine. His father was Christopher Irvine.
2. Charles Madison Irvine b. 13 Sep 1809 in Va d. 30 Mar 1887 at Darks Mill, TN married Parthena Chappell 26 Sep 1831 in Maury Co., TN. His father was Christopher Irvine. Her parents were William Chappell, Jr. and Sarah L. Palmer.
3. Parthena Ann Chappell b. 8 Jul 1815 in Halifax Co., VA and died at Darks Mill 24 of October 1879. 
4. I am sure that two of Charles M.'s daughters are buried in the cemetery.
5. There is at least one grandchild - possibly two buried there.
6. Sarah Elizabeth "Fannie" Irvine McMeen b. 1851 in Maury County, TN and died 14 Aug 1877. She was the first wife of Lucious Thomas Henry Hadley McMeen. He had two other wives after Fannie. Fannie died after the birth of their only child, a girl. We were told the baby died also. The baby would be buried here, also.
7. Laura R. Irvine Wisener b. 20 Aug 1846 in Maury County, TN married John
Watson Wisener 18 June 1874 in Maury Co., TN and died 25 of June 1880
after the birth of her third child.
8. Their first child, Charles A. Wisiener is buried here. He was born 6 Oct 1875 and died Jul 1876 in Maury County, TN. According to one of the letters the baby was about 10 months old when he died.

Laura's descendants are living in Texas and Oklahoma. Charles and Parthena had another daughter, Anne E. Irvine Vestal, buried in Vestal cemetery. Her descendants live in Arrington, TN. 
9. There were 4 sons born to Charles M. and Parthena. 
10. I believe that John C. Irvine is buried at Harris Cemetery. He was born in Maury Co. in 1836 and died Jan. 31, 1902 in Maury County. He was never married and was left the homeplace of Charles M. and Parthena when his dad died.

Two sons who are Charles Christopher and William T. Irvine and their families are buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Columbia. They each have a magnificent marker on their family lot. The other son, George Washington Campbell Irvine is buried in Waco, TX with his family. William T. Irvine's descendants live in TN and MS. This is my mom's line. Charles Irvine has no descendants as both of her daughters died without having any children. I have found nothing on George having any descendants in TX.
The fourth son, James Wilson Irvine settled in Lampasas, TX where his descendants live today.
It is also possible that Christopher Irvine and his wife are buried in Harris Cemetery. We have been unable to find where they are buried. It makes sense that they are buried near their old homeplace. More the reason to get my round up ready before I go back to the cemetery.

William T. Irvine's sons attended the Web school. They wrote to the uncle in TN and talked about school. They were attending the school when it was moved to Bellbuckle.

These old letters contain information about what is going on in the community. They talk about deaths and marriages, politics, and the cost of corn, etc. You really get a feel for the type people they were.

Thanks for allowing me to share.
Debbie Chance

Date: 06/11/09 8:26 PM
From:
WayneAL1@aol.com (Wayne Austin) 
To: dchance@lauderdale.k12.ms.us (Debbie Chance of MS)

Greetings Debbie

Good to hear from you. Yes I do know about the Harris Cemetery. I went there in April 09, transcribed  & photographed it. It was scary for me there because I was trying to beat the summer chiggers which come out in temps higher than 60 degrees.  Lucky for me I did, though the temp rose to 65 degrees that day. I don't fear snakes but respect the poisonous ones. Copper Heads & Rattlers abound in such places but are rare. Wear boots and that eliminates the threat there.

The best you could do for that cemetery is take a treatment of roundup with you and spray the whole cemetery inside the rock wall. That should kill the vegetation that is infesting the inside of the rock wall and yield less threat to the memorials and allow for a thorough survey. After that more memorials may turn up. It is such a big place to have 8 listings and 6 stones. Surely there are more in the thickets.

I found a couple of small things Fred Hawkins did not find in 1987.
1. Salina (spelled Selinie on the grave stone) lost an infant probably in childbirth because she is buried with the infant. This is indicated at the bottom of the stone. No dates listed. I assume both Mom & Infant child died in 1856 perhaps on or near the same day.

2. Mr. Fred did not find the bottom half of James Irvine's stone. I probed around and found it. I dug it up beneath about 3 inches of soil & photographed it. If you did not have his birth and death dates. Now you can find that on the attached photo # IMG_1185.JPG.

It is really easy to find this cemetery now. Just go up the old TVA Road past Philippi Church and climb the hill and look for a field road to turn left. (all less than a 1/2 mile). Take that up the slope for a hundred yards or so and stop your car and get out and turn 90 degrees (or face south) from the car direction or road and go in that direction (southward) for a hundred yards and you will then find yourself on an old road which is deep in the woods. Follow that road for another 100 yards and you will see the stone wall. That old road runs by the cemetery on the south side.

Wayne Austin


Date: 6/11/2009 12:50:21 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
From: dchance@lauderdale.k12.ms.us (Debbie Chance of MS)
To Wayneal1@aol.com (Wayne Austin)
Hello Wayne,

I have ancestors buried in Harris Cemetery. My mother and I have visited the cemetery and are planning another visit this summer. We live in MS and have relatives (Wisner descendants) from OK and TX who want to visit Columbia while we are there. 

Harris Cemetery is located at the top of a hill just off TVA Road. Mother is much better at this location than me. Phillipi Church is located at the base of the hill if my memory is correct. The last time mother was there she talked to a man who was developing the area around the cemetery. You are now able to drive nearer to the cemetery. Before,
you had to walk. This cemetery has the old stone fence built around it. Several of our Irvine ancestors are buried in this cemetery. From copies of old letters, we learned that several family members were buried there and it is referred to as the old family burying ground. We believe our first Irvine in Maury County, Christopher Irvine, lived nearby.
Christopher has 2 sons buried there and they both have markers. James D. Irvine has a marker with a navy insignia on it. Charles M. Irvine and his wife, Parthenia Chappell Irvine are buried in the cemetery. 

I would love to see this cemetery cleaned up. Frankly, when we are able to visit it's usually in the heat of the summer and I am afraid of snakes. The area looks snaky.

We will be in the area in July. Mother has been given permission to check out an old home place on the property. She's 78, and unable to walk far, so I hope we can get a car close to where she wants to go.

Debbie Chance
G-G-G-granddaughter of Charles M. and Parthenia Irvine.

Information & E-mails by Debbie Chance. Answered by Wayne Austin, 16 Jun 2009.