CEMETERIES IN LOWER MIDDLE TENNESSEE COUNTIES & NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA.
Here we present cemeteries for the purpose of yielding to the visitor history, genealogy and cemetery preservation. While we tend to also preserve memories of the interred it is not our primary focus.
You will find in many cases the photographs a bit redundant. Redundancy is offered for the purpose of allowing the visitor to draw their best conclusion as to which graves are near other graves of interest. The proximity of the graves are an important determinant as to the relationship of the individual burials to one another. Presenting the interred and determining relationships is the primary focus here which is of genealogical importance to the average visitor. Our focus is on the tombstones and not on the graves for the photography effort. The graves are in a row and the tombstones are usually in different rows at the head or usually west of the grave. This leaves room for confusion if one cannot determine where the graves lie in relation to the tombstones in the photographic effort.
Regarding Unmarked Graves
It is our purpose to present cemeteries we show of Southern Middle Tennessee and Northwestern Alabama in a way that yields the best available truth of who may be interred in these grounds. That may be irrespective of whether there is a headstone there or not. You will find many photos of fieldstones and sunken grave plots with no stone presented and we in no way usually have the perfect truth if these are really graves or not. There are certain evidences of a grave that were mostly applied, but in some cases our approach was not scientific enough to prove whether or not the focal point of the photo was actually a grave, or an anomaly instead of a grave. you will notice in days of old prior researchers looked around and counted the fieldstones and showed that information. We believe that to be helpful information, but usually this is not conclusive as to whether those counts represent actual graves without inscribed headstones or not. If we can give you enough information to cause you to conclude your ancestor is buried in a certain graveyard without a headstone, we would be pleased for you to give back that information to this site administrator for adding here whether you add it to findagrave.com or not.
It is our aim to give you enough information on this site in most cases to draw the same conclusion concerning the number of unmarked graves as this researcher was able to make.
My ancestral experience dealing with unmarked graves
I must tell you I think only about 1/2 or so of the American deaths through out our history are reported on the site findagrave site. Someone has to want to add the listing and know the cemetery or method of shall we say "place of disposal of the remains" for that to happen.
There are all these folks today that just disappear off the radar screen because of cremation etc and other alternative disposal methods. Its kinda like burials of 1700-1830 in America mostly in rural areas. They just took their bodies off to the back side of the farm on a hillside and dug a hole and place the body in it. Years later if the family did not move away and the availability of tombstones came on stream they often remembered to place a headstone. If the family moved away that was it. Maybe only a fieldstone marked the grave, or maybe not if there were no stones around or maybe they marked the grave with a stick which quickly rotted.
As for me and my experience with family grave searches I have identified most of my ancestors going back at least 7 generations or more to about a birth date of 1750 and that is 254 ancestors. For only about 1/2 of those folks am I able to place in graveyards with a marked grave stone. The earliest I have found are Robert & Rachel Crockett who died in the 1820s, James Kerr who died in 1818, Chesley Coffee who died in 1818 & Jacob & Milly Wilhoite died in the 1820s. At the time of their death most of these folks were buried on their farms, but later in many cases other burials were added to become major community graveyards, but in others the grave reverted back to being a part of a farm as part of maybe the barn yard, etc. Pitiful how land owners can be so disrespectful about this in many cases.
In searching for the graves of my ancestors if I don't find an inscribed grave stone in most cases I cannot tell close enough as to where they lived to set up a listing anywhere. I just took a trip 8 Sep 2014 to identify the location of Epps Hollow as a place in Lincoln Co. Tennessee where my Epps ancestors who had earlier hobnobbed with Thomas Jefferson, but lived in the 1850s in Lincoln Co. It was confusing because there are two Epps Hollows in Lincoln County topography, but the southern most one was owned by my ancestors near Sulfur Springs. Now after some research I know enough to add their approximate burial sites since I know their name, birth and death dates from other records. This stuff is revolutionary in the science of burial location listing. It is very challenging, but it keeps me mentally alert and away from boring television.
Wayne Austin 10 Sep 2014
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