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My first visit to the

Bailey Family Cemetery

Amelia County, Virginia


I first learned of this cemetery from my great aunt, Virginia Butler Priddy. She told me that there was a "family cemetery in the middle of a cornfield in Amelia" and promised to take me there one day. Unfortunately she died before we had a chance to go.

I finally found the cemetery after many trips to Amelia County, by myself and with friends, driving every road we could find, asking anyone we saw, and even stopping to knock on doors of strangers if it looked like the property might have a cemetery in the field.

On 27 September 1988, during one of my trips, I got a tip from a very nice woman who worked at the Amelia County Courthouse. She made a telephone call (while I waited) to the family who owned the property that the cemetery is located on to ask if I could come over and see if it was the one I was looking for. When I arrived, there was a field, unmown, with a small "forest" in the distance.

This "forest" was the cemetery, overgrown with weeds, sticker bushes, etc. The owner of the field (Shirley Easter) gave me hints on where to drive my car through the field so that I would not hit too many ruts or ditches (the field had at least 1-1/2' to 2' tall weeds, grass, etc., which made it impossible to see the ground).

The cemetery was completely filled with dense growth that was over 6' tall in many places. It was impossible to see any of the stones, so I searched around the wall, trying to move the sticker bushes to see. I finally found some stones leaning against the far wall (#'s 1 through 4 on the above diagram). I could not read them, as the growth was too thick to move aside enough for my head to peek over; so I stuck my hand inside & took a picture of the front of the each of the stones.

I left Amelia, came back to Richmond and had the pictures developed. I knew I had found the right cemetery when I saw the picture of the stone for Jeremiah.

Here are the pictures of my first visit to the cemetery:


Front of cemetery
(right side)


Front of cemetery
(standing at right side taking photo to end of left side)


Back of cemetery
(standing at right side taking photo to end of left side)


Back of cemetery
(right corner)


Back of cemetery
(standing at right side taking photo towards the driveway of the property)


Headstone that is leaning against the back wall
(this picture was taken upside down as I had to peek through the overgrowth & sticker/thorn bushes to find the stone & then I could only get my arm through the overgrowth a little -- those thorns hurt! Unfortunately this one didn't reveal anything except showing how dense the overgrowth was & you can see some of the thorns that I was encountering.)


Headstone that is leaning against the back wall
(this is another picture that was taken upside down when I put my arm through the overgrowth -- unfortunately this one didn't reveal anything.)


Headstone that is leaning against the back wall
(and yet another picture that was taken upside down when I put my arm through the overgrowth -- Eureka! "Jeremiah" -- I just knew that I finally found the cemetery I had been looking for!)


Front of cemetery
(photo taken from the driveway -- the cemetery is framed in the rectangular box in the photo -- you can see how far it is out in the field)


Front of cemetery
(photo taken from the driveway -- the cemetery is framed in the rectangular box in the photo -- the tire tracks are the route I took to drive through the field to get to the cemetery)


I returned to the cemetery on 9 October 1988 to clear the overgrowth and make a record of the cemetery.

Read about & see pictures of our "adventure" clearing the cemetery

View the cemetery photos after it was cleared

Read notes about the cemetery and the Bailey family


Cemetery cleared and transcribed by Susan Shields Sasek, Tim Harris, Bill and Ruth East, and Thelma and Jim Mottley on 9 Oct 1988.  Since it is likely that this cemetery will become overgrown and "lost" again, I gave copies of my original typewritten notes and photographs of the cemetery & the headstones to the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia.  I also submitted the record of this cemetery to the USGenweb.


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I hope you find something within this web site to help you in your research. I add information to the site as I transcribe or scan more records, or as they are shared with me by others -- it's always a work in progress

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Page Updated on: 8 Jan 2006 Page Visitors: c. Susan Shields Sasek