So You Want To Head to the Cemetery….

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With Spring fast approaching, a lot of people, um I mean Genealogists decide to go Cemeterying.  This means that the average person gets in their car, goes to a family cemetery and takes pictures.

But dear average person, if you are not properly attired and properly perpared, you can be hurt or even killed. So how about a few safety ideas, from someone who Cemeteries  a lot.  Yes, Cemeteries is a verb.

1)  Wear good hiking boots. Cemeteries are FULL of holes due to caved in graves and the animals that like to live there.  They dig lots of holes. If you step in one, you can easily turn an ankle.  Now is not the time to try out those new Sunday pumps.  By a good pair of hiking boots that can also help protect you from snake bite.  And wear them a few times before you go Cemeterying.

2) Wear bug repellant.  You will thank me later.  No one wants to remember their latest cemetery trip by how many bug bites they get.  If you are from the Northern United States, I will assure you, No One has ever died from Chigger bites.  They have just prayed that they would!

3) Take plenty of food and water.  No, we aren’t going to picnic, but we are going to possibly hike a bit and deal with brush, so we will be burning a lot of calories.  Take snacks that travel lightly.  Peanuts are a good one, since they are full of protein and are fairly light weight. They will fill you up quickly, if you don’t have a peanut allergy.  Protein bars are also good.  Just be sure and take any trash back to your car and don’t leave it behind.

4)  Tell people were you are going.  Leave a detailed map with someone who can call the police if you come up missing.  If you step in a hole, and twist an ankle, don’t you want someone looking for you come night fall?  Don’t depend on your cellphone. Most rural areas don’t have cell coverage. 

5) But take the phone anyway. The light makes a great shadow maker to help with difficult to photograph stones, and it does have a great camera on it and yes, you can even use it in an emergency!

6) Take a friend. Cemeterying is much more fun with a friend (or several) and the odds the whole group are going to twist an ankle and not be able to go for help are slim!  Plus the more cameras you have, the faster the photography session goes!  Lots of hands make light the work.

7) Take an old hoe.  This is a shoutout to my hubby who always takes his Hoe on Cemetery trips. Its a very bad running joke with us, but that Hoe has saved our lives several times. The 7 foot long handle is pretty good for picking up a snake on the path and giving him a free ride somewhere far from where you might be standing, without you actually having to be within 7 foot of the snake.  It also is great for cutting down small trees, bramble and bushes around head stones and finally, it makes for a very bad running joke with your partner of “Hey, Joe what you and your Hoe going to do for supper.” 

8) Take a small first aid kit with you.  I personally prefer to wear a fanny pack.  It fits nicely under my shirt and in it I can carry a few band aids, a small tube of anti itch cream, a few alcohol wipes to clean up a scrape and a few extra batteries for the camera.  You can put a few snacks in it as well, and your favorite bug spray in a travel size bottle.

9) Camera batteries. Especially if your digital camera needs a specialty battery, do not expect the local drugstore in rural TN to carry that particular brand, or batteries at all for that matter.  Bring your own.

10)  A change of clothes.  Don’t ask me how I know this is important, but if you are photographing a cemetery in someone’s cow pasture, and you do not want your new car to have a manure smell come Monday, a change of clothes and a trash bag are welcome additions to any Cemeterying bag.

11)  Be ready to knock on a few doors.  I mostly photograph in rural Tennessee and most everyone there has been so gracious to let us photograph. Some people HAVE NOT!  I’d rather find that out on their front porch as I ask nicely if I might photograph the family cemetery in the back yard, than when they release the family hounds (yes, I have had that happen so ask EVERY house you see), when they start shooting, or when the Sherriff shows up.  It helps to know the local laws about cemetery and trespass as well.  It doesn’t hurt to introduce yourself to local law enforcement before you start taking pictures since they tend to be friendlier if they talked to you earlier in the day at the station and not after a local home owner has called the police.  Keep in mind Law Enforcement work for the people who pay the taxes, so who are they going to side with?

12) Be friendly.  You could be talking to a distant cousin. You know the one who hasn’t returned your DNA email.  The one with the family photos you want. Or at the very least, the guy who can deny you right to access if you make him mad!  So be nice.  Tell him who you are, why you are there and what you plan on doing with the images (be honest).   If he says no, I’d leave politely and let someone else try. 

13)  Take lots of pictures. Digital pictures are cheap. Take lots. You can delete the ones you don’t need once you get home.

14)  Spring time is this magical time when animals give birth.  Baby rabbits, baby chickens, baby geese, baby rattle snakes, baby ticks, baby wolves… you get the idea. Be aware, you are entering their home and babies ALWAYS have mommas.  So tread lightly, be always aware of where you are putting you feet and hands and if in doubt, leave the area.  A tombstone picture is not worth a snake bite or worse.  You can always come back later.  Spring is the time when snakes are out the most. They are cold blooded and warm, flat rocks (think tombstones) make great places for them to warm up their bodies.  Be aware that they may burrow in hollowed out tombs, so you need to be aware of where you put your feet.  Be prepared to leave the area if you have to and leave quickly.  Don’t even ask me about the cemetery completely surrounded by a rock wall in Tennessee that had so many snakes, you could hear them as you approached the cemetery.  SHUDDER!

15)  Have fun, but be respectful of the area. If you remove flowers or ceramics to take your picture, put them back where you found them.  Do not clean stones unless you are trained to do so.  Better to not clean than to ruin a stone for future generations.  Don’t try and fix stones unless you know how.  You can be seriously hurt by stones falling over.  Remember, they are leaning for a reason, and that could be the loose ground they are standing on.  So be careful around leaning stones.

16) If you do decide to pick up trash, be careful.  Some areas have open beverage laws.  Even that old beer bottle you picked up off the cemetery.  Be sure to dispose of all trash in proper receptacles once you are back in civilization.  No sense in cleaning up the cemetery to then trash the local highways.

17) Don’t forget to pay your respects.  If you are visiting your great grandparents grave for the first time, why not take some flowers?  Just a small bouquet to pay homage to the people you are visiting. I know we can’t do that for every ancestor if we visit several cemeteries in a day, but pick one or two to pay your respects to.  You will not regret the decision to spend a few bucks and take the time to say thank you.

18)  Allow for extra time to visit rural cemeteries. Hubby and I once hiked 3 hours to visit a cemetery of my 3rd great grandparents.  After we visited with them for about an hour and enjoyed the view they must have enjoyed from their front porch, we had a 3 hours hike back. But due to being tired and only having a light snack for lunch, that hike took almost 4 hours!  The view was worth it, but we did have to let our contact know we’d be later than we had originally thought.  A mostly down hill hike to the cemetery is going to mean a mostly up hill hike home.  So take into consideration terrain when you are planning out how long a trip might take. Not all family cemeteries are by the side of the road.

19)  Take a few towels and a few wet wash rags with you in the car.  This is something we have learned over the years.  After an 8 hour hike, you really want to clean up a bit at the local McDonald’s before you return to your hotel or go to a nice restaurant for dinner.  McDonald’s are used to traveler looking a little disheveled, but we have found most nicer restaurants and hotels aren’t as receptive to you coming in with grass in your hair, smelling like you hiked for 8 hours.  So a quick wash off and hair fixing is in order, even if you have to do it in the car while driving. 

20) We live in marvelous times.  If you can, find out the GPS coordinates of your cemetery.  If you are lucky and the area does have cell service, your phone can literally lead you within a few feet of where you need to be. Especially great if the cemetery is in a wooded area and if you aren’t good with directions.  I find it most helpful once I get to the cemetery in helping me find my way BACK to my car, so don’t forget to record the coordinates of your car before you start hiking.

Have fun if you go Cemeterying this Spring. There is no greater joy than finding a few hundred distant cousins and aunts and grand parents all buried in neat little rows. Especially if they died a few hundred years ago and their passing didn’t cause you personally to mourn them.  So have fun, be safe, and be sure and post your pictures once you get home.

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# 72 Jackson Cemetery Cleanup 2017

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Jeff and I photographed this cemetery and posted it in 2009. You can see that blog post here https://rutherfordcemetery.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/72-jackson-cemetery/

At that time it was incredibly grown up. Since then Bobby Prosser and his son-in-law, W. D. Woodward have cleaned up the cemetery and done an AMAZING job. Here are their before and after photos of the cemetery.  Thanks to cemetery heroes like this that keep our older cemeteries clean and the information protected for future generations!

To contact Bobby, prossergenealogy@yahoo.com.

The pioneer family is the Jackson family. Bobby’s wife is descended from Francis Marion Jackson, b. 12 Jan., 1766, Prince Edward County, Virginia, d. 10 Feb. 1845, Versailles Community, Rutherford County, m. Elizabeth Worsham Childress 02 Feb., 1789, Prince Edward County, Virginia. Elizabeth b. 07 April, 1766, d. 09 August, 1831/37 Versailles.

Next generation, William/Williams Jackson m. Drusilla Lytle.

Third generation, Amna  Millisa Jackson m. William Richard Poplin

Fourth generation, William Amna Jackson Poplin . Sally Jordan Brown

Fifth generation, Richard “Dick” Rufus Poplin m. Bessie Sybil Russell

Sixth generation, Bettye Dixon Poplin m. Bobby Joe Prosser

Before:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

After:

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

#130 Kerr Cemetery

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Lascassas Quadrangle 3/4 of a mile north of Sharpsville Church.  Located on the of hill of Guy James’ farm in 1970’s cemetery book.

Photographed by Linda Matchett lmatch2005@gmail.com

 

 

Kerr1

G. W. Kerr

03 Feb 1813 (cemetery book says 21 Feb 1813)

25 Jul 1870

Kerr2 

Hugh Kerr

13 Apr 1850

18 Nov 1893 (cemetery book says 1898)

Kerr3 

William Kerr

27 Mar 1854

09 Feb 1898

 

Kerr4 

The cemetery as it was when Linda photographed it.

Kerr5

 

Leo W. Hutchison

PVT 45 Tenn Inf CSA

22 Feb 1940

11 Jun 1843

Kerr7 

 

Kerr8

Sarah Kerr (wife of G. W. Kerr)

28 Aug 1819

15 Oct 1885

John Gambril Cemetery

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John Gambril Cemetery Smyrna Quadrangle.

Photographed by Jeff and Teresa Elliott October 2015

This cemetery was very difficult to find.  We stopped at many houses, but they kept sending us to other easier to find cemeteries in the area. To find this cemetery, you need a GPS enabled device and this GPS coordinate for the cemetery: 35 55’53.55″N 86 36’20.14″W

There are many ways to get to this cemetery, but we followed Rocky Fork Road to Caitlin Trail.  At the very end of Caitlin Trail is a trail that goes off into the road, shown here:

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Follow this trail until it runs out in the middle of the wooded area. Here is where you will need your GPS.  Luckily cell coverage in this area is extremely good and you should be able to follow your GPS through the woods fairly easily. We visited in Mid October and you can see the forest wasn’t over grown.  Summer time might be harder. There were lots of rose bushes scattered in this area, so at one time, it  may have been cleared off.

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Once you come out of the woods, you will be on the TVA  easement for gas pipe line.  You will follow this TVA pipe line across the field shown, around a corn patch (at least we did) and up that HUGE hill. Cemetery is almost to the top of the hill on right just inside wood line.  We saw several signs that hunters use this area, so dress brightly and be very careful!

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Cemetery as it looked in October 2015.

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View from cemetery looking back at corn field.

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This is John’s tombstone. We moved it into the light and took a picture enumerated below. This is where we found the original, leaning against this tree.  You can see that the stone has broken off it’s base.  My guess is the base was about where this tree now stands, based on his foot stone.

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Hannah (Rainey)

second wife of Jno. Gambill

1791

1872

(Author’s note:  John married Hannah Rainey on 10 Apr 1834 in Rutherford County, TN.  They were married by Jacob Payne, J. P.)

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J. K. Bennett
consort of J. M. Bennett (could be T. M.)
1828
???

(Author’s note:  I have no idea who J. K. Bennett was. As far as I know, she was not a family member.  Thomas Bennett owned the Blacksmith Shop next door to the Gambills and this may be part of his family.)

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Amazing view from the cemetery looking out over the valley surrounding the knob.

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John Gambril  (Author’s note: Son of Bradley and Susannah Gambill)

22 Dec 1774 (some records have 1771, but I believe the last number is a 4 based on military records and the spacing between the 7 and 4.  It appeared to be a 4 on the stone as well.)

11 Jun 1843

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Sarah Gambill  (Author’s note:  This is Sarah Kimbro (Kimbrough), daughter of William Kimbrough and Elizabeth Gooch)  She and John are my 4th great grandparents.

29 Mar 1777

24 Jun 1832

Sarah and John Gambill were married 01 Nov 1798 in Davidson County, TN.

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There may be other burials in this cemetery. These were the only actual stones we saw while we were there. This cemetery was not enumerated when the 1970 cemetery books were done.  My guess is it was lost to time until TVA cleaned off for their easement.

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Another amazing view from the cemetery looking out over the valley below.  It is likely that the Gambill house was very near this location as it looked out over the entire valley below.

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We found this field stone and a matching foot stone in the cemetery. Since we know John Gambill bought part of his father’s farm before Bradley’s death, we wondered if perhaps this stone marked the grave of Bradley or Susannah Gambill, John’s parents.

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Matching footstone to head stone above.

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This is me standing about halfway down the hill to give perspective of just how far a hike it is up to the cemetery.

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Cleared off area just up the hill from the cemetery that may have been the original home site. 

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We had to wonder if these large stones were part of the original home site, or just naturally occurring.  If the original home sat here, it had a 360 degree view of the valley below and John and/or Bradley could have viewed their entire plantation from the front porch of the home.  If I owned the land, it’s where I would want my house to be, that’s for sure! 

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The following is a transcription of John Gambill’s will written in Rutherford County, TN:

I, John Gambill do make and publish this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at anytime made.
First I direct that my debts be paid as soon after my death as possible and the very few out of any money that I may die possessed of or that may come into the hands of Executors.
Second, I loan to my wife Hanna one hundred acres of land Beginning at my southeast corner near Thos. Bennett, Black Smith shop thence west for enough to include the fields on each side of my land and 20 poles farther thence north sufficiently far to include my cotton field even if said bounds should contain more than 100 acres thence east to my eastern Boundary thence south to the beginning with the privilege of getting timber south of said land if then (with all the building and my mill contional 
[sic] is not sufficient on it this lane to be void so soon as my wife Hannah marries or dies or \[can’t read\] that in as much as I paid for her two hundred and nine dollars after our marriage that she shall refund or pay said money to my estate at her death and the acceptance of this will shall guarantee the payment of said money also I loan to her one horse wither Charlie or Kit two cows and calves two sows and pigs 5 ewes two set of cups and saucers two set of plates a set of knives and forks and 3 dishes a half dozen chairs a table one pot one skillet one ven and 2 pair of hooks.  Also I confirm our marriage contract that is to say she shall have to dispose of as she pleases at her death one negro man named Ted and one named Davy one negro woman named Fanny and her children Booker and Alfred and increase, one cupboard two beds and bedsteads and all the bed cloths she bought here one chest and two trunks one hundred dollars in money and her full years provisions for the next year but there is to be interruption of the making or saving the crop the years provisions to consist of one hundred Barrels of corn fifteen hundred pounds of Pork 20 bushels of wheat 50 # of coffee 100 # sugar and a barrel of salt.
Third, I give and bequeath to each of my children in the manner following or their heirs one equal share or portion of my estate of the heirs of Charlott Hall, Elizabeth Lovel, John K. Gambill, Kiziah Brown, William Gambill, Frances Dyer, Martha Hatfield, James T.  Gambill heirs of May Rogers, John Pope, George W. Gambill
Fourthly, I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Lovel and her heirs the tract of land on which she now lives believing that it will only make her equal to the rest of my children in a division already made not to be taken into the division of this will with all the property of mine on said premises and I appoint my son William her trustee to take charge of said property and also her portion as legatee to manage for her benefit and at her death descend to her children.
Fifthly, I give and bequeath to my grand son Thomas Rogers son of Mary Rogers decd. five hundred dollars in the the Nolensville turnpike stoke in lew
{sic] of any part of my land the balance of one share to the made out in money and in case of his death without heirs the property or bequeath to return to my estate and I authorize my Executors to act as Guardians for him his share in not to extend to division already made.
Sixthly, all that part of my estate devised to Martha Hatfield and James T. Gambill shall go into the hand of Wilie Brown who I appoint their trustee to manage and control for their benefit and at their death to descend to their heirs.
Seventh, I appoint John Hall trustee for my daughter Jane Pope with the power of managing and controlling said property for her benefit and at her death said property to go her children.
Eighth, wither of my children that is dissatisfied with their trustees may change said trustee by confirming to law or applying to court and if the same drawn does not suit the situation of the the legatees the trustee by the consent and joint conveyance of the legatee may change or sell said share but nothing in this contained shall excuse said trustees from giving bound as provided by law;
Ninth my land at home shall be equally divided among all my legatees except T. Rogers; according to quality and quantity the school tract of land by R. Halls and the Puckett tract together may be divided into shares to suit the number of my legatees also excerpt T.  Rogers.  In the
[illegible] on that is to be made among my children notes and amounts which I have against them are to be taken into the amount and I nominate and appoint  D. R. Gooch George \[illegible\]  William Allen Jas S. Smith and Robert Cook to make the division of the land.
Tenth for the purpose of making an equal division amount my legatees I direct my slaves to be sold to the highest bidder with all other property of mine which I have not heretofore disposed of on a credit of twelve months.
Eleventh all the perishable property I have loaned to my wife shall be valued to her and paid back to my estate at her death Lastly I do hereby  nominate and appoint my son William H. B. Gambill David R. Gooch and James S. Smith my Executors in witness whereof I do to this my will set my hand and seal this 16 May 1845 My Executors are not to be ruled to security.
John
[his X mark]Gambill
May 19th 1843

#75 Gambill Cemetery

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LaVergne Quadrangle:

On Hobson Pike Left side approaching I-24 On a hill just before reaching entrance to Interchange City.  Well fenced. William Hamilton Benjamin Gambill was the son of John and Sarah Kimbro (Kimbrough) Gambill.  When he died, Bradley gave each child a portion of his estate and it is possible that this cemetery is on W. H . B. Gambill’s portion.

Photographed by Jeff and Teresa Elliott 2015

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W. H. B. Gambill (William Hamilton Benjamin Gambill, son of John and Sarah Kimbro (Kimbrough) Gambill)

24 Sep 1810

02 Aug 1893 (Cemetery book has 1898)

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Same as above

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Mary H . Gray

wife of W. H. B. Gambill

14 Sep 1811

06 Sep 1885

 

 

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Ben Stuart Gambill

son of Charles and Annie W. Gambill

02 Oct 1879

09 Dec 1950

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Ben Gambill

14 Feb 1871

19 Sep 1934

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Benajah G. Gambill

10 Mar 1837

15 Jun 1853

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Martha J. Gambill

26 Jun 1849

01 Apr 1865

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Infant Daughter of

R. L. & Beuce L. Gambill

28 Aug 1899

30 Aug 1899

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HIs following children are buried here:
Ewing Johnson Irvin

Mary Agnes and James Gambill

Rosa B. Gambill

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Backside:

Charles Hill Gambill

01 Sep 1846

21 Aug 1919

Erected by Rosa B. Gambill

 

stone of Issac T. Gambill

Jan 1857

01 Dec 1869

Not photographed:

Angie Gambill

09 Jul 1926

10 Aug 194

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Stairwell leading up to cemetery.  Cemetery is fenced but needs a good cleaning.

#16 Bennett Cemetery

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Smyrna Quadrangle: 

On Rocky Fork-Nolenville Road. 1/3 mile east of Williamson County line.  250 feet south of road on the end of a steep sloping ridge in back yard of house.

 

This cemetery has been removed from our Website at the request of the home owner. We made every effort to ask permission to post this cemetery that was in his back yard, but no one answered the door when we were there.  Since the cemetery is on private property, we will honor his request to not post the pictures from his cemetery.

If at anytime he would like to give written permission, we will repost the pictures from this site.

Thank you,

Rutherford County, TN Cemeteries

Researchers of this family would be encouraged to check out Findagrave.com at this time

#26 Brown Cemetery-Additional Information

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I received an email from Marshall Brown [whynotus@comcast.net] with additional information on the #26 Brown Cemetery. We first blogged about it here: #26 Brown Cemetery

All information and images copyright Marshall Brown

He told me that John Brown’s full name was John W. Brown, the owner of Brown’s Mill.  His father, John Thomas Brown (1761-1849) was a Revolutionary War veteran (1780-81) who was born in Lunenburg County, VA, and fought under Gen Gates.  In his 1833 pension application he states that his land is worn out and while some of his children are already in Tennessee, the remainder will travel with him to resettle there.  Those children  were Grechson, Thomas, Lucretia (Weatherford), Gerusha (Pully), John W., Margaret, William R., Richard, Marthina and Nancy.  Other individuals that married his children and made the trip include the Osbornes, Weatherfords, Lowry (or Loughry) and Pully.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the unknown graves are those of John W. and his family members.

Maragret Gilliam

MARGARET GILLIAM (married 20 Nov 1830 in Wilson, TN per marriage bonds)

B. 14 Jul 1805, North Carolina (per marriage bonds)

D. 16 Aug 1867

 

 

Additional Family Information:

LUCINDA (or LUCRETIA per 17 Feb 1824 wedding registry) R. WEATHERFORD (Maiden name BROWN, sister of JOHN W. BROWN, owner of Browns Mill)

B. 1790, Lunenburg County, VA

D. 27 Aug 1872

JOHN W. BROWN (owner of Brown’s Mill)

B. 17 Feb 1824, Lunenburg County, VA

D. 15 Sep 1876

PAUL KERR (Father of THOMAS ERNEST KERR, husband of VERGIE BROWN) (VERGIE was the great grand daughter of JOHN THOMAS BROWN who was JOHN W. BROWN’S brother)

B. 1855

D. 1925

ADRIANA ANDRA LOUGHRY (Wife of J.N. LOUGHRY.  Maiden name BROWN, daughter of John W. Brown & Margaret Gilliam)

B. 22 Sep 1834, Rutherford County, TN

D. 10 OCT 1877

LENA A. LOUGHRY (Daughter of J.N. LOUGHRY and ADRIANA BROWN)

B. 3 Oct 1872, Rutherford County, TN

D. 10 Jun 1895

J. N. LOUGHRY (Taught at Lascassas Academy and minister of Presbyterian Church)

B. 28 Mar 1826, Blairsville, PA

D. 11 Oct 1896

MARGUERITE “MAGGY” LOUGHRY MARTIN (Daughter of J.N. LOUGHRY and ADRIANA BROWN)

B. 2 Nov 1857

D. 30 Jul 1898

MAY ADRIANA MARTIN (Daughter of MARTIN and MARGUERITE LOUGHRY)

B. 2 Jun 1883

D. 9 Jan 1902

MARY A. LOUGHRY (Daughter of J.N. LOUGHRY and ADRIANA BROWN)

B. 30 Sep 1866

D. 8 Aug 1889

MARGARET GILLIAM (married 20 Nov 1830 in Wilson, TN per marriage bonds)

B. 14 Jul 1805, North Carolina (per marriage bonds)

D. 16 Aug 1867

JOSEPH S. LOUGHRY (Son of J.N. LOUGHRY and ADRIANA BROWN)

B.10 Jan 1852

D. 11 Aug 1857

 

And this folks is why we are here. Because you just never know when on stone turned face down will turn into a blog post with lots of new family information!  Thanks to Mark Brown for sending me this image. Copyright belongs to Mark so please contact him about use.