LOCATION: On Puerto Drive in the Gulf Hills residential development about 1 1/2 miles northwest of Ocean Springs in the SW/4 of Section 13, T7S-R9W.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue go north .50 miles to the entrance to Gulf Hills at Shore Drive. Turn left (west) onto Shore Drive and go 1.1 miles on a very sinuous road to the intersection of Camino Real. Go left at Camino Real for 10 miles to Puerto Drive. At Puerto go right for .18 miles to the Ryan-Seymour Cemetery on the left at 14005 Puerto Drive.
HISTORY: The Ryan-Seymour Cemetery in Gulf Hills is sometimes
referred to as the Old Spanish Cemetery. It is located in an area
of the Gulf Coast where there may have
been a Spanish Colonial settlement in the late 1700s. The settlement, called Spanish Camp, was located across Old Fort Bayou on the Fort Point peninsula at Ocean Springs. This
was accomplished after the English were forced out of British West Florida by the Spanish in 1780. The Iberians established Spanish West Florida after the Treaty of Paris in 1783. It is postulated that the Spanish Camp was garrisoned by troops sent from Pascagoula where the "Spanish Fort" was established on the La Pointe-Krebs estate. It is possible but yet totally unsubstantiated that some of these Spanish Colonial troops and settled at Gulf Hills.
It is known with a high degree of certitude that the Gulf Hills area
was the locus of several settlements by 19th Century Spanish immigrants.
Among these were Juan Antonio
Rodriguez (1812-1860+) who patented the land, Lot 5 of Section 13, where the cemetery is located in 1848. Juan Rodriguez married Marie-Martha Ryan (1822-1860+), the
daughter of Pierre Ryan and Marie-Joseph Ladner. After Rodriguez died probably in the late 1880s, his son, Miguel Rodriguez (1866-1906), controlled the tract and began selling it to his siblings and others in February 1889. The sale went as follows: Felix Rodriguez (2 acres), Antonio Rodriguez (5 acres). Delerine R. Pecherich (2 acres), Mary MarieRodriguez (8 acres), and Miguel Rodriguez who retained three acres for himself. Cora Poitevent Earle, wife of Charles T. Earle (1861-1901), bought 113 acres, and Thomas Hanson 19 acres.(Jackson County Deed Records Book 12, p. 221-222)
It is known from the U.S. Census records that the Ryan, Marie, Seymour, and Desporte families also inhabited this area of Gulf Hills. They made their livelihood as fishermen, farmers, and charcoal burners. It is members of these families that are predominantly buried here. The Rodriguez eventually lost control of the area to others (Wilsons, Picard, et al) who eventually sold to Chicago investors who built the Gulf Hills resort in the late 1920s.
A land survey plat of Lot 5 by E.N. Ramsay (1832-1916), Jackson County surveyor, in 1904 depicts a five acre tract in the NE/4 of Lot 5 which states "place for cemetery and Picard property" (Jackson County Surveyor's Record Book 1, p. 71). This is the only reference found to this cemetery in early Jackson County Deed records.
Martha Tiblier Eleuterius (b. 1919), remembers visiting the cemetery
in 1923, when she was very young. Her early memory of the cemetery
and its history as related to her by
her parents follows:
" The cemetery was called the Ryan Cemetery.
I have been told that the Ladners owned the land originally. I was
taken to the cemetery as a small girl by my father, Henry Eugene Tiblier.
There was a wire fence around the site and no grass. It was very
clean. I remember a tomb for the Seymour Family which is not there
today. In one corner, the Forgones'* were buried. Their son was Paul
Forgones. There was a large tomb which belonged to Larat Anglada**.
Anglada was born at Barcelona, Spain. He had a grocery store in Gulf
Hills and sold his merchandise to the charcoal burners who lived in the
Anglada's schooners would sail to New Orleans with charcoal and return with dry goods, can goods, and staples. After Larat Anglada's death, people dug up the cemetery looking for his money. In the process, many baby graves were destroyed.
There were also many cypress boards which marked graves. My grandmother, Palmyra Beaugez Tiblier (1846-1913), was buried in the smaller tomb. It was broken into several times. In 1949, some vandals stole her skull."
* It is not known with any degree of certitude the identity of
Larat Anglada. There is a familial connection between the Marie,
Rodriguez, and Anglada families. Pedro Anglada
(1826-1889), the progenitor of that family here was born at Spain. His remains are interred in the Old Biloxi Cemetery.
In the late 1940s, Lionel Eleuterius of Ocean Springs remembers "that there were many graves in this cemetery, probably between 40 and 60". Many of these graves were probably indicated by wooden markers and crosses which are now gone.
PRIMARY FAMILY INTERRMENTS-As visble today, primarily from
stone grave markers: Byrd, Ramsay, Seymour, and Tiblier.
Larat Anglada ? (large tomb)
Hesey Carr Byrd
10-18-1889 to 8-30-1959
Elzie Seymour Byrd
12-9-1893 to 6-17-1973
Solamon E. Byrd
7-17-1890 to 6-15-1926
Miguel Desporte (wooden cross)
Jean Baptiste Fountain
12-18-1836 to 06-03-1924
Josephine Ryan Fountain
10-15-1844 to 02-04-1921
Hortense Ryan Furgoness
Charles B. Klepac
10-7-1914 to 11-10-1999
Mildred K. Klepac
11-21-1912 to 9-27-1979
Billy Wayne Lee
11-16-1945 to 10-3-1985
Monica Mary Lee
10-27-1942 to 9-9-1991
Emma Havelin Ramsay
10-2-1908 to 6-7-1984
Elliott Noble Ramsay
4-6-1911 to 2-5-1991
Catherine Ryan Ramsay
7-31-1908 to 8-30-1958
Elliott Joseph (E.J.) Ramsay
12-16-1936 to 8-5-1998
St. Cyr Ryan
3-1-1871 to 12-26-1939
7-10-1882 to 12-18-1955
Peter Claude Ryan
PVT US Army WW II
2-7-1919 to 8-8-1977
4-4-1882 to 4-24-1968
Lena P. Seymour
4-11-1885 to 10-25-1961
Alfred Louis Seymour
? to 1916
Erwin Adam Seymour
3-28-1911 to 12-23-1978
Blanche P. Seymour
Sameul Howard Seymour
Cotille Priscilla Seymour
Solomon E. Seymour
7-17-1890 to 6-15-1926
James Ernest Lee Seymour
Monica Mary Seymour
10-27-1942 to 9-9-1991
Johanna Ryan Tiblier
wife of Albert Tiblier
1-15-1875 to 10-27-1923
Palmyra Beaugez Tiblier
Five wooden crosses with no names, one cypress head-
board, two brick crypts, and one small child's grave.
Mary Louise Adkinson, Bouzage-Bosarge Family, (Mississippi
Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, Special Issue 4
(2nd Edition-January 1991), p. 193.
Dale Greenwell, Twelve Flags-Triumphs and Tragedies
(Greenwell: 1968), p. 159.
Charles Sullivan, The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a
People, (Windsor Publications, Inc.: Northridge, California
- 1985) p. 24.
Sun Herald, "Gulf Hills area settled by fishermen, farmers,
and charcoal kiln operators", November 24, 1982.
Personal communication: Martha Tiblier Eleuterius - July 1993
Surveyed and researched by:
Ray L. Bellande
If you have comments or suggestions, email Ray Bellande
This page created with Netscape Navigator Gold
on 12 Dec 1999
and updated 12 June 2002