Search billions of records on

The Wright Cemetery

(Mitchell-Wright-Yeatts-Blackwell-Whitlock Families)


Floyd County, Little River District, Virginia


[Recorded on July 3, 2006, by Georgia Phyllis Whitlock Shank (g- g- granddaughter of Fabious L. and Mary Ann Stover Mitchell, g- granddaughter of Joseph Harvey and Susan Mitchell Wright, granddaughter of William Wanless and C. Glynne Shank Wright, daughter of Mildred C. Wright and George Denton Whitlock).  Photos by David W. Shank (descendant of Lewis Shank).]


Originally called the Mitchell Cemetery, this cemetery is now referred to in the neighborhood as the Wright Cemetery.  Resting on the south slope of Palmer Ridge, east of Fox Ridge and above Whortleberry Branch (now referred to as Huckleberry Creek), it is located on land owned for almost 150 years by the family and descendants of Fabious L. Mitchell (born March 9, 1803, died March 21, 1868), the oldest identified gravesite.  


Mitchell acquired approximately 250 acres from F.W. Lester in 1854.  Around 1880, much of the land passed to Joseph H. Wright (son of James Alexander Wright) and his wife, Susan Mitchell Wright, and then in the early 1900’s to their son William Wanless and his wife the former Glynne Shank, daughter of Joel and Antoinette Wickham Shank from the headwaters of Beaver Dam Creek.  The cemetery and land passed into the hands of their daughter Mildred Wright and her husband George Denton Whitlock from the late-1940’s until sold in 1998 to the Floyd Farm Association and Laurel Creek Farms.  At that time one acre was set aside for the cemetery to be under the care of trustees from the family of Elinos Alton Whitlock, descendants of the Yeatts and Blackwell families buried in the cemetery.


Directions: From the town of Floyd north 7.4 miles on US 221, to Va 668 (Cannaday School Road) or from Stonewall Church south ½ mile on US 221, to Va 668 (Cannaday School Road) then turn east.  After crossing a small creek, the Huckleberry, at 0.6 miles turn left (north) on the gravel cemetery access road, located between houses 2121 and 2115 Cannaday School Road. 





                                                  Access road, cemetery on left in distance.


The cemetery as seen from the access road.




Inside the cemetery.


ROW 1 (from the entry gate)



Roger L. Whitlock

Dec 14, 1972    Feb 17, 2001


ROW   2




Ruby Bell, dau. of T A & OllieYeatts                                         Ollie Yeatts

    July 7, 1919   Mar 27, 1928                                              1888    Apr. 19, 1924



                Martha J. Blackwell                                                           Lewis Blackwell

Born Nov 24, 1849    Died June 10, 1924                           Oct. 15, 1847     Jan 1, 1933

              Dear Mother




              Robert W. Blackwell                                                Laura J Blackwell

     July 20, 1883       Apr. 6, 1933                               May 15, 1872         Mar 10, 1950




          Lewis Arthur Whitlock                            Military marker footstone: 

July 17, 1944             Jan 16, 1970                                       Lewis A. Whitlock


                                                                               SP5 2 BN  44 Artillery  Vietnam

                                                                                  July 17, 1944     Jan 16, 1970





                                                            Ollie Martha Whitlock                            

                                                    Sept 13, 1951            Sept 1, 1955                                


   The E. A. Whitlock Family area, southeast

                                                                                        corner of cemetery




Elinos Alton                              Estella Yeatts

Feb 22, 1917    Dec 2, 1992            Dec 2, 1913    Apr 5, 2004








                 Infant daughter of                                              “Kinsley” tombstone

         Rebekah & Terry Kinsley






Robert Lincoln                   Elizabeth Dobbins               Looking south: View of the

Apr 19, 1938                           Jan 1, 1942                       Yeatts, Blackwell, and

Aug 2, 1991                                                                       Whitlock graves



                                         Georgia Phyllis Whitlock Shank             


                              recording gravestone information, July 3, 2006.




[Beginning on the north side of this row is what may be one field stone headstone in line with the three tombstones, then what may be another fieldstone headstone with a fieldstone footstone in line with the headstones.  As the picture below shows, there is  a space of several feet before the tombstone of Susan M. Wright.  When I first recorded the cemetery information in 1975 (under the name “Mitchell Cemetery”), my grandmother, Glynne Shank Wright said that “George Shank, husband, who died about 1930’s, and Will’s sister Hattie Wright, wife, who died before 1915 (1910?);” were buried here.  GPWS]






           Susan M.  Wife of J. H. Wright                                         Joseph H. Wright

Born Nov. 4, 1846   Died Dec 18, 1919            Born Sept 6, 1840      Died Nov 13, 1916

Blessed are the dead which                               Death is eternal life.

             die in the Lord                                                 Why should we weep?


J. Kyle, son of Joseph H. & Susan M. Wright

Born Aug 24, 1889      Died May 19, 1913

Weep not he is at rest






Broken headstone:  unknown                 Headstone left foreground:  no writing




Our Mother:  Elizabeth C. Mitchell                                       Josephus A. Mitchell1        

Nov 13, 1850    Oct 8, 1922                                 Born Dec 22, 1840   Died Mar 13, 1891                  

She’s safe at home                                                          Gone but not forgotten                                      




Charley H. Mitchell                                                        Kate, wife of J. F. Mitchell                       

Born May 2, 1876    Died Apr 3, 1910              Born Aug 18, 1881    Died Dec 14, 1911

To him, we trust, a place is given                      Alas, she has left us, her spirit has fled

Amongst the saints with Christ in heaven       Her body now slumbers along with the




                Several graves marked by fieldstones


ROW 5:




Obedience, wife of John N. Beamer                                         Mary A. Mitchell

Born Oct 11, 1800    Died July 30, 1872              Born July 9, 1815    Died Mar 4, 1887

Thou art to pass over Jordan this day                      

--Deut 9.1




                     Fabious L. Mitchell                            Foreground:

   Born Mar 9, 1803    Died Mar 21, 1868                  Gravesites marked by fieldstones







                                             John Wm               Sarah Ann 

                                          1865--1946              1878--1926







Father:  Creed W Janney                                                           Octavie Janney

Born June 5, 1881  Died Sept 2, 1942             Born  May 11, 1884  Died June 10, 1958

Rest, father, rest in quiet sleep,

While friends in sorrow o’er thee weep




Marker by John M. Oakey & Son, Salem, Va    The Janney “corner” -- tombstones,

(?Mrs) Margaret  (last name illegible)                     funeral marker and 2 fieldstone

Died (?March)  Age (?30 or 34) years 5 months     markers.



Aquilla Barton2                                                          The “Quilly” Barton corner (SW)

Mar 6, 1863    Feb 10, 1943






                      Pet Cemetery                                                 Coco and Yellow Cat



Possible fieldstone marker


1 John Mitchell writing of Floyd History in The Floyd Press of 24 Sep 1981 tells the following about Palmer Ridge and two of Ceph Mitchell’s boys:


“Just to the north of where Beaver Dam Creek flows into Little River, Palmer Ridge rises to an altitude of almost 2700 feet.  It is not the highest elevation in Floyd County but it is certainly one of the most rugged.  Heavy forest covers the precipitous flanks of the Ridge and no roads traverse the wild fastness.


“Highway 221 runs to the north and west of the Ridge and separated from it by the creek.  In the old days a road left 221 at Tom Lester’s mill and ran along the south of the Ridge clear up the Huckleberry Branch and beyond.  This road has long since been abandoned.


“The Ridge was named for a man by the name of Palmer.  Little is known of him—where he came from, who he was, and his fate, have all been forgotten in the passing of time.


“He lived for a time atop the Ridge, reportedly his place of abode was a rail pen.  Also in the old days, a gang of horse thieves used the Ridge as their base of operations, apparently secure from apprehension in the rugged wilderness.  During the Civil War, the Ridge was a refuge for deserters and draft evaders of both North and South.  Some spent the entire period of the War, hiding in the deep woods and dense thickets.


“Wild animals abounded on the Ridge in early times.  Deer, bear, wolves, and panthers were numerous.  Two sons of Ceph Mitchell once built a cage somewhere on the Ridge and trapped a large bear in it.  One of the boys stuck the muzzle of a shot gun through the bars of the cage and the bear hit [sic] the end of the barrel.  His teeth dented the barrel and marks were evident as long as the gun existed.”


2 Family lore tells that Mr. Barton came to Grandpa Will (W. W. Wright, Sr.) when Mrs. Barton passed away and asked permission to bury her in the family cemetery.  Grandpa said there were no objections but wondered why “Quilly” had made the request.  To which Mr. Barton replied that he didn’t know exactly, but she’d said she wanted to be buried in “the Wright  cemetery” and he’d be obliged if it could be arranged.  Sometime later, the family decided she may have meant “the right cemetery” instead of “the Wright cemetery” and we often wondered if Quilly really was buried in her cemetery of choice.


                                                            Phyllis W. Shank