When I first
started to gather information for this book, I was repeatedly asked
why I wanted to undertake such a macabre subject. I explained my
position by offering two reasons--history and genealogy.
During the past few years I have been involved in
developing a family tree for the Jordan and Hall families. While
getting vital information on ancestors, it became increasingly more
evident that the only way to obtain some death information was from
cemeteries. But locating where a person was buried was almost as
difficult as identifying ancestors. To add to the problem was that
almost no records were available in
Gloucester to show
cemeteries and persons buried there since 1865. As a result
valuable genealogical data was being overlooked or lost.
A tremendous amount of
historical information can be collected at a cemetery. An insight
of life spans of our ancestors became evident. The mortality rate
of infants becomes obvious. Inscriptions on graves gives an insight
as to the closeness of families as well as to the craftmanship and
patience of loved ones. With the ever increasing complexity of the
migration of persons within this country, the cemetery provides a
small link to aid in the identification of that migration.
When a friend of mine was
approached about the location of certain cemetery the reply
was--"That's no cemetery, it's a graveyard." The reason was that
this "graveyard" had been abandoned, vandalized and overgrown.
Sadly, a lot of the cemeteries listed herein must be categorized as
graveyards. A pity.
I sincerely hope that this
book will interest and benefit, in some small way, the genealogist
and historian trying to picture Gloucester of yesteryear. I further
hope that others will continue to record future data to assure
up-to-date history and not just "lost graveyards."
A debt of gratitude is owed
to Mrs. Alice West, Mrs. Marionette West, Mr. Ben Borden and Mr.
Paul Brown for their assistance in providing a wealth of
information. A very special thanks is due for Messers Homer
Buck and James Sterling for their unselfish efforts in locating long
forgotten cemeteries and then taking me to those sites.
Grateful appreciation is also
extended to members of Boy Scout Troop 113 in general and to Mark
Cook in particular for collecting data and copying inscriptions from
Needless to say, none of this
work would have ended in success had it not been for my wife, Esther
Marie, whose encouragement, assistance, and patience kept me going.
for file to load.
During the course of
documenting the cemeteries of lower Gloucester, I discovered some
grave sites that had no head- or foot-stones and thus could not be
identified. One such site was on Cross Road near Jenkins Neck
Road. Another was near the York River near the intersection of
Bonniville Lane and Jenkins Neck Road. A third was cited
behind the New Life Church of God on US 17 near Ordinary, Virginia.
Other burial locations were
pointed out but no evidence of graves could be obtained.
Therefore no identities of persons buried there could be gathered.
For additional information on
grave sites not identified herein, it is recommended that "Epitaphs
of Gloucester and Mathews Counties in Tidewater, Virginia" through
1865 by Joseph Bryan Branch be read. It is an excellent source
pertaining to early burials.