Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Search: Virginia Cemeteries

A while back I drove around to the some of the local cemeteries to find some family members that have been forgotten as well as to visit some that we just hadn’t seen in a while. Actually, it was the first time that I can remember visiting any of them. It is with this trip still fresh in my mind (even two years later) that I decided to do the same thing, this time in Virginia.

The day after the reunion, we made our way to Eagle Rock and explored the place where my family once lived. After walking around the small town for a little while, we took my great uncle up on his offer to lead us to one of the cemeteries in the area. After a few turns down gravel roads…

…and a couple of stops to regroup and figure out where we were going we finally made it to Shiloh Cemetery. Here we found my three times great grandmother, Francis Redcross (Beverly) resting beside her son…

…as well as one of her daughters, Mary Jane Redcross (Duke), and her family just a few yards away.

Unfortunately, we are still unable to find my three times great grandfather, Paulus Redcross, who passed long before his wife.

After Shiloh we were on our own but fortunately, this time, knew exactly where we needed to go to find Forest Grove Baptist Church. When we arrived services were just coming to an end at the small church and, not surprisingly, we found a few relatives standing outside the doors talking amongst themselves. After a couple brief conversations, we headed back and began walking round finding that we were related to nearly every other person, in one way or another, throughout the cemetery.

In the back right of the granite field, under a large tree, we found my great great grandparents, Roy and Sallie (Clapsaddle) Teaford.

I have seen their headstones in pictures before but, as many of you know, it is a completely different experience seeing them with your own eyes. From this corner of the cemetery we slowly walked back toward the church until we found two more of my great great grandparents, Nicholas and Laura (Redcross) Love.

It was especially moving since now I have been able to visit, between all the cemeteries that I have visited, I have been able to visit four generations of my family. My grandparents and great grandparents in Pennsylvania and now my great great grandparents and great great great grandmother today. However, what struck me most about the day was when we turned around just before leaving and I was able to see all four great great grandparents in one peaceful picture.

The following day, after our morning spelunking, we stopped by another cemetery in an attempt to find my great great grandfather’s first wife. After even more dirt and gravel roads than the previous day, we were finally able to find Bethel Church tucked back into the woods on a one way road.

The cemetery was just on the other side of the small creek where my dad and I walked up and down every aisle. In the end, much like Leverington Cemetery, we couldn’t find her name or family anywhere among the headstones that were still visible and legible.

This one is going to take some more work. Hopefully this time the church has some accurate records.

A couple of days later, as I previously wrote about, we visited the last cemetery of our trip while atop of Bear Mountain in Amherst County. While we were only able to find the names of a couple generations, I am certain that we were in the presence of many more generations at the Monacan Burial Ground. It took some effort, much more than the first time we visited a few cemeteries, but it was well worth the time, effort, and emotions. I am glad that we took the time to visit while in Virginia.