Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nashville Family Cemeteries

Small family cemeteries are particularly abundant in the southern part of the United States. And the Nashville area is no exception!

In 2006, Theo Emery wrote an article for called "More Family Cemeteries Dying Away in the South."

He says: "In Tennessee, as in other Southern states, farm families in centuries past tended to bury their dead on their own land, allowing for quick interment and easy oversight of graves. In the Northeast, by contrast, families were more likely to use public burial grounds and church cemeteries.

"The Southern pattern was that every farm or plantation would have their family cemetery," said Charles Reagan Wilson, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

"State archaeologist Nick Fielder estimates that there are 20,000 family cemeteries in Tennessee, but there's no way to know for sure. There's no central inventory, and most documentation is done by historians and volunteers who scour records and trudge through meadows in search of graves."

Just a few of the Nashville area family cemeteries were referred to in the article:
  • Mount Juliet - A tiny family cemetery is in the middle of the Nashville Auto Auction parking lot.
  • Nashville, Tennessee - At the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, there is a historic plantation house and a cemetery with graves dating back to the 1700's.
  • North of Nashville - A cemetery is tucked in a highway cloverleaf.
  • South of Nashville - A family cemetery is on the grounds of a hotel, next to a parking lot.
And here's some others in Tennessee:
  • Nashville - The Hardgrave Family Cemetery is located on a hill overlooking the Harpeth River. It is just south of Percy Warner Park across the county line into Williamson County in the Horseshoe Bend subdivision.
  • Near Athens - Cate Family Cemetery, near a residence on Road #262 in McMinn County.
  • Nolensville - Hailey Family Cemetery, Williamson County, intersection of Kidd Road and Baronswood Drive.
  • Lascossas - Mount Family Cemetery, 25 graves located in Wilson County on Spain Road.
Grave Mappers thinks that Names in Stone could become a great central inventory for all these small endangered family cemeteries. If you live in the Nashville area, we hope you'll help us get these cemeteries on the map!

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