family cemetery

Cemeteries, no. 23: the Taylor-Barnes cemetery.

Deborah Webb sent the tip a month ago — there was an abandoned graveyard off Webb Lake Road that contained the remains of an unknown African-American family. After my library talk Tuesday, I got some additional directions, and yesterday morning I set out it find it.

L. and T. Speight gave permission for me to park in their driveway and pointed out the copse out back. Standing in the middle of a turned-under corn field, such a stand of woods is a tell-tale sign of a cemetery.

It was a fight getting in. The smilax is ferocious. Breaking through though, I could see unmarked, subsided graves across the forest floor.

I saw no headstones, and only two graves bore small metal funeral home markers, meant to be temporary. The paper inserts identifying the dead were long gone.

Toward the back, there was a single vault. Its concrete and brick cover had collapsed at one end, exposing the interior. I did not disturb it to search for a name. Mr. Speight told me that the graveyard had been there when his grandfather bought the farm in 1938, that the last burial had been more than 30 years ago, and that he thought the family was named Barnes.

Wilson County Genealogical Society has published several volumes of transcribed cemetery records. I didn’t have access to my copies, so I consulted Joan Howell, the tireless spirit behind the project. She called me back this morning with an ID. This is the Aaron Barnes cemetery, first surveyed in 1991. It was overgrow even then, with only the vault and two metal markers visible among the 33 identifiable burial sites. Two graves bore names — Aaron Barnes (1888-1951) and Pattie J. Taylor, who died 3 January 1953 at age 16.

Here is Aaron Barnes’ death certificate:

Aaron Barnes had been a World War veteran, and his widow Martha Barnes applied for a military headstone for his grave:

Theirs was a late marriage. Aaron Barnes, 50, of Gardners township, son of Jarman and Mollie Barnes, married Martha Lancaster, 38, of Gardners, daughter of John D. and Susan Lancaster, on 3 November 1938 in Wilson.

Though the cemetery is called Taylor’s on Aaron Barnes’ records, and presumably most of the burials were of members of that family, I have not found information about young Pattie J. Taylor. However, Lillie Taylor died 17 January 1941 in Gardners township and, per her death certificate, she was born 6 January 1882; was married to James Taylor; was born in Wilson County to Jarman and Mollie Barnes; and was buried in Taylors cemetery near Elm City. Also, Lillie and James H. Taylor’s male infant was stillborn on 24 December 1917 in Gardners township and was buried at “Taylors place.”

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2019. Many thanks to Deborah Webb, L. and T. Speight, and Joan Howell.

Cemeteries, no. 22: John and Bettie Hinnant Jones family cemetery.

This small family cemetery is adjacent to the Sane Williams graveyard, described here.

The graves of John A. Jones and Bettie Hinnant Jones lie under two of the brick vault covers seen below.

——

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Dempsy Powell, 52, farmer; wife Sallie, 46; daughter Susan A. Jones, 27, and her husband John A. Jones, 34; their children Thomas A., 13, Jessee B., 11, James A., 7, Celia C., 5, Sallie C., 4, and John A., 1; and W.D. Lucus, 21, laborer.

John A. Jones, 20, of Old Fields, son of John A. and Susan Jones, married Celia Williamson, 18, of Old Fields, daughter of Spencer and Senia Williamson, on 17 January 1898 at Jim Jones’.Witnesses included Thomas A. Jones.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer General V. Hinnant, 38; wife Martha A., 35; and children Alice V., 13, Minnie A., 12, Ezekiel, 11, Bettie J., 9, William V., 4, Oscar, 2, and Herman, 2.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Vandorne Hinnant, 48; wife Betsy J., 46; and children Ezekial, 22, Bettie, 19, Willie, 13, Oscar, 12, Luther, 10, Regest W., 9, Roland, 8, Ralon, 6, Ollien, 4, and Roy E., 2.

J.A. Jones, 34, son of John A. and Susan Jones, of Old Fields, married Bettie Hinnant, 21, daughter of Vandorn and Janie Hinnant, of Springhill township, on 5 May 1912. Missionary Baptist minister William H. Mitchiner performed the ceremony at the Hinnant home.

In 1918, John Alce Jones registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he resided at R.F.D.#1, Sims; was born 25 January 1897; was a self-employed farmer; and Bettie Jones was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on Jones Hill Road, farmer J.A. Jones, 42; wife Bettie, 28; and children Johnie W., 16, Grover, 7, Susie, 5, Maomie, 4, and Ruth, 1.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: John A. Jones, 53, farmer wife Bettie J., 39; and children Grover L., 17, Sussie J., 15, Namie, 13, and Ruth, 11.

John Asley Jones died 21 April 1962 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 October 1878 in Wilson County to John Allen Jones and Susan Powell; was married to Betty Hinnant; was a retired farmer; and lived in Sims, Wilson County.

Bettye Hinnant Jones died 21 May 1866 in Enfield, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 2 February 1891 in Wilson County to Vandorn Hinnant and Martha Jane Horton; was widowed; and resided in Sims, Wilson County.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.