Bill A. Davison
main interest in Greene County Cemeteries is Family...my Family. My early
Families in Greene County were either Slaves, or came from Slavery in
Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
of Slavery and missing or incomplete or just plain "No records at all", finding
the resting places of my many family members in Greene County is difficult at best, and always
do I search only for my Family graves? No, I do not. There are several reasons
why my search is for each and every grave site, family burial ground, graveyard,
and cemetery. Family, as explained. Friends and strangers...people I may never
know nor meet. They are in a similar situation as me. A person was here, that
person died, and that person is buried in the County.
the place of burial is documented and plotted so that one may visit that burial
site, the seeker is fortunate. If there is little or no or iffy documentation,
that is where the problem starts.
years ago, I purchased a Greene County Topo
Map...looking for certain cemeteries and roads and more...family related. I
wanted to more about Negro Run
Cemetery and Negro Run Road and
Negro Run Schoolhouse and "Negro" is not the original name seen on maps. But
instead of becoming angry, curiosity took over. Reading the last will and
testament of a local African American woman, she mention "Niger Run" in her will. Niger
Run. How did Negro Run get its name? I do not know. But looking at maps
and finding a cemetery, a road, a run, and a schoolhouse all with the same name,
there must have been an African American presence in that part of Gilmore
Township. And there was! Niger could very well be where in Africa this African American's ancestors came from. If not
for the mention of Niger Run in the will, my conclusion might have been
Topo Map I purchased had many cemeteries already
marked on it. From there, the search expanded. Until recently, I was not aware
of the same type of maps used by the Hennen's in their
cemetery research. While I referenced anything and everything cemetery related
County, the Hennen's Topo maps were new to me.
And they were welcomed and quite useful, of course. I have purchased several of
the map you can see displayed in Cornerstone. I have
donated them to several locations across the U.S. but the one
here is the most complete and updated. Most complete! Not yet completed. When I
started, I heard the number 400 places of burial in Greene County. Then I heard the number 600. I
thought to work on 400 first, then more if I could find them. One day, while in
Cornerstone, I was working on the 400 number and was at about 350. Two days
later, well over 400. It is rather difficult to count the map's cemeteries but I
estimate well over the 400 number. Closer to 500 and more, I
Map itself...Hennen's Cemetery records...available
Cornerstone cemetery records...the Fordyce photo CD.s,
other cemetery photographs... to each and every person who offered
help...anything and everything cemetery related. This is my research. I will not
visit all the cemeteries. It is not necessary for me to do so for someone
already has been to most. By a combination of efforts and research and photos
and cemetery records and funeral home records and more...you see the Greene
County Cemetery Map on display at Cornerstone. And the amazing thing about
research of any kind, is that it never ends. At least
once a month I hear .. "Bill, do you know about
even now, my answer could be, "nope, missed that one", or, "I knew about it but
did not know it's location". Or, "I had it marked here,
but it is over here...thank you". And Thanks to everyone who offers any
I found my families graves? Some of them, but not all.
Are they all buried in Greene County? Good question. What is the exact
location of the grave? Sometimes difficult to figure.
Negro Run Cemetery
Township: 1 White grave and
30 Negro graves. Who are the Negroes? I dunno. Who is
the White? I have heard the name Kennedy. And that a Kennedy once owned a log
cabin not too far up the main road. And that that log cabin might have been a
stop on the Underground Railroad. Positive proof of
anything? Not everything... but we do have the location of the cemetery
and available records and nothing else. But I will not disregard anything I hear
or anything I read for it just might have some truth to it. Any family's Oral
Family History is quite important, especially when it comes to the "secret"
Underground Railroad. But once I hear something, I do my best to research
further for it might be my family either helping runaway slaves, or, being those
runaway slaves. And if a house or building is mentioned with a "secret hiding
place", was the house built before or during that time period. I have heard that
many "built in hiding places" might have been constructed to "hide" "whiskey",
rather than slaves. The difference is quite important to one descended from
Greene County Slavery.
Colored Graveyard in Cumberland Township.
I have been to it, following directions. No grave markers. I have no idea who is
buried there. Let me correct that statement. Using Greene County research, I have indications of
early African American slaves of settlers in the area. Slaves lived and Slaves
died... and Slaves are buried...somewhere. Colored Graveyard is a clue to the
last resting place of at least one 'colored'
Run Colored Cemetery in Perry Township.
I was taken there by friends and strangers alike. Barbara McLaughlin is buried
there...died in 1844. My GG Uncle Caleb Davison is buried there. Died in 1899. There are several markers there but only one
readable. Barbara’s. It is also called the McLaughin Cemetery. And Shannon Run Colored
Cemetery. And it may
have another name or two. One graveyard? Or two
separate graveyards? 1844... I feel chances are Barbara may not be "colored",
but then again, she might be of color! My Caleb is "colored”, a Black man.
GG Grandfather, George Bice of Wayne Township...by
census records, tax records and death records, my George Bice was: 'colored', 'black', 'mulatto', and 'white'...and
Oral Family History says he might be 'Native American'. Some of what I know for
sure is what I don't know for sure! My George died and was buried a 'white' man.
Greene County Death
Records. Porter-Lantz Cemetery, Wayne Township.
The cemetery has a 'colored section' and most graves there are from my family
tree. My direct families....many of
Slave burial ground in Packer Valley...reported
Cemetery on Hargus Creek... this "Adams Family" was 'bi-racial'..Black
and Martha Davidson as said to be buried in Perry Township.
Slaves on the run who passed thru Greene County, then returned to live here and are
buried there. Proof? The report of an interested person
with a family tie to whom once owned the property. Do I
believe them? Yes, Greene County has so much 'not yet documented
history', I listen to and take to heart everything.
Even if I cannot figure it out does not mean it is not true. If I knew all about
the County, there would be no need to read or research or even visit
Cornerstone, located on ground once owned by my GG Grandfather Charles Samuel
expert I am not. I do not place myself in the category of "researchers". But I
do research and read and listen and search for my family and others whose
ancestors were Slaves in Greene
County, PA. And I cannot
find a 'black' person without a 'white' person right here too, or nearby, so I
look for everything cemetery related... and more.
"Massa" a former slave said
to be buried in the very southeast corner of the County. Massa could be someone I
am familiar with but only additional research is needed before I can come to a
Slave buried at the base of a tree in the Glades Cemetery, Cumberland Township.
said to be buried in the Old
Jefferson Cemetery... the Methodist Cemetery in Jefferson, PA,
now a parking lot.
GGG Grandfather and other slaves/former slaves said to be buried in the same
Jefferson Cemetery as Thomas and Elizabeth Hughes...of the
Thomas Hughes House / Thomas
Hughes Reading Center, Jefferson, PA.
My Daniel, a 'man of color', and Jane, " the Black
Woman" are included in the 1823 will of Thomas Hughes. An 1807 Jefferson Twp Tax
lists lists "Dan, age 4" among a Negro family and the
head of that family appears to be Jane.
records have my Daniel Ferrell buried in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
Daniel Ferrel: d. 1-22-1851,
aged 53yr 1 mo 5da. My Daniel is the only "person of color", said to have been a
slave of Thomas Hughes but with no documentation to say he was ever a slave,
buried in Presbyterian Cemetery by name!. But then again, Daniel was a son of Jane. Jane, yes,
registered as a slave in Washington Co, (now Greene Co) PA in 1782 by said
Thomas Hughes. But both Jane and Daniel are included in the 1823 will of Thomas
Hughes (1749-1823). Jane would have been a slave for life, unless freed, and
Daniel would have been a slave until he reached the age of 28, unless freed
before that and we can find NO documentation freeing him so he remained a slave
until he was 28 years of age. This dependent of whether or not said Thomas
Hughes took the oath to be a Pennsylvanian and abided by Pennsylvania Law. If he
did not, and remained a "Viginian", this changes
things a bit! More research is required.
article and photo with arrows pointing to the graves of slaves in the
Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
do not know where Daniel's wife Mary (Stewart) Ferrell is buried. I do not know
where Jane, the Black woman, my GGGG Grandmother, is buried. Close to Daniel,
do not know where my GG Grandmother, Eleanor (Burgess) Bice, wife of George Bice, is
buried. In Porter-Lantz Cemetery...perhaps in the "Colored People"
section with George? That answer is not known at this
G Grandmother, Sarah Catherine (Bice) Davison is
buried in the Moore Burial Ground. I do not know where her husband, my George
Albert Davison, is buried. Not yet!
Chapel Cemetery...Grinages and more.
cemeteries rumored to be near the PA/WV line...Gilmore Township.
Burgess Family Burial Ground in Deep Valley...quite possibly my family for I am
research for me will not end for others in my family will continue the
did not begin the Cemetery Research of Greene County and said research will
continue long after me.
2008 Bill A. Davison