Tombs record book underway

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Work is underway by the Pike County Historical Society to prepare a new comprehensive tombs record book for Pike County.

However, local historian John Phil McLaney said problems have been identified that will be present at all the cemeteries to be surveyed.

“We used the 1963 Old Lebanon Baptist Church Cemetery Map, the 1987 Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Cemetery Map, the Oakwood Map, the Sexton’s Register and funeral home records to identify problems,” McLaney said. “We need the help of the public in identifying unmarked graves and persons who are named but whose graves are have not been located.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

McLaney said the historical society is attempting to identify unmarked graves that appear on an old map or are known to exist according to oral family history or from other sources such as family Bibles and obituaries.

“For example, there is a Confederate veteran at the foot of Kirksey Whatley’s great-grandfather’s grave at Mt. Moriah and a second Confederate veteran to the left of the first unmarked grave,” McLaney said. “There no known names for either.”

McLaney said Whatley’s knowledge of the unmarked graves comes from helping his grandmother maintain the dirt mounds.

Unmarked graves are also marked with a slab, rock or broken headstone, etc. but have no name.

“For example, the Sexton’s Register for Oakwood Cemetery gives the name of a person in a specific Division, Section and Lot number where there is a slab without a name” McLaney said. “We can than match a name to that slab.”

McLaney said Tim Hussey found a death record, which indicated a woman was buried in Old Lebanon Cemetery, but there is no marker.

“John Phillip Johnston provided the names of two of his wife’s ancestors who are buried at Old Lebanon but there is no marker and none were listed on the cemetery map,” McLaney said. “All three names have been added to the Tombs Record book with the notation of the source and that the locations of the graves within the cemetery are unknown.”

McLaney said, where possible, the Tombs Record Book will include the names of each person cremated in or whose ashes were brought to Pike County.

The “Names Column” will include married women by both their married names and maiden names.

Anyone who has names and/or locations of any unidentified graves or named persons but whose location within a cemetery is unknown is encouraged to call (334) 268-9192 so they can be included in the new cemetery book.