Tombstone Inscriptions from Black CemeteriesCompiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
in Henderson County, Tennessee
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1995
Almost twenty years ago a cooperative effort, coordinated by Mr. William L. Barry, published in three volumes the HENDERSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE TOMBSTONE INSCRIPTIONS (1976). No distinction was made in this very useful publication between black and white persons in reporting the cemetery listings, which was a fine gesture towards racial accord. The present compilation is designed to assist persons with black ancestry to identify specifically those burial places kept or utilized by blacks over the generations, in order to expedite their genealogical research.
No such listing seems ever to completely include all burial grounds, black or white, as some have long since ceased to be, particularly the old family graveyards and former church sites. Their locations have been virtually lost to individual and collective memory. In numerous instances blacks and whites have been buried in the same older cemeteries so that exclusively black cemeteries were generally a later development. In listing tombstone inscriptions in this publication the names of the various cemeteries have been given with the names only (with few exceptions) of black persons buried with tombstones in these cemeteries. A consistent effort was made in copying these tombstone inscriptions to adhere to the spelling of names and inscribed dates as given on these "markers," be they from tombstones as such, funeral home markers or wooden crosses.
Cordial assistance has been rendered by several persons towards the successful completion of this cemetery-tombstones project, including Mr. Robert D. Taylor, Jr., One of the librarians in the Tennessee Room, Jackson- Madison County Library in Jackson, Tennessee; Mr. Nathaniel Parham, Jr., owner of the Parham Mortuary in Lexington, Tennessee; Mr. Marshall Easley of the Peoples Funeral Home (owned by Mr. Virgil Carver) and Pafford's Funeral Home, also both in Lexington; and numerous persons mentioned in this publication.
The various cemeteries have been numbered on map segments of Henderson County in order to designate their specific locations. These segments are part of the 1992 base map of Henderson County prepared by the Planning Division, Bureau of Planning and Development, Tennessee Department of Transportation and are used in this publication as a courtesy of this agency, Not all cemeteries have been noted by location with special map legend on this county map by this agency. However, numbered arrows have been used in this publication to locate such cemeteries, along with the others, on these map segments.
Jonathan K. T. Smith
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