Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mother Lode of Cemeteries

I recently took a brief trip to Fayette County, Alabama, where my great grandfather (Augustus Newell Edmonds) and his second wife (Amanda H Davis) grew up.  Although he left the area for Hill County, Texas, in the 1870s, there are many family roots in the county.  I planned to search for a few key grave markers and take pictures of any one I saw with a related family surname.

My first stop was Find A Grave to figure out which cemeteries to visit.  Much to my surprise, there are 218 cemeteries in Fayette County.  With a county population of just over 17,000, and an area of 628 square miles, that makes for one cemetery for every 79 living people, and more than one cemetery per three square miles.  I compare this with my own county in Texas:  169 cemeteries, 782,000 people, 850 square miles.  That’s one cemetery for every 4600 living people, and one cemetery per 5 square miles.

As I entered the county by country roads, I was taken by the presence of so many cemeteries.  Most were beside small country churches.  I loved the fact that residents were laid to rest where they had worshipped.

I ended up visiting and taking pictures at 7 cemeteries, including taking pictures of every grave marker at 2 of the smaller cemeteries.  I would love to return some day, take more pictures, and learn more about my roots.

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