May 10 '08
Volume 623

Another Cemetery Geneological Roamings

Neal Huskison and I were not content to end our travels over county roads in search of cemeteries of our ancestors without making the effort to find the back-roads’ route from my grandparents place near Thaxton to Liberty Hill cemetery near Lafayette Springs, in nearby Lafayette County, Mississippi. But, there simply wasn’t enough daylight remaining to sustain our day’s adventures, and we resolved to try our navigation skills at a later date.

The following Saturday afternoon seemed the perfect afternoon to pick up where we’d left off the prior week. I phoned Neal to check his availability, and he was at my backdoor in a matter of minutes. The warm peach cobbler on the stovetop was too much a temptation for him to resist, and he downed a helping before we left.

Neal and I are actually second cousins due to our respective fathers being first cousins. However, we grew up calling ourselves third cousins to each other. My folks either didn’t understand the "once removed" moniker for kinship or else didn’t use it. Thus, if my dad and Neal’s dad were first cousins, my dad and Neal were second cousins, which made Neal and me third cousins.

Neal and I were better prepared to traverse the meandering paved and sometimes graveled roads of rural Pontotoc and Lafayette counties, as we had both made extensive use of aerial maps of both MSN Live and Google on the Internet in the days prior to our second outing together.

We made our way to Thaxton and points north, traveling along what is not named Carter Road, crossing lands once owned by my relatives. Neal could remember where my great grandparents’ house once stood and recalled visiting there when he was perhaps three or four years old. The house he described, I grew up knowing as the place where a sharecropper and his family lived and must have missed the historical significance of the property then owned by Jessie Carter, my granddad’s brother.

Arriving at the intersection of Hurricane Road and Carter Road, we turned left and soon found CR 214 which led us directly to Liberty Hill Rd. We had traveled perhaps for two miles along Liberty Hill Rd. when we came up behind two women on a four-wheeler. Neal rolled down his window and asked if either of them knew about a cemetery across the road from Liberty Hill cemetery. The driver, the younger of the two, appeared to be a teenager and willing shared her knowledge of the area.

"Yes, there’s a cemetery right up here at the next curve; take a left and it’s only a little piece on your left."

Neal asked if they lived close by, and we were told they were from the Hurricane community. Neal thanked them for their helpfulness and cautioned them to be careful as we drove away.

"I wonder if that was her mother with her" Neal mused.

"It’s hard to say, but she was definitely the older of the two," I replied.

We found the cemetery and quickly assessed its condition was less kempt than the one where our ancestors were buried. The earth was sunken at a number of graves and some of the headstones appeared to be homemade of concrete with a name etched with a nail before the concrete had set. There were some Carters buried there but none of the names matched any of our known relatives. Judging by the number of graves with names like Peagues and Correthers we decided the cemetery was for Blacks.

We were about ready to leave when the two females on the four-wheeler pulled up beside us.

"Who are y’all looking for the teen asked?"

"I’m a Carter," I responded. "We have some ancestors buried at Liberty Hill and somebody told us about this cemetery and we thought we’d check it out."

"There are more graves down the road, before it dead ends."

Noticing my digital camera, the teen added, "I lost my camera last night when we were riding in the woods, so we’re looking for it today."

"I hope you find it," I responded as she restarted the motor.

"Thanks," she said as they drove into the woods.

"We should have asked them who they were," Neal stated. "We might know somebody kin to them."

As we drove further down the road, we soon saw several gravestones aligned along the edge of the roadway. We didn’t count them but there were more than a dozen graves at the roadside. We stopped and checked the names and dates, some of which dated back to the late seventeen hundreds. Seeing graves laid out along a gravel road was a first for both of us. Our curiosity satisfied, we journeyed to Liberty Hill Cemetery and revisited the graves we had seen the previous Saturday before heading off to search for the Lafayette Springs Cemetery.

Arriving at the intersection that defines Lafayette Springs, we began a systematic method to locate the Lafayette Springs cemetery. We knew it was not behind us; we’d been there. It could be to our left or right and possibly ahead of us. Driving south produced no results, so we returned to downtown Lafayette Springs and headed east. We passed the church that Shannon’s family had attended the previous Sunday, drove a few miles down the road and turned around. Heading back toward ‘town,’ we pulled alongside a pickup that had pulled onto the shoulder of the road. The driver sported a long scraggly beard.

"Where’s Lafayette Springs Cemetery?" we asked.

He directed us back to the church and told us to turn beside the church and that the cemetery would be up the hill. Neal had brought along Aunt Ada’s book, a compilation of history on the descendants of Richard Berkley Carter and Mary Jane Ferrell, which listed Anderson Henderson Carter and his sister Sarah Martha Carter as buried at Lafayette Springs. According to Aunt Ada’s book, Sarah never married but was the homemaker for her two bachelor brothers, Anderson and Frank and the three lived out their days in the Toccopola community. Neal found the graves of Anderson and Sarah, marked with a single stone as pictured here.

Upon leaving the cemetery, we opted to keep traveling east on the cemetery road, believing it would eventually deposit us at the main highway, Hwy. 6. We didn’t travel far until we reached Hwy. 6 and were glad to be back into familiar territory.

Ours had been an enjoyable afternoon, even an adventurous one. We arrived back in Pontotoc with a better understanding of the graves of our relatives and a better appreciation of the communities in which they lived and are now buried. I have the feeling it won’t be long until we’ll be trekking through more cemeteries looking for the graves of relatives we know only through our family records, and perhaps the graves of some of whom a faint memory remains.

Barking Dogs Neighborhood Nuisance

Occasionally, we get a misdirected email. This newsletter has the same name as a newspaper in Shingletown, California. And, in haste, some folks search the Internet for Ridge Rider News and, in finding our website, erroneously believe they’ve located the newspaper in northern California. These emails are typically letters to the editor, so we merely forward them to the nice folks at RRN in Shingletown.

That which follows is the most recent of such misdirected emails. We are sharing it here because its message is applicable for all communities, not just California ones.

"Dear Editor,

I read with interest Debi Miller's recent articles in the Ridge Rider on dog ownership and training.  Conspicuously absent, however, was mention of the problem of barking dogs.  As a trainer, Debi is aware of the responsibility dog owners have to properly house, exercise, train, and relate to their dogs so that they do not become a danger or nuisance to the neighborhood."

"As population densities increase, the problem of barking dogs is reaching epidemic proportions everywhere.  Even here in spacious and rural Shingletown, there are areas where it is often not possible to leave your windows open at night or sit out on your patio or deck in the evening because of the incessant howling and barking of neighborhood dogs.  And as Shingletown grows, and more and more people discover this unique and wonderful place, this problem will only get worse."

"It is hoped that savvy dog owners like Debi Miller can share their knowledge and expertise to help others care for and train their animals so that not only the animals are happier but their neighbors as well."

"For a thorough discussion of all aspects of this subject, visit www.barking"

Bill Abbay


Bodock Beau Who's To Blame

Misplaced blame has put food on the table of a great many lawyers. The following would be a lot funnier if there were not so much truth in it.

Who do you blame?

Let's see if I understand how the world works lately...

If a man cuts his finger off while slicing salami at work, he blames the restaurant.

If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer, your family blames the tobacco company.

If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, he blames the bartender.

If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.

If your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.

And if a crazed person breaks into the cockpit and tries to kill the pilot at 35,000 feet and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the crazed deceased blames the airline.

I must have lived too long to understand the world anymore. So, if I die while my old, wrinkled rear end is parked in front of this computer, I want all of you to blame Bill Gates...okay?

Shared by Ralph Jones, Germantown, TN

Jay Leno: Hillary Clinton told People magazine this week she’s never had cosmetic surgery. She said it it’s not for her. You know how politicians hate anything that’s fake. ... Actually, there was a rumor she had cosmetic surgery back in the ‘90s. They said she had her eyes done when she was First Lady. It turns out it was right after the scandal. They just took the blinders off. That was all. No actual surgery was involved.


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