Friday, April 6, 2012

Goodloe Cemetery, Madison County, Mississippi

I just want to give a little background on the way things work on Find-A-Grave.  People can makes requests for pictures of the headstones of family and friends.  When I want to see the requests, I look at all of those for my zip code.  They can be up to about 50 miles away.  Most of the times, someone has already been to the cemetery and there will be a map generated for the location of the cemetery, and a "gate" shot.  The map makes is easier for others to fulfill future requests. 

Well, for me, I'm drawn to the requests which don't have maps or gate shots.  I have no statistics on how fast cemeteries are disappearing, but it does happen.  If there are no relatives around to care for family cemeteries, Mother Nature can quickly reclaim the land.  I feel there's a need to document them.

It's a very interesting hobby, and can be very gratifying.  Many folks who make requests don't live in the area anymore, or perhaps never did but had ancestors who did.  It's not always convenient for them to get to the cemetery their loved ones are interred in.  I enjoy being able to help.  I'm also a bit selfish in that I enjoy seeing a lot of Mississippi that I wouldn't have otherwise.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to try and find Goodloe Cemetery and hopefully fufill two requests.  There is no map or gate shot.  One of the invaluable sources of genealogical information is the GenWeb page for the county.  Quite often you'll find a text file of a survey someone has done of the cemetery which may have directions on how to get to the cemetery.  I found a file for Goodloe Cemetery.  It's supposed to be off of Highway 463 in Madison, off of Cedar Hill Road.  There's an interesting note that the owners of the property in 1996 did not want the location published because of the possibility of people wanting to see and locate gravesites.  Well, that would be me.  We'll see what happens if I find it in the morning.

I drove to where the directions said to go.  Unfortunately I found a gravel road that was blocked by a locked gate with posted and no trespassing signs on it and around it.  I wasn't positive that was the right spot so I drove around and asked a couple of folks, including the former sheriff of Madison County, Mr. Toby Trowbridge.  He was very nice.  He and his wife were out working in their front yard.  He called a couple of people.  One of the folks was who I understand is the local historian.  He affirmed that I was in the correct place, but the cemetery is on private property and is overgrown.  I hope someone will have more success than I did.


  1. Hello Mark, I too like a challenge and tried Goodloe today, with no luck to access either. I have tried google earth, and every other form of Ariel view, to try and actually locate the cemetery. Basically to see if there is another way to gain entry other than the private property and have been unsuccessful. Before I begin a journey that may lead me to empty results, did you ever attempt to find out if there is an easement to the cemetery? I would think there would have to be a way to get to it, legally, as I was told the property owner does not actually own the cemetery, but, in fact the surrounding property. I don't want to be defeated by a selfish property owner and would like to appeal to the compassionate side of a 'get in - photograph - get out' to anyone who can help gain entry. I'd like a partner in the search. And, while I know you have tried, are you up to trying again? If so, please let me know, and maybe together we can figure a plan, and properly document this cemetery that will be tragically lost someday. p.s. I understand the owner has passed and it is a property which is on-again-off-again-for-sale, as the heirs dispute. ?? Might be an angle??

  2. Hello Charlotte! I'm so sorry I don't have a comment on here. I thought I entered one the other night, but I don't see it. Who knows? :-)

    Thank you for comment and thoughts.

    I'd love to try again to find it. One thing I didn't put in the post, I guess because it meant to admitting that I trespassed, is that I went around a gate that led out to where the power lines are. I looked around in all directions for a bit, but I didn't see anything. I didn't take my binoculars either, which might have helped.

    The directions I found say go 1 mile on Cedar Hill Road, and it will be on the left 1/4 mile. I thought I was there. I think it's supposed to be overgrown, but you would think with as many headstones as should be there, we'd be able to see a sign of it. It's definitely worth another shot.

    I'll be out of town this weekend (6/7 and 6/8), but anytime after that I'd love to try again

  3. Did you have any luck? I have an ancestor buried at Goodloe, William Johnston.

    1. Hello Troy!

      I sure haven't. If you're an ancestor though, the way the law is written, the property owners may be required to let you see your ancestor's headstone.

      My email address is If you can send me yours, I do have some thoughts and maybe some helpful information.