Saturday, January 19, 2013

Galloway Family Cemetery, Madison County, Mississippi

This morning was an exceptional morning.  I was going through cemeteries on Find-A-Grave this morning looking for one in Madison, County for which photo requests had been made.  I settled on Galloway Family Cemetery, for no particular reason, other than maybe it was in the same general area as the Beale Family Cemetery I went to last weekend, and a map had been generated for it.
The cemetery is located off of the Old Natchez Trace in Madison County. I converted the decimal coordinates to GPS coordinates hoping it would help in finding the cemetery. Well, it did, sort of. As I drove on the Trace, I got to a point where one set of coordinates was right on the money. They other though was way off. The direction I would have had to drive was fenced in. That's the time you start looking for folks out and about and ask someone.

Close to where Highway 43 and the Old Natchez Trace intersect, I spotted a woman around her car. Her driveway is blocked by a gate. I got her attention, or rather her dogs got her attention, and I asked her if she knew of a Galloway Family Cemetery. She said no, but her next door neighbors were Galloways, and maybe they'd know. So, I drove up in their driveway and saw Mrs. Galloway in her carport. In the survey for the cemetery, it mentions that several of the graves are vaults, so I mentioned that to her. She was familiar with the cemetery, but wanted to check with the gentleman who owns the property. When she told him why I was there and read off some of the names one the print out I had with me, he gave me permission to check out the cemetery.

I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate Mrs. Galloway's kindness and help. She offered to walk me to the cemetery. It was a pretty good hike too. We had a very nice conversation there and back. After a stroll, we got to the cemetery. It's enclosed within a chain link fence with a gate, and I guess you could call it the threshold had a very nice stone plaque with the Galloway name on it. The cemetery was in excellent shape. Mrs. Galloway keeps it nice mowing the grass and weed eating it. The vaults and headstones were in fantastic shape. After a short time taking all the pictures I could, we walked back to her house.

I've said before that so much of hunting for cemeteries and headstones is about the journey. Almost without fail I either see something really interesting, or meet some very nice folks. Mrs. Galloway was certainly no exception. She didn't know me from Adam, and yet she was sweet enough to take time out of her day to show me, who dropped in from out of the blue, her family cemetery. It was another outstanding Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beale Family Cemetery, Madison County, Mississippi

I made a decision a few days ago.  As much as I enjoy trying to find headstones in cemeteries that actually have gate shots and a map (Find-A-Grave), what really interests me are the cemeteries with neither.  So, I decided to look for cemeteries on Find-A-Grave that fit that description.  I also decided, for some odd reason, to start with Madison County.

So, I chose to look for Beale Family Cemetery.  It's located off the Old Natchez Trace and fairly close to the current Natchez Trace.

What I've started doing when there are no directions is to look for a survey of the cemetery.  Often times, the person included some directions and a description of the cemetery in the survey.  I found a survey for Beale Family Cemetery.  If you check it out, you'll see that the cemetery is located about 4.3 miles from the intersection of Highway 43 and the Old Natchez Trace, and about 300 yards south of the Trace.

When I turned onto the Old Trace, I reset my odometer.  When it hit 4.2 miles, I stared slowing down.  As I looked up ahead to my right, I saw what looked like brand new chain link fence and what appeared to be a headstone.  Driving just a bit further, I saw the entrance to the area enclosed by the fence.

There was room to walk around the gate and I didn't see a no trespassing sign, so I walked on in. It's a pretty little cemetery and apparently an old one. One of those buried there was born in 1794. It's still in use today. Someone else buried there passed away in 2012.

I was really encouraged this morning by two things. One is how accurate the survey is, and the other is the time and effort some kind soul(s) put into seeing that Beale Family Cemetery is preserved.