I am a local cemetery research volunteer working with a small team from the Fairfield County (SC) Genealogical Society. We specialize in locating, documenting, and photographing the "lost, abandoned, forgotten, small, family" cemeteries.
Incredibly, I have been criticized for that statement; persons indignantly e-mailing that their cemetery is not lost or abandoned. I guess some people have great difficulty understanding the English language. It’s just that we like to focus on the unknowns, and not as much on the knowns. It should be obvious that we do the knowns, too. GO FIGURE!
Fairfield County and nearby portions of adjacent counties are our "hunting" areas. Members of our team have found more than 150 tiny cemeteries in this very rural county and remain focused on finding more. It's been estimated that there may be as many as 200 of these forgotten burying places scattered out there in the boondocks just in this county alone. It's satisfying and (we feel) useful work. It can be a little dangerous because of reptiles and other natural conditions so we do not venture into the outback singly, and rarely in hot weather. Rattlesnakes and rock walls go together like PB&J. It isn't unusual to be one to two miles (walking) from the nearest habitation and help - it can be a big, lonely country out there. South Carolina may be a "small" state but don't try graving alone out there in the boondocks; be smart or your bones may never be found. Our buzzards aren't choosy!
Fairfield County, South Carolina, in particular, was in the pathway westward for hundreds, if not thousands, of people from the latter 1700s to the latter 1800s approximately; a good "stopping off place" for those wanting a better, or perhaps somewhat easier, life in that era before electricity, cars, and paved roads. It was a good route southerly and westerly, bypassing the Appalachians with their horses, wagons and maybe even the family cow. They came from all points north, tired of the cold, harsh, long winters. People came and settled because the winters were milder, there was good game hunting and fishing, plenty of good water, flowing streams, and the growing season was long. They stayed for a generation or two (or three) and tried farming. They buried their many dead babies, young children, young wives from childbirth, their old folks near where they homesteaded. Then they died out themselves or moved on and their burying places were then lost, abandoned, forgotten. To this very day much of Fairfield County is still a low population area. The primary crop is timber management for large corporations and wealthy individuals – the very same areas where the settlers had their brief stays. Now only forestry-type people, game management, hunters, loggers, surveyors, and a few old time residents, have knowledge of these little cemeteries, often just one or two graves. I have to say that it's always a thrill to find another small, undiscovered, cemetery - each time that happens, it continues to drive me to keep on looking for more. This research and identification of grave sites is our contribution to the future. It isn't uncommon to get e-mails from someone who discovered our posts on Find A Grave and who are excited to find their long lost 4x-grandparents. Of course, we take pleasure in that but the real satisfaction is in finding, mapping, recording, and photographing the hundreds of burials for posterity.
Someone wrote that Find A Grave is not a genealogy web-site. I disagree. It's a great resource. Should my efforts help someone, anyone, find some of their family members or ancestors, then my 'work' is well worth it.
Very Sorry I just wanted to apologize for I previously sent you an erroneous message. I typed in Alston Burying Grounds at Oaks Plantation (the information that was written in books) and was lead to the Alston Family Cemetery in Murrells Inlet, Georgetown. Once I mapped the locations, I can clearly see this was not rezoned for these two cemeteries are located on different sides of the state. It is obvious the information within books have the incorrect cemetery name for it should be the Oaks Cemetery, section Alston Family Cemetery at the Oaks Planation. Again, I am terribly sorry for bothering you and for the incorrect information…I feel absolutely horrible!
Alston Burying Grounds I see you care for this cemetery's records on this website, in which the cemetery is listed as being located within Fairfield County, South Carolina. During my research of the four old plantations and this cemetery, I discovered the cemetery was recently rezoned and now located in Murells Inlet, Georgetown County, South Carolina.
Photos of Melvina Well Bennett Thank you so much for those photos. Very clear and nicely done. Don't know if you live near that area. I'm looking for someone that I can pay to look up her obituary. Are you interested, if you are local? Thanks, Kathy Wells.
John Milling Thank you so very much for finding this grave for us. I believe this is part of my ancestry. My great great grandfather was John Milling, born 1788 in South Carolina. He seems to have traveled through Alabama and then settled in Neshoba County, MS. John Milling's is the oldest grave in the cemetery where he is buried, Morrow cemetery. All my ancestors are buried there, down to my mother. We did not have a connection exactly to SC other than census records. My daughter lives in Rock Hill, SC. I will be visiting her soon and we would love to go to see this grave. This could be my great x 3 grandfather, or an uncle of his. Are there directions to this grave?
# 49996237 - James P Robinson Thank you so much for your Find a Grave work; it is enormously helpful. I have many ancestors buried in South Carolina, including several at the Old Lebanon Cemetery. I hope you can correct the information on James Paul Robinson that was (carelessly) provided by Anonymous in #4660534.
James Paul Robinson was b 17 May 1784 in Fairfield County, and d there 10 Mar 1857. He was the first child of John Robinson (1755-1832) and Sarah Paul (1760-1840), immigrants to South Carolina from Ireland. They are my 3rd Great Grandparents. Both are also buried at Old Lebanon Cemetery.
James never married. He was a planter and slave holder of as many as 10 individuals. He died intestate and his estate was divided among 8 surviving siblings.
The Agness Younge named previously as his mother was his maternal grandmother, wife of Archibald Paul (my 4th GGparents). James also had a sister named Nancy Agness. In fairness to "Anonymous", there were several James Pauls and several James P Robinsons.
Thanks again - I hope this can be corrected for the record. -- Patricia Wilmoth Craig