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Mike Gourley (#47400716)
 member for 3 years, 8 months, 3 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Do you ever wonder why some folks are on this site? Is it ego, boredom, or a desire to be helpful? Some folks create memorials, some like taking pictures and some do both. For some folks it is all about genealogy. As for me, I started posting at the request of a member on a hiking site. You see, my thing is hiking. My area of particular interest is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A few years ago I became intrigued with cemeteries of the National Park. As you can tell from my profile picture I seek out old home places of those that once settled in what became the national park. I continue to venture into places long forgotten by most visitors to the park. Many of the cemeteries in the national park are lost or very rarely receive any attention. Some of those cemeteries I have created and posted pictures on findagrave. It saddened me to know that some of these hard working people would someday be forgotten and their memories just dust in the wind. Some of them already are. So I do the best I can to visit these places and share what I do know with others. I write blogs that I hope leave a blueprint for future generations. Someday the settlements of the smokies will be buried beneath the dirt and leaf litter. The chimneys fall and graves stones crumble. One day they will be nothing more than a memory. A friend of mine told me about a couple graves he found on a ridge above an old home place. If not for the Boxwoods that had been planted behind the stones one would not even think them to be burials. The headstones are now enclosed by the boxwoods. The two footstones indicate that these were adults. It is off trail and a hard hike to find them. I am not even sure the Park service knows they are there. I only know because of the blood and sweat of a friend who found them and knew I would be interested. I just did the hike myself and can attest to the blood and sweat as you fight the rhododendron and feel the bite of the briers to reach this place. So why am I on here? Because I do not want those mountain people to be forgotten. Much is left to speculation about these places. Everything is subject to revision. So if I have made any errors on this site be rest assured none were made in malice. My only reason for creating a memorial is because of my belief that no one should be forgotten. My hope has always been that someone would request a transfer of management. I want and desire them to be managed by family members. My life situation today is one in which I do not really have time for upkeep so please feel free to request transfer.
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Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 1,165 Memorials Added
 • 1,075 Memorials Managed
 • 6 Memorials/week
 • 4,522 Photos
 • 130 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 8 Virtual Flowers
 • 2 Friends
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First NameLast Name

Find A Grave Friends
Dave Art, Whaley
Messages left for Mike Gourley (162)[Leave Message]
Violet Wiggins
Please add your blog picture of Violet Wiggins headstone taken at Wiggins Cemetery, Hammer Br of Deep Creek to memorial #76851468. Thank you.
Added by Marie on Aug 03, 2014 9:59 AM
Violet Wiggins
Added by Marie on Aug 03, 2014 9:54 AM
Noel Ross
Mac Cemetary
Hi Mike my name is Noel Ross. I have been a member for almost eight years. I have identical interests as you. I was thinking that you may be able to help me with something. I can't find the Mac cemetery and I can't get any info on it except it's approximate location. It is in a difficult location as it is on the North side of the Oconaluftee river. It is a dead zone on my GPS. I have forded the river three times but have had no luck finding the place. If you have any info or pictures I would appreciate anything you could share.
Thank You,

Noel Ross

My e-mail is
Added by Noel Ross on Jul 30, 2014 6:25 PM
RE: Nancy Hopkins-Ford Family Cemetery
Thanks so much, Mike!
Added by andringa on Jun 12, 2014 6:50 PM
Nancy Hopkins-Ford Family Cemetery
Mike -- May I use your photos for her gravestone in a private family tree I'm creating on Ancestry for a friend? Memorial # 15820910
Added by andringa on Jun 06, 2014 10:50 PM
Special Thanks!
Wow, Mike . . . Bless your heart for what you do! I agree, it's so special . . . these folks deserve to not be forgotten!
Nancy in NY
Added by andringa on Jun 06, 2014 10:31 PM
Cassie Clark
Woody Cemetery
I just wanted to say thank you for hiking in to the original Woody Cemetery, photographing the graves, and posting them here to Find A Grave. :)
Cassie Sanford Clark
Added by Cassie Clark on May 16, 2014 5:56 AM
William W. Rolland
Woody Cemetery on Forney Creek
I want to thank you for the cemeteries you have set up in the backcountry of the Smokies. One of those is the ancestral cemetery of part of my family. I too am(was-too old now) an avid hiker in the Smokies, I'm surprised we never ran into each other. The Woody Cemetery you created on Forney Creek is(was) where my Woody ancestors were buried. Recently someone saw that some burials were made in the Woody Cemetery and thought the one on Forney was it, but you and I know that the last burial there was about 1933, before TVA. I have established the other Woody Cemetery which is over near Bryson City, on Shepherd's Creek and is wherre the burials were actually made and I have photographed all the tombstones there. I wonder if you could edit the description on the cemetery on Forney to indicate that it is in the GSMNP and isolated by Fontana Lake so folks won't be tempted to establish memorials there for people buried in the other Woody Cemetery. Thanks Bill
Added by William W. Rolland on May 14, 2014 9:19 AM
Jesse McWhirter
Find A Grave Memorial# 46088961
Mike do you remember when you took this picture if his wife was buried next to him Sarah/ Sadie L. Dunlap Cannon.
Added by Jesse McWhirter on Feb 25, 2014 11:27 AM
Gloria Jennings Lowrey
Just wanted to let you know that I "moved" the two Enloe memorials which you were kind enough to transfer to me. I moved them to the ENLOE Family Cemetery rather than ENTOE Cemetery where you originally had them. It appears that someone else has inadvertently created duplicate memorials for Abraham and Sarah Enloe. I have notified this contributor of the duplication. She probably wasn't aware of your memorials since she would not have known to look for them in the ENTOE cemetery. I just didn't want you to think that I had deleted your memorials.
Added by Gloria Jennings Lowrey on Feb 05, 2014 8:44 AM
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