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Historic Black Oakland Cemetery Database
A Virtual Cemetery created by: Mrs. Grizzle
Description: I began transcribing Atlanta's Historic Oakland Cemetery in 1998. It took 18 months to complete due to the massive amount of research that had to be done on the unknowns buried there...There is a grassy area known as "Potter's Field". Thousands of unknowns are buried here with only a single monument to remember them... These were the poorest of Atlanta's poor. There was no color barrier or religious discrimination in death. By 1884, all lots were sold to families who could afford them. If one's family didn't own a lot, then they were buried in Potter's Field. Then there are the more than 50,000 free people of color and former servants who are buried in Oakland. No records of their interment were found at the cemetery office.Perhaps you're descended from someone who lies buried here. Maybe you've run into a brick wall in your search for your grandparent's or their parents who died in the Atlanta area between 1840 and 1920.It took months and many miles to find records for "Historic Black Oakland", which is the name I gave the database.After combing through records at the Atlanta History Center, archival records holdings, plantation ledgers, old copies of "The Atlanta Journal Constitution" (which still "Covers Dixie Like The Dew") and libraries in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, my research was almost complete. I contacted and met with Franklin Miller Garrett, Atlanta's only "Official Historian". He inspired me to finish the task I had set before me. We kept in contact until his death in shortly before his death in March of 2000.He too is buried at Oakland. He transcribed the tombstones there years before my birth.Our own "Scarlett" is buried there.. Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell, born in 1900 and died in 1949 in the hospital where I was later born.Now I begin the task of adding names to this virtual cemetery. Those free people of color and former servants will no longer be named "unknowns"...Black Oakland is dedicated to "BOSAN" buried in an unmarked grave. Bosan died in the 125th year of his age. There are no markers. I waged a private and expensive war to get these names. The records are held by the Atlanta History Center and the Oakland Foundation. .Southern black and white folks lived and died together as family. In earlier times whites were brought to America as indentured servants. Northern scholars have distorted the truth about the South since the days of the War Between The States. We were and are Family. Surnames of African ancestors at Oakland were usually the same as those of their white families... NOTE. To the Reseacher:In this transcription; Slaves who died before the emancipation have the same surname as their white families.
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Honoring
John Singleton
1925 - 2005

 

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