The last several weeks I’ve spent a good bit of time going through old genealogy files on my daddy’s family. His surname – Motte / Mott; his mother’s maiden name – Follett / Follette; his paternal grandmother’s maiden name – Munn; etc., etc. Once in a long while I find a new piece of information online, especially since Ancestry now has a Family Tree feature built in, which goes out into cyberspace and does the searching automatically. I’ve added names by ones and twos, then pushed the search button and waited.
Then too, I’ve looked through side notes on relatives in my own Family Tree Maker software, looking to see if there’s a new line of inquiry I can take up anywhere. One of those relatives was John Henry Motte, (Mott) Jr. and his wife Carrie / Corrie Gibbs. He is buried at Tabernacle Campground Cemetery. But I had never been there to take a photo, as I had with other relatives whose final resting place was known.
So, with a bit of online Googling I located that little cemetery, took my camera the other afternoon and drove down Highway 76 to Lynchburg in Lee County. I turned left on Hwy. 341 and drove nearly to the Sumter County line, and there it was, a small graveyard on the left side of the road. No real drive-way in, just a large wrought iron gate with the name in metal lettering and a smaller sign to one side. I parked alongside the road and let myself in through the gate. There were only a hundred or so graves, the dates ranging back a hundred years or so.
I knew that John Henry Motte, Jr. had died in 1937. That gave me an idea of what the marker’s general appearance would be. As I walked I realized that the lettering had completely worn away on many stones or was obliterated by mold or stains. The little cemetery looked fairly well cared for and still used occasionally so walking among the markers wasn’t too precarious.
And then I spotted it, to the side of a group of Gibbs family markers. That made sense – his wife Carrie was a Gibbs. I took a photo of all those grave stones. But where was Carrie’s marker? She had died in 1915, but there was no marker for her. There was enough space beside John Henry’s grave; perhaps she’d been buried there and no tombstone ever erected.
As I walked back toward the car, I saw a familiar name – Dickerson. One of John Henry’s sisters, Sarah, had married a Dickerson. I didn’t remember his first name, though, so I took photos of all those markers to match up with possible in-laws later.
It felt a little strange, walking all by myself among those graves. The last time I’d done cemetery research and photographs, Tim was with me, patiently waiting in the car or sitting in a shady spot.
One more cemetery I haven’t taken photos in is over at Sardis, where other Motte relatives are supposedly buried. I may drive over there one afternoon soon, while I’m still in the family tree frame of mind.