Tombstone Tuesday: The surprise at the end of the muddy trail

This is a continuation of last week’s Tombstone Tuesday, in which Ellie and I very bravely ventured down a muddy trail into the Virginia woods to find our ancestors’ burial place.  Remember the mud? It was slippery.

I had considered video taping our walk, but for some reason I had visions of it becoming a Blair-Witch type movie and decided against it.  I obviously watch too many movies.

I really don’t have an irrational fear of the woods.  I grew up on an island in the Puget Sound, surrounded by nothing but trees.  It was the “No Trespassing” signs nearby and the fact that I was possibly doing just that, that had me freaked out.  Oh, and the lack of cell phone coverage.

Think happy thoughts.  Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts.

The happy thoughts worked.

As we turned a corner and looked up the hill, we saw it.

There, in the middle of the woods. almost half a mile down an unmarked path, was a well-maintained, fenced cemetery.

There was a nice wooden sign.

 

 

 

And a new stone with their last name on it.

And flowers on the graves.

This was obviously lovingly maintained by living relatives.  I was amazed.

But the biggest surprise to me was that there was more than the four graves I had been told about.

I was expecting to find my great-great-great grandparents, Austin and Eliza Jane (Hensley) Agee. And I did.

undefinedundefinedI knew that their son Jesse and his wife Iowa were also buried there.

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But that was it. I had never heard mention of any others.

What I didn’t expect was the grave of Austin and Jesse’s father (my 4th great-grandfather) John Agee, Jr.  He had a newly engraved stone.  (Which poses the question – Who placed it there and how are they sure that it is him?)

There were also a few old rocks used as headstones and footstones to unmarked graves.

Could the one next to John be his wife, Sena Hilton?  Possibly.

I don’t know who the others might belong to.  Here is one of them.  I wonder if it once said something.

An There was one other marked grave in the cemetery.  I will have to find out who she was.  Possibly one of Jesse’s daughters.

I wanted to mention that I found the positioning of the stones kind of odd..  Don’t you think this is an awkward way to place them? They are actually facing each other.

So, as always, answers lead to more questions.  But I like it that way.:)

Here is the view as we left the cemetery. It is truly in the woods.

And I’m so glad that I didn’t chicken out and pass the trail up for another day. A dry and sunny day.  A day that I had my husband and a gun with me.  But I have to admit that I heaved a great sigh of relief when we rounded the corner and could see our vehicle again.

If you’re ever in the Woolwine area and are looking for the Agee Cemetery, contact me and I will give you some very specific directions!!!  It’s really there, even though there isn’t a sign.

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  • Shaz - May 24, 2011 - 8:18 am

    What a wonderful adventure and great find.
    Now you have to find out who the caretaker
    is — a new cousin perhaps? So many old
    cemeteries are overgrown and intended. Even
    ones attached to or near churches. The Crete
    cemetery in Crete, Illinois is one example.
    When I was there 25 years ago my 3rd great-
    grandparents grave marker was clearly visible
    and level with the ground. Now all that can
    be seen is several letters of Clarissa Keeney’s
    name (ISSA) and nothing of her husband nor
    their birth/death dates. Sad.ReplyCancel

  • Debi Austen - May 24, 2011 - 10:26 am

    Oh my goodness, that is AWESOME!!!!! What a beautiful spot in the woods!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - May 24, 2011 - 10:59 am

    That is truly an awesome trip. I can picture it and envision the quiet sounds of the forest. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy B. - May 24, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    I love it, Jen! I felt like I was on the hike with you and Ellie. What a great adventure and find!ReplyCancel

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