The Young Cemetery of Oconee Co., Georgia
In driving the back roads of Oconee County, from Athens headed to Washington, the Young Cemetery off Hwy 78 caught my eye… we were quickly drawn to stop. While this cemetery now sits in Oconee County, it once was Clarke County until 1875. The Young Cemetery is located on Barnett Shoals Road, sitting alongside the intersection of Old Barnett Shoals Road; it is about 5 miles east of Watkinsville, GA in Oconee County on the grounds of the now closed, Green Hills Country Club. On this trip, my mother was with us, but not sharing our passion of stopping to visit and photograph lost and forgotten cemeteries, she chose to remain in the car; we were eager to walk in. Sometimes these trips don’t end up in miles accumulated when sites of interest catch our eyes; it’s a good thing that my husband and I share the same passion.
This “forgotten cemetery” sat just along the edge of a field, enclosed within a fieldstone wall; a protection of boundary. When I see those piled stone walls, it’s hard to not picture the many hours toiled in the fields, throwing rocks to the side in order to build.
The Young Cemetery is slowly deteriorating from much wear on the gravestones, along with several broken stones… including the one of Thomas Hampton Young (1786 – 1857), which I believe which was the largest. I could not tell its shape until I found an older photograph in Ancestry, taken in 1989. Time or vandalism has taken its course as seen in my photographs.
Thomas Hampton Young, son of George Young Jr and Nancy Wade Hampton (Thomas Hampton (1729-1796) & Sarah Pattison Conyers (1728-1795), married Jane Chane Dillard Gresham on 15 Feb. 1811 in Oglethorpe County, Georgia; the name of Hampton was often used as a middle name and helped to trace this family. Thomas Hampton Young was born April 23, 1786, in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. His gravestone, even though it’s over 221 years old, still remains… if it hadn’t been vandalized and broken, it would still be standing along with the others.
From the will of Will of Thomas Hampton (1728-1796)…. I give unto my daughter Nancy (Hampton) Young a negro boy named Daniel, after her decease to Thomas Hampton Young, (his grandson) and his heirs forever, for want of Such to be equally Divided among the rest of the Children, to them and their heirs forever. (A future blog post is planned on the slaves listed in the will of Thomas Hampton) Will found on the blog site of Adkins Genealogy Page.
As many families created their own family cemeteries on their lands, I believe this was on the Young family farm. On the 1850 Puryears, Clarke Co. Census, Thomas showed a figure of $9000 dollars in real estate. That is not a small figure for a farm – could this be the 189 acres of land that is situated there now? In the late 1950’s this area was turned into Creeksides Green Hills Country Club, which is no longer in business; the land is still undeveloped. I searched for the 1850 agricultural census to discover the actual acres of land owned and crops harvested, but I could not find one listed. The $9000 owned of real estate proves he owned many acres, and with owning of slaves he might have owned a plantation and growing cotton; it was a big industry in that area.
|Total Free White Persons:||11|
|Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):||25|
The 1830 census shows Thomas H. Young in Walkers, Oglethorpe Co., Georgia with a total of 25 people in the household. Thomas and Jane (Gresham) had married in Oglethorpe County in March of 1811. Between 1811 and 1830, there were 8 children in their family. There was one other male between the age of 40-49 in his household, it would have been too young for his father George Young Jr. (1755-1830) so we might assume it would have been a brother.
|Total Free White Persons:||20|
|Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:||36|
On the 1840 census, Thomas H. Young has moved his family to Davis, Clarke County, GA. There is a total of 25 persons living in this household, 11 white free and 14 slaves, with 9 people listed as involved in agriculture on his land; the older brother is possibly still residing in the family.
1850 Puryears, Clarke Co. Census, Thomas showed a figure of $9000 dollars in real estate. That is not a small figure for a farm – could this be the 189 acres of land that is situated there now? In the late 1950’s this area was turned into Creeksides Green Hills Country Club, which is no longer in business; the land is still undeveloped. I searched for the 1850 agricultural census to discover the actual acres of land owned and crops harvested, but I could not find one listed. The $9000 amount of real estate listed, proves he owned many acres, and with owning slaves he might have owned a plantation and grew cotton, which was a big industry in that area.
By 1860, Thomas H. Young died (1857) and I found his widow Jane (Dillard) Young still living in Puryear’s, Clarke County. In 1870 Jane moved in with her granddaughter Emily Caroline (Culberson) Macon, wife of Thomas Grimes Macon; Emily was the daughter of Martha Jane Young (1821-1854) and David H. Culberson (1810-1866). (Info provided by GGGGgrandson Keith Moody)
The disrepair of the cemetery stones haven’t really changed all that much from the 2006 photograph above – but much undergrowth on the inside has changed and covered up a few of the stones.
These are the two smallest gravestones at the front of the cemetery, the one on the left looks like it has the initial of “L” to me, but another web page lists the footstone initials as W.H.Y. (I was not going to dig or step inside to look any further)
There are eight to ten graves I counted on my visit and after visiting Ancestry I put together the names buried there as:
- James F. Sturgus (1822-1851)
- Eliz Williams (1792-1858) wife of a William Sturgus
- William Young (1828-1837) aged 9 years
- Thomas Young (?-1851-57) dates are sketchy
- Lucy A. Young (1832-1844)
- Sara W. Young (1834-1850)
- Martha Jane (Young) Culbertson (1821-1854) wife of D. H. Culbertson
- small stone – possibly with initials of W.H.Y. (In my photo I see an L… maybe)
- small stone – I saw no markings
While I have no direct lines to this Young family, I somehow felt compelled to tell their story and document their family cemetery. If you are a Young family descendant, I have no other information to share, but I would enjoy hearing from you.
© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved
Nicely put together in memory of an obviously forgotten family.
What a great article. Thomas Hampton Young was my gggGrandfather. I am just now getting into reconstructing the family history. It is ironic that I spent about 11years in Athens at the University of Ga getting a graduate degree and then teaching and never realized that my family lived in this area. The last to live here was my grandfather Dr. David Houston Veal who was born in Athens and then moved to Alabama, Married my grandmother Gertrude Hamrick and began a dental practice in Tarrant City, a suburb of Birmingham. Your article was an exciting discovery. I’m planning to visit Athens soon and check out the cemetery. I will take some pics and share if you respond by email. Really appreciate your writing. Thank you.
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Great to hear from a descendant and help you find this cemetery! I look forward to hearing about your discovery!
Thank you so much for finding this old cemetery, researching and documenting! Thomas was my gggggrandfather.
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So happy I discovered it and truly enjoyed walking in to photograph. Did you know before where he was buried?