Good article, RANDOM THOUGHTS: A “found” cemetery is a treasure, in the Crossville Chronicle, (Cumberland County, TN), by Dorothy Copus Brush, about people who go out of there way to clean up cemeteries as well as document them. Without these people over the past decades, there is no telling how much important genealogical information would have been lost, as well as families being able to find some closure and/or care for the graves of their ancestors.
Excerpt from the article:
The next letter was sent to the local public library and that reply answered my questions. The library director sent a copy of the history of the cemetery. About a quarter acre had been established by one of my grandfather’s grandfathers as a family cemetery in 1834. Twenty years later that grandfather and his wife “in consideration of the sum of 5 cents to them hand paid” deeded slightly more than half an acre to the Methodist Episcopal Church as the site for a church. That transaction included the family cemetery which then became a public burying ground.
That history included the names and dates of the 25 persons laid to rest there. The director wrote the information had been gathered by two local women who had spent years visiting old cemeteries filled with weeds that were almost lost. They indexed old courthouse records and gathered memories of older residents. Their research filled many books and they donated these to the library. He wrote, “It is a monumental work, completely unpublished and available nowhere else.”
It’s a good article stressing the importance of recording and maintaining even the smallest of family cemeteries (which in some cases can be overwhelmed if they become public cemeteries, as well as the information lost about the original cemetery and those buried there).