I hope I don’t get poison ivy or poison oak! The first cemetery I found was at an old church off the beaten path. Sand Hill cemetery in Morgan county, just north of Hwy 67. There were a few photos not yet submitted on the FindaGrave site for this cemetery. I was able to locate one, Susie Ryan. I will post to FindaGrave today.

Susie Ryan

There were a lot of old headstones in the cemetery ( covered in poison oak and ivy) along with many markers that were overturned, illegible and ones leaned against trees. Those are the forgotten ones. They may be listed in the cemetery records though, I hope.

From there, I proceeded east. I pulled up my Google map and typed in cemeteries. It is a wondrous thing! Little red dots appear to list all the cemeteries. I find the most useful tool on FindaGrave is to locate the cemetery name, then only list the buried who do not have a photo on their site.

Shoal Creek cemetery is at the church. Located off Hwy 67 and Shoal Creek Rd in Priceville. There were numerous headstones that were not yet pictured on FindaGrave. This may take a while. My camera died, so, I resorted to the iPhone. The most interesting photo I took was this.


Died exactly one year after her birth.

This is the cemetery for the Price family for whom Priceville is named. The Price family moved into Morgan County in 1825. Dr Charles Wesley Price became one of the county’s leading physicians. His son, Dr James E. Price, succeeded him. This is a very well-kept cemetery.

Price Cemetery

Last on my list searching for headstones that had not yet been photographed, was also in Priceville. Walnut Grove Baptist church cemetery. This was a well maintained cemetery next to the church. Wooded area next to it, which made me wonder…..could there be more?

Ruby Stella Mays

I also found a cemetery directly off Bethel road which was inaccessible. I would have had to walk and climb to get in there, neither looked attractive to me. This one would have been intriguing. It was Rountree cemetery which had family buried there of John Asa Rountree, notable citizen of Hartselle, and on the same grounds, a slave cemetery. There are no listings for the slaves buried there.

And then, on the property of Decatur Country Club, was Blackwell cemetery. It was posted with ” private property” signs. I decided to stay in the car.

None of the headstones I photographed today are family members of me, nor, do I know anyone buried in these cemeteries. However, I learned a great deal about the local community, its founders and epidemics that took so many lives in Alabama in 1878.  Severe epidemics in the Tennessee valley, with infection in most cases from Memphis. There were cases at Athens, Courtland, Decatur, Florence, Huntsville, Leighton, Stevenson, Town Creek, Tuscumbia and Tuscaloosa. Spring Hill, Whistler and Mobile in the southern part of the State were visited.

Athens had 2 cases, with 2 deaths; Courtland, one case with one death; Decatur 187 cases, 51 deaths; Florence 1,409 cases, 50 deaths; Huntsville 33 cases, 13 deaths, none of these being resident cases; Leighton, 4 cases, 1 death; Mobile 297 cases, 83 deaths; Spring Hill, 1 death among the refugees, no local cases; Stevenson 11 cases, and 6 deaths, first case on September 1; Town Creek, 4 deaths; Tuscaloosa 2 cases, 2 deaths; Tuscumbia 97 cases, 31 deaths; Whistler several cases among refugees, 1 death only, inhabitants not attacked.

References.—Brewer, Alabama (1872), p. 526; Northern Alabama (1888), p. 215; Polk’s Alabama gazetteer,1888-9, p. 821; Alabama Official and Statistical Register, 1915.


One response »

  1. I’ve also searched for graves in nearly inaccessible cemeteries. Recently I was looking for a marker in an old cemetery that I knew that I’d found 15 or 20 years ago–but I couldn’t read any of the names on the stones because time had worn away the words. I was amazed how much a gravestone could deteriorate over what seemed like a relatively few years.


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