Here’s Your Sign #29 ~ Charles Simpson Medlin ~ Medlin Cemetery

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Medlin Cemetery

In 1847 Charles Medlin (1807-1864) and his wife Matilda (Allen) migrated from Missouri with their household and 20 other families to take up land grants on Denton Creek. Also in the wagon train and colony were Charles Medlin’s widowed mother and his brother Lewis. Floods broke up the first Medlin settlement, at times called “Garden Valley”, moving to higher grounds in this vicinity. The settlers formed a new neighborhood that was to grow into the town of Roanoke (1.5 miles west).
Charles Medlin;s daughter Mittie Ann (born 1828) admired the beauty of this hill, saying she would like to be buried here. The cemetery was opened at her death in April 1850. Her parents, 13 brothers and sisters, and many other close relatives also rest here along with neighbors and others from the locality. This is one of the oldest cemeteries in Denton County. In 1900 James W. Medlin, son of the original land donors, Charles and Matilda Medlin, enlarged the area to more than ten acres, and began selling lots to bring in maintenance funds. Medlin Cemetery Association was formed in 1947.
A new access boulevard and other improvements were provided for this cemetery in the 1970s.

Charles Simpson Medlin is my maternal 3rd Great Uncle.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Thursday at the Cemetery #55 ~ Cedar Valley UMC Church Cemetery #3

This week I am honoring some of my paternal Hughes/Hayes family. There are several of my ancestors buried in this quaint cemetery located in Caldwell County, North Carolina.


I have spent the last couple of weeks writing a bio about each relative and posting it in a series of blogs. This is the final one.

Morgan Blair, my 1st cousin 6 times removed, was born on September 16, 1812, in Caldwell County, North Carolina. He was the son of John Colbert Blair (1764-1846) and Frances Hill (1768-1853). He was raised on his family’s farm near Cedar Valley. His family were pioneers in what was then Burke County, but is now Caldwell County. At a young age he learned the trade of a wagon maker. When he came of age he homesteaded his own farm, and he built a wagon shop on the property, and here he built and repaired wagons. He continued to acquire more land each year. In 1838, he married Elizabeth McLeod (1817-1877) the daughter of John McLeod and Elizabeth McRea. They had 10 children, 6 sons and 4 daughters. Morgan built his farm into a great plantation. In 1877, he became the postmaster in Cedar Valley where he served until his death on December 14, 1886, at the age of 74.

Elizabeth McLeod , wife of my 1st cousin 6 times removed, was born on May 26, 1817, in Caldwell County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of John McLeod and Elizabeth McRea. Her parents had immigrated to America in 1798 from Scotland. In 1838, she married Morgan Blair (1812-1886) the son of John Colbert Blair (1764-1846) and Frances Hill (1768-1853)). They had 10 children, 6 sons and 4 daughters. She died on September 29, 1877, at the age of 60.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Unusual Source ~ 52 Ancestors #7

10 years ago my husband and I took a Genealogy research trip to Missouri. My plan was to visit as many courthouses and cemeteries as we could. I also wanted to visit the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence. I had contacted some cousins, and we made plans to get together with them. Our 10-day visit to the State was full.

We spent a full day at the Center, three days at some courthouses and a couple of days getting together with cousins. These were a lot of fun, however, as odd as it may seem, I enjoyed visiting the cemeteries the most. I grew up “visiting” people at the cemetery, and my mother always packed a lunch and we would eat lunch there. I have never had a fear of them.

On the next to our last day of being in Missouri, we visited the 2 cemeteries in the town I was born in. My Dad, several aunts and uncles, cousins, and my maternal Great Grandparents are buried there. I also got to meet a previously unknown cousin at one of them. When we left Lexington, we made our way to Buckner where my maternal Grandparents are. We attempted to find the Page Family Cemetery in Page City but the town no longer exists and the Cemetery was on private property.

Our last stop was the Dover Cemetery where my paternal Great Grandparents and 2x Great Grandparents are resting. I also found several other relatives graves there as well. We were heading back to our car when a much older gentleman in overalls approached us. He said he noticed our Arizona license plate, and he just wanted to know who we were visiting. I mentioned the names and his eyes lit up! He told us his Grandma was a Register. I asked what her name was, and he responded “Grandma”. I wasn’t sure if he was teasing me or what so I asked him what her first name was. It turned out that it was my Great Grandmother.


Robert, Elvira, Charles Register

We offered to buy him lunch, and we meet him at a small diner in town. We spent about 3 hours talking with him. He struggled at times to remember some details, but once he got started he told us so many stories and gave me verifiable facts that I didn’t already have. He even called his Granddaughter and had her bring a photo of his Grandma, and he gave it to me. So I now possess a photo that I never would have known existed if it hadn’t been for this encounter, and this unusual source.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Thursday at the Cemetery #53 ~ Cedar Valley UMC Church Cemetery ~ North Carolina

This week I am honoring some of my paternal Hughes/Hayes family. There are several of my ancestors buried in this quaint cemetery located in Caldwell County, North Carolina.

I will be spending the next couple of weeks writing a bio about each one relative and posting it in a series of blogs.

Colbert Blair, my 6th Great Grandfather, was born on April 8, 1729, in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of James Blair (1715-1776) and Mary Colbert (1705-1757). He moved with his family to Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1740. His family were pioneers in what was then Burke County, but is now Caldwell County. In 1749, he married Sarah Morgan (1731-1827) the daughter of John Morgan (1696-1746) and Sarah Lloyd (1701-1747). They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Colbert fought in the 9th regiment of the North Carolina Militia in the Revolutionary War. He died in 1805 at the age of 76.

Sarah Morgan, my 6th Great Grandmother, was born on September 22, 1731, in Beverly, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of John Morgan (1696-1746) and Sarah Lloyd (1701-1747). He moved with her family to Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1739. She was the first cousin of Daniel Boone through her mother. In 1749, she married Colbert Blair (1729-1805) the son of James Blair (1715-1776) and Mary Colbert (1705-1757). They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. She died in 1805 at the age of 96. No stone has been found found for her.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Thursday at the Cemetery #52 – Maple Grove Cemetery, Sylvania, Missouri ~ Finale

This week I am once again honoring some of my ancestors who are buried in a small rural cemetery in Missouri. These are from my maternal side, and once again have quite a few “Divine” names. This cemetery is located in the Southwestern section of the State between Springfield and Joplin. There are 387 known graves there with the oldest one being in 1882.

There are a few of my ancestors buried here. This is the last of them buried in this cemetery.


There was no headstone found for James nor Orlena Divine

James Monroe Divine, my maternal 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on February 6, 1848, in Madison, Monroe County, Tennessee. He was the third of fifteen children born to William Riley Divine Sr. (1819-1875) and Amelia “Milly” Webb (1823-1897). When he was 8 years old he moved with his parents to Jasper, Dade County, Missouri. He grew up working on the family farm. He married Orlena Jane Clayton (1850-1905) in 1868, and they had 8 children, 6 sons, and 2 daughters. They had a farm outside of Dadeville, Missouri. After the death of his wife in 1905, James started working as a coal miner. James died on January 12, 1925, in Golden City, Barton County, Missouri at the age of 76. He died from Lobar Pneumonia. No headstone has been found for him.

Orlena Jane Clayton, wife of my maternal 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born in June, 1850, in Dade County, Missouri. She was the daughter of John and Lucinda Clayton. She married James Monroe Divine (1848-1925) in 1868, and they had 8 children, 6 sons, and 2 daughters. They had a farm outside of Dadeville, Missouri. Orlena died in 1905, in Dade County, Missouri at the age of 55. No headstone has been found for her.


Double headstone for Zora Divine and John Bishop

Zora Cornelia Divine, my maternal 3rd cousin 2 times removed, was born on October 3, 1870, in Dade County, Missouri. She was the oldest of 8 children born to James Monroe Divine (1848-1925) and Orlena Jane Clayton (1850-1905). She married John Granville Bishop (1862-1945) on November 20, 1890, in Sylvania, Dade County, Missouri. They had 4 children, 3 sons, and 1 daughter. They bought a farm in Golden City, Missouri, and they grew sweet corn. She died of pancreatic cancer on December 19, 1945 at the age of 75.

John Granville Bishop, husband of my maternal 3rd cousin 2 times removed, was born on September 30, 1862, in Dade County, Missouri. He was the son of John Bishop and Martha Hanlon. He married Zora Cornelia Divine (1870-1945) on November 20, 1890, in Sylvania, Dade County, Missouri. They had 4 children, 3 sons, and 1 daughter. They bought a farm in Golden City, Missouri, and they grew sweet corn. He also began working in the coal mines with his father-in-law in 1905. He died of a ruptured gall bladder on September 22, 1945, at the age of 82.

James J. Divine, my maternal 1st cousin 4 times removed, was born on March 3, 1818, in Greenville, South Carolina. He was the son of James Marshall Divine Sr (1793-1872} and Nancy Calloway (1796-1872). He moved with his family to Tennessee when he was 5 years old. He married Mary “Polly” Elizabeth Clayton (1820-1892) on November 2, 1843, in Monroe County, Tennessee. They had 7 children, 5 sons, and 2 daughters. They moved to Dade County, Missouri in 1860, and they bought 80 acres of land. He enlisted in the Missouri State Militia on July 1, 1863, fighting on the Confederate side. He mustered out at the end of the war. He died on January 1, 1904, at the age of 85.

Mary “Polly” Elizabeth Clayton, wife of my maternal 1st cousin 4 times removed, was born on September 10, 1820, in Monroe County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of William Clayton (1800-1820} and Elizabeth Bruton (1798-1820). She married James J. Divine (1818-1904) on November 2, 1843, in Monroe County, Tennessee. They had 7 children, 5 sons, and 2 daughters. They moved to Dade County, Missouri in 1860, and they bought 80 acres of land. She died on January 9, 1892, at the age of 71.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Thursday at the Cemetery #51 – Maple Grove Cemetery, Sylvania, Missouri

This week I am once again honoring some of my ancestors who are buried in a small rural cemetery in Missouri. These are from my maternal side, and once again have quite a few “Divine” names. This cemetery is located in the Southwestern section of the State between Springfield and Joplin. There are 387 known graves there with the oldest one being in 1882.

Since there are several of my ancestors buried here, I will be posting about this cemetery for a couple of weeks.

Edward Walter Divine, my maternal 3rd cousin 2 times removed, was born on April 20. 1883, in Dade County, Missouri. He was the 3rd of 8 children born to William Riley Divine (1857-1943) and Rebecca Jane Spurgeon (1857-1943). He married his cousin Rebecca Elizabeth Divine (1894-1979) in 1919. They had one son. They owned and operated a farm where they grew Indian Corn and had a Jonathan Apple Orchard. Edward died on October 20, 1974, in Lockwood, Dade County, Missouri, at the age of 89.

Rebecca Elizabeth Divine, wife of my maternal 3rd cousin 2 times removed, was born on August 22 20. 1894, in Dade County, Missouri. She was the youngest of 5 children born to James M. Divine and Rebecca C. Johnson. She married her cousin Edward Walter Divine (1883-1974) in 1919. They had one son. They owned and operated a farm where they grew Indian Corn and had a Jonathan Apple Orchard. Rebecca died on August 14, 1979, in Lockwood, Dade County, Missouri, at the age of 85.

Howard Edward Divine, my maternal 4th cousin 1 time removed, was born on March 23, 1920, in Anderson, Dade County, Missouri. He was the only child born to Edward Walter Divine (1883-1974) and Rebecca Elizabeth Divine (1894-1979). He was raised on the family farm in Lamar and graduated from High School in 1939. He enlisted in the Army on January 9, 1945 in the 131st Combat Engineers Unit, and he was honorably discharged on May 14, 1946. He then moved to California where he married Jane H. Osthagon on December 6, 1949. Here he worked for the California Milling Corporation as a buyer. After divorcing Jane, he moved back to Missouri. Here he bought his own farm and began farming, and he married a woman named Rosalie, last name unknown. He never had any children. He died in Lamar, Missouri on August 4, 1961, at the age of 41. His death certificate states he died from a coronary occlusion brought on by heat stroke. It gives the secondary factor as several years of alcoholism.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Thursday at the Cemetery #50- Maple Grove Cemetery, Sylvania, Missouri

This week I am once again honoring some of my ancestors who are buried in a small rural cemetery in Missouri. These are from my maternal side, and once again have quite a few “Divine” names. This cemetery is located in the Southwestern section of the State between Springfield and Joplin. There are 387 known graves there with the oldest one being in 1882.

Since there are several of my ancestors buried here I will be posting about this cemetery for a couple of weeks.

William Riley Divine, my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on November 11. 1857, in Monroe County, Tennessee. He was the sixth of seven children born to James J. Divine (1818-1908) and Mary Elizabeth Clayton (1820-1892). He moved with his parents and siblings to Dade County, Missouri in 1863. He was a farmer, owning his own land, and he married Rebecca Jane Spurgeon (1857-1943) on November 20, 1877. They had 8 children, six sons and 2 daughters. According to his death certificate he was killed after stopping on the train tracks of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Crossing on Highway 160 in Lamar, Missouri on February 2, 1945,at the age of 85.

Rebecca Jane Spurgeon, wife of my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on October 10. 1857, in Pana, Christian County, Illinois. She was the daughter of Moses (1823-1896) and Angeline (1828-1864) Spurgeon. She moved with her parents to Dade County, Missouri in 1860. She married William Riley Divine (1857-1945) on November 20, 1877. They had 8 children, six sons and 2 daughters. She died on October 19, 1943, in Golden City, at the age of 86.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

This day at the Cemetery #49~ Cleveland Cemetery ~ Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina ~ Finale

I just discovered this small cemetery that is the final resting place of some of my Cleveland ancestors. It only has 27 graves on it, the first one was in 1732 and the last one was in 1981. That means it was in use for 249 years! It appears to be located on private land. The grounds are overrun with tall grass but the wrought iron fence that surrounds it is in good condition.

19 graves in this cemetery belong to my ancestors so I will be spending the next few weeks honoring those who are buried here.

Leander Carmickle Yates is my paternal 4th cousin 3 times removed. He was born on January 6, 1853, in Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the second of 10 children born to Jesse C. Yates (1817-1898) and Sarah Caroline Eller (1831-1919). He lived his entire life in the town of Purlear. He married Jeslin Martha Phipps (1874-1952) on March 3, 1890 in Ashe County, North Carolina. They had 7 children, 6 sons and 1 daughter. Leander was a farmer and he owned his own farm. He died on June 14, 1922, at the age of 69. No headstone has been found.

Jeslin Martha Phipps is the wife of my paternal 4th cousin 3 times removed. She was born on September 3, 1874, in Chestnut Hill, Ashe County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Robert Phipps (1850-1939) and Caroline Yates (1849-1923).She is listed on the Dawes Rolls as a Cherokee Indian. She married Leander Carmickle Yates(1853-1922) on March 3, 1890, in Ashe County, North Carolina. They had 7 children, 6 sons and 1 daughter. She died on November 7, 1952, at the age of 90. No headstone has been found.

Vannoy Cleveland Yates, is my paternal 5th cousin 2x removed. He was born on April 14, 1891, the oldest of 7 children born to Leander Carmickle Yates (1853-1922) and Jeslin Martha Phipps (1874-1952). He joined the army in 1914 and served until 1919. He married Lillie Barbara Shew (1893-1981) on February 6, 1825, and they had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter. Vannoy owned a 300 acre farm in Stanton, Wilkes County, North Carolina where they had moved after they got married. Vannoy died September 9, 1968, in Wilkes County, North Carolina at the age of 77.

Lillie Barbara Shew, is the wife of my paternal 5th cousin 2x removed. She was born on March 2, 1893, to Simon Shew and Carolina Yates, She married Vannoy Cleveland Yates (1891-1968) on February 6, 1825, and they had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter. They moved to Stanton, Wilkes County, North Carolina after they got married. Lillie died January 1, 1981, in Wilkes County, North Carolina at the age of 88.

Robert Harrison Yates, is my paternal 5th cousin 2 times removed. He was born on June 11, 1899, in Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina, the 5th child born to Leander Carmickle Yates (1853-1922) and Jeslin Martha Phipps (1874-1952). Robert died on December 8, 1905, at the age of 6 from scarlet fever. No headstone has been found.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery #48~ Cleveland Cemetery ~ Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina ~ Part 3

I just discovered this small cemetery that is the final resting place of some of my Cleveland ancestors. It only has 27 graves on it, the first one was in 1732 and the last one was in 1981. That means it was in use for 249 years! It appears to be located on private land. The grounds are overrun with tall grass but the wrought iron fence that surrounds it is in good condition.

19 graves in this cemetery belong to my ancestors so I will be spending the next few weeks honoring those who are buried here.


All 4 of the following graves do not have a Headstone

David Yates, my paternal 3rd cousin, 4 times removed, was born in 1805, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the fourth of nine children born to John Yates Jr (1780-1875) and Elizabeth Cleveland (1783-1850). He married Elizabeth Church (1816-1853) on January 5, 1847. They had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughters. David was a farmer whose main crop was tobacco. David died in March 1860, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes, North Carolina, at the age of 55. He committed suicide by hanging himself in the barn.

Elizabeth Church, wife of my paternal 3rd cousin, 4 times removed, was born on March 15, 1816, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of John Church and Sarah Billings. She married David Yates (1805-1860) on January 5, 1847. They had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughters. Elizabeth died on June 14, 1853, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes, North Carolina, at the age of 37. She died 2 weeks after giving birth to their fourth child from complications caused by the birth.

Presley Cleveland Yates, my paternal 4th cousin 3 times removed, was born on October 18, 1850, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the son of David Yates (1805-1860) and Elizabeth Cleveland (1816-1853). He married Sara McGlamery (1860-1930) in 1879 in Lewis Fork, Wilkes County, North Carolina. They had 7 children, 4 sons and 3 daughters. Presley was a farmer. He died on December 22, 1923, in Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina at the age of 73. It is not known when or where his wife died nor where she is buried.

Margaret Virginia Yates my paternal 3rd cousin 4 times removed, was born in 1852 to John Yates Jr (1780-1875) and his second wife, Fanny Lamira Laws (1823-1912). She was the oldest of their 3 daughters. She died from pneumonia in 1864 at the age of 11 years old.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery #45 ~ Friend Cemetery ~ Bona, Dade County, Missouri part 4

This week I am featuring a small cemetery located a little south of the town of Bona, in southwest Missouri. There are 61 graves here and only 2 does not have a headstone. This is pretty rare. The cemetery is situated at the edge of the woods and there is lots of rolling green grass covering it.

I have 14 ancestors buried here, so over the next few weeks, I will be posting a photo of their headstone and give a short biography about each one.

Byron Alder Friend is my maternal 4th cousin 1 times removed. He was born on May 26, 1912, in Greenfield, Dade County, Missouri. He was the fifth of 18 children born to Alfred Friend (1871-1937) and Eva Maud Painter (1882-1946). He never married. He did serve in the Army during WWII. Not much more is known about him. He died on August 30, 1974, in Nevada from a heart attack at the age of 61.

Homer Friend is my maternal 4th cousin 1 times removed. He was born on June 29, 1913, in Greenfield, Dade County, Missouri. He was the sixth of 18 children born to Alfred Friend (1871-1937) and Eva Maud Painter (1882-1946). He died on July 1. 1913, at the age of 2 days old. He died from an unknown cause.

Laverna A. Friend is my maternal 4th cousin 1 times removed. She was born on February 2, 1920, in Greenfield, Dade County, Missouri. She was the eighteenth of 18 children born to Alfred Friend (1871-1937) and Eva Maud Painter (1882-1946). She died on October 27, 1920, from pneumonia, at the age of 8 months old.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.