Sunday, October 6, 2013

Inside the Forrest Cemetery

In addition to finding the Jacocks Family Cemetery, when I was in Haywood County a few weeks ago, my father, youngest daughter and I stopped by the Forrest Cemetery for a short visit. In researching the Forrest family, I saw numerous references to this cemetery so I was looking forward to seeing it in person.

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Forrest Family Cemetery

This cemetery was not as hard to find as the Jacocks Cemetery since it's marked, cataloged and well-cared for. It even has a sign at the entrance. As you can see from the video, a branch had recently fallen out of a tree -- which was very unfortunate for the bees who had made it their home.  I stayed away but I did think it would be nice to have some Forrest Cemetery honey.

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Entrance off Rice Road in Haywood/Madison County, Tenn.

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For the Google map directions, click here.

Although my fifth great-grandparents, Samuel William Forrest and Zilpha Sherrod Forrest's graves aren't actually in the cemetery, their headstones are.

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Some concerned individuals including Billy King, an author and historian, relocated Samuel and Zilpha's headstones to this cemetery along with a few others because loggers had destroyed the nearby cemetery in which they are actually buried. By the way, if you have an interest in this area of the country, King has written two books about the Big Black Creek area: Big Black Creek, Volume One and Big Black Creek, Volume Two. I highly recommend adding both to your genealogy library.

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Zilpha, Wife of Samuel Forrest

In 1826, Samuel and Zilpha migrated from Pitt County, N.C. to Haywood County, Tenn. with family members including his brother, Thomas Joiner Forrest, Thomas' wife, Charlotte Brown and Charlotte's mother, Elizabeth who, it's interesting to note, was blind. Can you imagine leaving your home on a journey like that and not being able to see? According to King's book, Charlotte's son, Samuel Brown, led the wagon train. 

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Thomas Joiner Forrest and Charlotte Brown Forrest

A one-mile square tract of land (640 acres) had been given to Elizabeth Brown's husband, Samuel Brown, for service in the Revolutionary War. Samuel died and willed the land to his wife and daughter.

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Elizabeth Brown

According to the Brown Family Bible, they “left North Carolina on Thursday March 16, 1826. Their journey ended ‘in the Forkodeer Hinterland 11 May which was 8 weeks on the road.’ The family traveled with a number of families in covered wagons to their new home in the adjourning Tennessee counties of Madison and Haywood. Included in the group were the Dickinsons, Forrests, and Musgraves.” Source 

Like the rest of his family, Samuel was a slave-owner, farmer and brick-maker and was likely active in his church.

Billy King includes a passage about their local church in volume one of his Big Black Creek books:
"The Samuel Brown family donated the land where Obediah Dodson had established the Browns Creek Baptist Church. The church had slave members and even slaves who were deacons. The church split over missions. Obediah wanted it to send missionaries to the Louisiana Purchase. 
On a Sunday morning, the anti-missionary preacher pushed Obediah out of the pulpit. Obediah told the congregation, 'all of you who want to hear me come out under the trees.'
Most of the church went and they formed the Brown's Creek Missionary Baptist Church. 
The slaves went with this group. 
They built a new church building on Brown's Creek Road, just beside the creek. After the Civil War, this property was given to the black members. 
In 1870, the white congregation changed their name to Woodland Baptist Church and built a new church. Both the Brown's Creek and Woodland Baptist churches are very active today" (59).
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Woodland Baptist Church

The Woodland Baptist Church is located around the corner from the Forrest Cemetery.

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The cemetery, which was established in 1847, is cared for from a Trust Fund. According to King, the headstones that look hand-made are not the original headstones but were placed there several years ago and then replaced again with the newer headstones about five years ago.

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Samuel Forrest

Samuel Forrest died 30 Dec 1860. Zilpha died a decade later at the age of 73 on 24 Jun 1870 and was buried next to her husband.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website. You can read more about the Forrest family on their page of my website.

1 comment:

  1. Was the original cemetery that was destroyed also called the Forrest Cemetery? It sounds like Tennessee needs stronger laws to protect their cemeteries.
    Susie Carroll Summers