Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gravestones in Grandpa Steve's Briar Tract

The blogger is in Mason, Ohio, awaiting Thursday morning's kick-off to the 2016 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference. This is my fourth appearance at the conference in five years.  My first visit in 2012 was a memorable one -- not just because of the great conference in Cincinnati.

Some 15 years ago, Grandpa Steve posted a story -- part creative writing and part non-fiction -- on an internet website for writers ( He described a walk on a frosty morning from his home on Greens Bottom Road, just north of English, Kentucky, passing under Interstate Highway 71, to the Briar Tract to visit the old Demint Cemetery where his ancestors were buried.  Grandpa Steve's story captured my interest because of the following passage:

The trees may be 100 or 150 years old or even back to 1796 when Jarret Demint cleared this land and built a group of cabins, aided by his brothers-in-law Jacob Lamb, John Faulkner, and Dan Rollins who later had his garden by the pear trees.

It's a long story that needs to be told elsewhere, but John Faulkner was my wife's 3rd-great-grandfather. He is not buried in the Demint Cemetery -- he died in 1839 in Hendricks County, Indiana. But, his first wife (of four) was Elizabeth Nuttal, the daughter of Elijah Nuttal, might have been buried there. Elijah Nuttle owned several hundred acres of land along Mill Creek, where it empties into the Kentucky River. Jacob Lamb, Jarret Demint, and Dan Rollins (Rawlings) were other sons-in-law of Elijah Nuttal. They all received land from Elijah's estate in the late 1790s.

A small piece of the longer story is part of a lecture I am giving Saturday at OGS. For now, let me tell you that during the 2012 conference, I drove to English, Kentucky, in hopes of finding and visiting with Grandpa Steve. I had managed to identify him and locate him from clus in the story he posted on the internet. About half way to English, I tried  calling. I got a "this number has been disconnected" message. I wondered. When I got to Greens Bottom Road, I stopped to ask directions of a couple of older men sitting out front of their house. They told me that Grandpa Steve had died four months earlier. I never got to meet him (I had talked to him on the phone several times). I searched, but could not find the cemetery.

Fast forward to today, 27 April 2016.  We returned to English. Knocked on a few doors. Met Grandpa Steve's cousin, who told us where to look for the cemetery. We found it. Completely overgrown. Muddy and wet from an overnight rain. Fill of thorny brambles. But, I found three stones, including those of James and Elizabeth English -- namesakes of the town. There are supposed to be several more stones there, but I would have needed a machete to find them. Still, it was an amazing experience.

I must stop here. I have much to do before tomorrow's lecture, and the conference center internet is acting up, making it difficult to save this post on Blogspot. I have a great photo of the English stone, but the wireless refuses to upload the image to Blogspot.  I will add it later if I can. (I think I just  managed!) Meanwhile,  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it survives the wireless and publishes as scheduled tomorrow morning. 

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