Rockbridge Baptist Church Cemetery

Rockbridge Cemetery is located in rural Washington County, Kentucky, in the northern part of the county.  Take Highway 555 south from the Bluegrass Parkway and turn left onto Highway 1796, following the curves and enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Take a right onto Highway 1796, and it’s not very far down the road on the right.  It’s just a little country church with the cemetery to the side and back of the church.  I will have a CD of gravestone photographs available for this cemetery in a few months.  Some of the families buried here are Cheatham, Coulter, Hardin, Keeling, Lewis, Pinkston, Shields and White – among others.

A few stones are located near the fence – and have an overhanging of trees and greenery as a backdrop.

Several are flat on the ground – and this is a fairly new stone.

There are many infants buried here – each with their tiny stone.

William Scruggs appeared to be the oldest person buried in the cemetery.  He was born in 1782 in Virginia.  This is a new stone – his old stone is propped beside it.

This one was partially buried.

This stone was leaning on what I suppose to be its foundation.

A few stones are broken in half – fortunately both halves are together here!

This stone was laid on top of this foundation – I don’t think they go together.

Another stone broken and propped on its foundation.

This stone – and quite a few others – are practically unreadable.  Normally when I download the photos and zoom in I can read the names and dates – not this one.  We will go back take a closer look and hopefully can get the information.

Elisha White is the great-grandson of Samuel Riley White (who is one of my ancestors).

This gentleman was a mason.

The temperature was 92 degrees, it was mid-afternoon, and 90% of the cemetery was in the sun.  We took photos of about half the stones.  My husband snapped this of me having an ice tea break!

It is so important that we keep up with our ancestors final resting places.  Stones crumble and decay.  They can be knocked over or fall over.  Moss, lichens and erosion make the names and dates difficult to read.  Just a little time spent at the cemetery can make a big difference.  I call it “communing” with our ancestors.  Perhaps you’ll learn a little bit about them – and a lot about yourself!

14 replies »

  1. Thank you so much for your efforts. I want one of the Washington County CD’s when ready, Hoping to find information for Lewis Riley, Delila Jalila Riley, Elizabeth H. Ball believed to be buried in Washington, County..
    Thanks from vannyokie
    Vandelia Graham

  2. Re: the stone that you couldn’t read: have you ever done a rubbing of stone? That may give you more information!
    Looks like you had a hot day to explore the cemetery!

  3. I remember hot Los Angeles Father’s days when my dad would take us to see hs dad. My sibs and I spent the majority of the time trying to find the oldest graves while my dad cleared away the overgrown grass and planted flowers..

    The few day old babies’ graves are the most poignant. If we spent more time in cemeteries, there’d likely be a whole lot more believers out there.

  4. I was at Rockbridge Cemetery several years ago. Alot of people buried there are my family and ancestors. I wrote down alot of info from there and read alot of stones. I found my GrGr Grandparents there William and Nancy Colvin Terrell. When I went back there last year all the Terrell stones had been removed. When I was there the first time, they were broken and the cemetery was in bad shape I am very interest in your findings and the CD. I am related to the Terrell/Lewis/Shields/Keeling/Colvin families. Please keep in touch with your findings, If I can help in anyway, please let me know.. Also, try Bleach and water and a scrub brush on the older stones. All that is on them is pollution and alot of mold, this has helped me before. Good Luck

  5. As I continue to explore your super blog I’ve also read with interest Rockbridge Cemetery. How I wish I lived closer!! I have relatives buried there. I would love to have pics of my bloodline. Did you happen to locate any of the following?
    Erasmus Hendrix 1823-1889 and wife Nancy Jane Hendrix 1826-1912
    James L Hendrix (Hendricks) 1855-1935 he was married several times, but my line is his 2nd wife Matilda Young Hendrix 1869-1912
    It is possible John Hendrixson or Hendrix and his wife Sarah/Sally Hardin Hendrixson are buried there also, but I’m not sure. Their graves would be much older and I don’t know good dates.

  6. I am doing some family searching, I was born a White. I have traced the white family to Samuel Riley White,father of Elisha White. My grandfather’s sisters state that Samuel Riley White was married to a Sarah Shields. Could this be a first marriage? Can you help me?

    • Ann, I see no marriage for Samuel Riley White and Sarah Shields in the Washington County records. The elder Samuel Riley White has no children listed in the census records except those with wife Martha. The same goes for his son Samuel Riley White who married Nancy Ellen Dean.

  7. The last stone you picture, Benjamin F Keeling, was my husband’s gr-gr-gr-grandfather. I have heard that his wife, Rebecca Gordon Keeling, who died the same year, is also buried in this cemetery and wonder if you found her headstone? Did you ever get the CD prepared? Also, I wonder if you are a member of findagrave.com? Mr. Keeling has a memorial there (Find A Grave Memorial# 57504913) and I would like to see your photo posted there if you wouldn’t mind.

    • I checked my list and do not have a photo of her gravestone and she is not on the list of people buried in the cemetery. I will check other sources. Are you sure she died the same year? Could she have remarried? I am still working on the CD – hope to have it finished this year. I am not a member of findagrave. You may post my photo if you add a link to the Kentucky Kindred website.

    • Benjamin F. Keeling’s stone is no longer readable! My husband and I searched a long time and found the same shaped stone as pictured, but that stone was no long readable! I did add a couple of photos of other family members to “Find A Grave.” I’m glad that other took photos of these older stones! That cemetery is in terrible shape, nicely mowed, but so much history has been lost there. We did not find Rebecca Gordon Keeling’s grave either. They were my Grandfather’s great- grandparents!

  8. I’m not sure that Rebecca Gordon Keeling died the same year as her husband — that’s just what I had in the family notes. And there’s no mention of her remarrying — but, of course, I’m sure that’s possible. I added the photo and provided a link to the website in its caption. You have to click on the photo to see the caption. Thanks so much.

    • Rebecca Keeling is listed twice in the 1870 Federal Census, once as living in Mackville, North Precinct, but also in Willisburg! The listing in Willisburg is; Rebecca Keeling, age 61, housekeeper, William, age 19, Emily, age 17, and Martha Woodward, 23, housekeeper. The Mackville listing has Martha as still a Keeling, age 22. The information came from “1870 Federal Census Washington County, Kentucky” Compiled by Faye Sea Sanders, 1987

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