Spring – A Time For Visiting Cemeteries!


Richmond Cemetery, Madison County, Kentucky

This past week was affectionately dubbed ‘First Cemetery Weekend of the Year’! And what a weekend it was. I think many of you are aware that Ritchey has been ill for the last nine months, culminating in surgery in March. Thankfully he is now feeling much better – definitely on the mend – and able to resume our passion for genealogy and geocaching!  A full genealogy weekend was planned!


Richmond Cemetery, Madison County, KentuckyAg

Saturday started out early with our first stop in Richmond, in Madison County. The last time we were by this cemetery it had already closed for the day! Richmond Cemetery is beautiful! Lots of older stones, various sizes, many family groupings can be found there – including famed abolitionist, Cassius M. Clay . So excited to share everything we found with you!


Robert Miller, Sr., born May 1, 1775, died June 21, 1861.  Sallie, daughter of Captain James Estill, and wife of Robert Miller, Sr., born October 10, 1781, died February 13, 1868.  Richmond Cemetery, Madison County, Kentucky.

Next we were on our way to Irvine, which is in Estill County. First we had lunch at Thyme on Broadway in downtown Irvine – chicken salad on croissants and Kentucky Derby Burgoo – yes, it was Derby Day! Our first cemetery stop was Oakdale Cemetery, within the city of Irvine. Not as old as Richmond Cemetery, this was still very nice, but with newer stones.


Oakdale Cemetery, Irvine, Estill County, Kentucky

Afterwards we took Hwy 89 south through the county – a beautiful drive down a curvy road, where we sometimes lost cell service! Makes it a bit difficult to track cemeteries with your phone! I’m sure we missed a couple that were on our list! Bolan Cemetery, a very small cemetery, another with newer stones, was our next stop.


Oscar, son of Elihu and Levina Kidwell, born September 15, 1868, died September 30, 1894.  Bolan Cemetery, Estill County, Kentucky.

A short while after continuing down 89 we found ourselves in Jackson County. Russell Flat Cemetery, another small, but very beautiful cemetery, was on the left side of the road. Most gravestones were adorned with beautiful floral displays, many with a glittery ribbon that sparkled as the breeze blew it back and forth. Many Russells are buried here.


William Henry Clark, T. Sgt. US Army, World War II, February 15, 1920 – July 8, 2007.  Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart.  Russell Flat Cemetery, Jackson County, Kentucky.

And just on the Jackson County/Rockcastle County line was a small cemetery that had no name – we even stopped and asked – but there are many VanWinkles buried there. The oldest stone was that of a Confederate veteran who died in 1880.


In memory of Daniel Hibler, 1812-1880, Confederate States of America.  Whiskey distiller, mule trader, humanitarian.  Father of Elizabeth Lewis, the wife of Captain Orin Minor Lewis.  Unknown cemetery, Jackson County, Kentucky.

From there we made our way north to Madison County again, where we hopped on Interstate 75 for Lexington. We have been to the Lexington Cemetery, but right across the street is Calvary Cemetery, a large Catholic cemetery that we have never visited. We arrived about 4:30 – and they close at 5:00. It is amazing how many photos you can actually take in 30 minutes! Afterwards we called it a day and left for home!

IMG_3667John Hobin, born in County Claire, Ireland, died October, 1886, aged 74 years.  Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky.

Sunday morning after church we stopped at the Danville bakery – conveniently located next to our church – and bought pimento cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs and gingerbread men for a light lunch. Our first stop was the Old Paint Lick Presbyterian Cemetery in rural Garrard County. This cemetery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve visited, but at the same time one of the most unusual. Several Revolutionary War veterans and their families are buried here. The same tombstone shape as that of my Captain John Linton, who died in 1836 and is buried in Springfield, is very abundant here – which tells you the age of the cemetery.


Robert Brank born March 17th, 1757, died April 10th, 1846, forty years an Elder of Paint Lick Church.  Revolutionary War Veteran.  Paint Lick Presbyterian Cemetery, Garrard County, Kentucky.

Many huge, old trees have been cracked and brought down by lightning. One man who is buried here is Thomas Kennedy, also a Revolutionary War veteran, but supposedly the man on whom Harriet Beecher Stowe based her character of Simon Legree in her famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This could just be a legend, although it has been said that Stowe visited Garrard County, Kentucky, and stayed in the house of Thomas Kennedy. Kennedy’s grave is on the top of the hill in the old section. His grave has been struck by lightning numerous times, his stone broken and repaired, and eventually a chain fence was installed around the plot where Kennedy and his wife are buried to help draw lightning away from the stones! This cemetery is supposed to be one of scariest places in Garrard County – and haunted to boot! As for me I was delighted and happy to be there!


Thomas Kennedy, Captain North Carolina Militia, Revolutionary War, September 11, 1757 – June 19, 1836.  Agnes Ross Kennedy, 1756-1807.  Paint Lick Presbyterian Cemetery, Garrard County, Kentucky.

Our next stop was Forks of Dix River Baptist Church, also in Garrard County. Many older stones here, also, but not in good condition! A few newer stones replaced some of those in bad shape.


Forks of Dix River Baptist Cemetery, Garrard County, Kentucky

Driving north on Hwy 27 we then stopped at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Jessamine County. What a beautiful place! This was an unplanned stop and it was difficult to find markers for anyone of a particular period. We decided another day would be better for us to visit.

IMG_3840Camp Nelson National Cemetery

So what does a grandmother do when cemetery options are low? Visits her grandson in Lexington, of course! The rest of the day was spent playing with Julian – and visiting with his mom and dad! Such a delightful weekend in every respect!

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