Freeman Family at Salem Baptist Cemetery in Shelby County


Salem Baptist Church, Organized 1811

In the rural area of southeastern Shelby County, Kentucky, on highway 53, Ritchey and I found Salem Baptist Church, quite by accident.  But never one to pass up a cemetery, we stopped at this small but beautiful graveyard.


Charles Y. Freeman, born April 2, 1792, died January 18, 1877

Several members of the Freeman family are buried here.  Charles Yancey Freeman, and wife Mary, are parents to the two Freeman men buried in the same row.  Charles and Mary were married about 1820, due to the birthdates of their two children.

In the 1830 Census of neighboring Anderson County, Charles and Mary are listed as aged 30-40 and 20-30, respectively.  They have two sons under the age of 5, and 2 sons between 5 and 10.


Mary D., wife of C. Y. Freeman, Sr., born May 2, 1801, died December 18, 1887

In the 1870 Census of Shelby County, Charles, 78, and Mary, 65, are living with their son, George J. Freeman, 49, farmer, his wife, Cornelia, 45, their grandson, Charles G., 21, Ann T. Greathouse, 24 (probably their granddaughter), Samuel Greathouse (great-grandson), 10, and James W. Greathouse, 26, a painter.  Four generations in one household!


G. J. Freeman, born March 11, 1821, died September 15, 1881.   Cornelia Freeman, born January 27, 1824, died November 9, 1881.

What happened in the last few months of 1881 to take three members of this family?  George J. Freeman, son of Charles and Mary, died September 5th.  His wife, Cornelia, died November 9th, and his brother, J. W. Freeman died November 5th.  How tragic to have three deaths in two months?


J. W. Freeman, born October 22, 1829, died November 5, 1881

Mary lived another six years after the deaths of her two sons and daughter-in-law.  I can’t say if she had other children, but at least she had grandchildren to help her through the hard days ahead.  Every family has its own story, all have happy days and sorrowful ones.  It’s best to concentrate on the happy!

Leave a Reply