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SERENDIPITY AND ON THE TRAIL OF TOMBSTONES IN CARTER COUNTY

August 22, 1990

SERENDIPITY

By: Loraine Rae

     Hot, humid weather, weeds, brambles, poison ivy, and “is that a tick crawling up my leg?” – are all familiar situations to those of us who have tried to find an ancestor’s tombstone in some almost forgotten cemetery. Then, eureka, what bliss it is when we actually find it. The following story describes just such an adventure, which resulted in locating a cemetery not included in the Carter County cemetery book.

     The Jonesborough Genealogical Society will be preparing a column to be printed each week in the Herald & Tribune will include family histories and queries. Send your queries and any comments you may have to the Herald & Tribune or to the JGS at the address below. Do you have a name for this column? We would welcome this, also.

     The JGS was recently organized with the following objectives: 1) To develop the best genealogical and historical library in upper east Tennessee; and 2) To obtain as much data as possible concerning the people and events of this area, with special emphasis on a) Jonesborough, and b) black families. We also want to update the cemetery books of this area. If you have information pertaining to any of the above, please send it to the Jonesborough Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 314, Jonesborough, TN 37659. Be sure to include the source. Family stories are wanted even if proof is missing, as there may be clues which will lend to proof.

“ON THE TRAIL OF TOMBSTONES IN CARTER COUNTY”

By: Elaine Scott Cantrell

  On July 23, Catherine (Clark) and Charles Seaver of Muncie, Ind., were in the Laurels area of Carter County looking for the graves of her great-grandparents, Sarah L. (Huffine) and Samuel Britt, son of Jeremiah and Vina (Peoples) Britt.

     Eugene Scott happened to see them in the Greer cemetery, which is in a field on his place, and went over to talk with them.

     Catherine told Eugene she was a descendant of the Huffines, and he said, “Well, I am, too, but I don’t know how.”

     Eugene said his sister, Elaine Scott Cantrell of Chuckey, would know, so they went up to Eugene’s home and called her. Elaine had been trying to locate where the Britts were buried and was really glad to talk with Catherine, who, it turned out, is her third cousin.

     Eugene, Charles and Catherine spent the afternoon looking and asking neighbors. They found the Britt and Haun private cemetery just past Idlewood Road on the Laurels Road, Turning right at an open fence, up in the left corner of the field.

     Tombstones in the field contained the following information:

     Albert J. Haun, Feb. 7, 1825 – Dec. 7, 1863.

     George H. Haun, 1832 – 1910.

     Mary C. Haun,  1845 – 1911.

     Jeremiah Jerry Britt, died June 3, 1863.

     Vina Britt, died May 9, 1885,  58 yrs.

     Landon Britt, died April 22, 1863,  15 yrs.

     Serena Britt, Nov. 1877, 26 yrs.

     Jerry Jeremiah Britt married Vina Peoples. Some of the children were W. S. Anderson, Alford, Serena and Samuel, Catherine’s great-grandmother. Samuel inherited land from his parents.

     The private cemetery where Samuel and Sarah are buried, which Charles and Catherine were looking for, is listed in Cemeteries of Carter County, TN by Orville T. Field. It has these directions: “located in Carter County in the Idlewood Section about ½ mile from the Treadway Farm” now owned by Eugene Scott.

     This book lists these graves in this private cemetery:

     Sarah L., wife of S. W. Britt, b. Mar. 19, 1847 – June 24, 1887.

     S.W. Britt, b. Nov. 22, 1842 – Dec. 31, 1886.

     Samuel R. Britt (son of S. W. and S. L. Britt) b. June 20, 1887,  10 mo. Age.

     The Seavers did not locate this cemetery, but it must be very close to the Haun-Britt cemetery, according to directions.

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