Saving Boyd Carter Memorial Cemetery in Kearneysville, West VA

I am so sorry to my ancestors and my heart is broken. A group of folks are trying to help save the cemetery from being disturbed. I feel we are too late, money and dirty tactics will probably win. But, I am still hopeful.  They have swarmed in and around the burial grounds. We are fighting a fight that we might not win, but hoping to bring awareness to all. We are dealing with various individuals and companies that simply “do not care ” about burial grounds. This goes deep and a trail of money follows (Rockwool Inc., Danish Co.)

How I connect to Jefferson County and the cemetery: my second great grandmother is Mary Catherine Goens/Goings/Goins, she was born in 1840 in Jefferson County, Virginia, now West Virginia. Her parents were Lawson Goings (b. 1807, Loudoun Co. Virginia d. 12 July 1874 in Clarke County, Virginia) and Sarah (Hart, b. 1810, d. 1886 in Jefferson Co., WV). We know and have  researched Mary Catherine’s line, but Sarah’s, we have yet to make a true connection to her family. There are many, many Goens in the county of Jefferson. Joseph Goings, Lawson’s father and Nancy, his mother arrived before 1820. William Goens and his wife Harriet (Washington) who are buried in the cemetery, connect to Lawson’s brother, William Alexander. Here is a list of Lawson’s children:

Martha Elizabeth born June 16, 1831, died 1834.
John Francis, born August 4, 1832. He and his wife lived on Mt. Gilliam (now the Burns property in Jefferson County, WV) in a log cabin and he built caskets.
William Alexander born March 4, 1834. Married about 1857 to Martha Johnson, daughter of Kitty. Children born if any are unknown at this time.
Stephen, born Feb 28, 1838. He lived with his brother John and later moved to Pittsburg PA. He died April 4, 1890. He lived with his brother John Francis supposedly on Mt. Gilliam, now known as the Burns property in Jefferson County. He died April 4, 1890. He served in the Civil War and remarried at the age of 65.
Frances Virginia “Fannie,” born December 28, 1837, she married James Douglas Roper. Children are:  Mary Virginia b. 11/7/1860, George William b. 5/13/1864, Martha E. b. 11/10, 1875 and Nancy Clara b. about 1880. Buried in Hartstown, up top next to the St. Paul’s Church.
Mary Catherine born April 18, 1840. Married George Marsh. George Marsh was from the area as well and was found in the in the 1860s federal census with a John Mash, living with the Robinson family. Elijah and Sarah Robinson are also found in District 28, 1850 Federal census. George Marsh was believed to be a slave per oral history, but in the 1860 census there was a find of a George Mash and John W. Marsh, as laborers. Could this be the George Marsh and a brother John Wesley. George and Mary left Jefferson County after the civil war and headed to Manistee County Michigan, making a stop in Ohio. George and Mary Catherine’s children are: Nancy Ardella b. 1864, Sarah born in OH- (married Henry Davis), Cora born in Manistee Co. Mi, Frank, Warren, Jesse, Clara (married Henry Davis), Hattie, John and Matthew, George. The Marsh family arrived in Manistee Michigan about 1867 and homesteaded 160 acres.
Charles Henry born March 16, 1844, married Louisa Victoria Roper about 1867: children: James Douglas, Rosie, Fanny, Mabel, Florence, Alice Sophy, Eliza, Annie E. Charles and Neva Elrita. They left Jefferson County and relocated to the Maryland area.
Josiah (Joseph) born August 17, 1846, married Lucy Sims, 1869 daughter of Eliza Sims.

Children; Arwilda M b. 1871 (married Howard Hart, who is the son of Mascena & Sarah (Roper) Hart), Lawson 1873, Charles Austin b. 1875, and Lucy b. 1878, Cora, Charlotte birth dates are unknown. (cemetery is in the Hartstown area). Joseph passed in 1915.

Nancy Elizabeth born March 24, 1848. She married Emanuel Johnson around 1868. Children: Eugene b. 1868, Margaret b. 1870, Sophy, 1872, Mary b. 1872, Henry b. 1875, John b. 1878. Emaanuel died before 1880 census. 
Sarah Ann “Sally” born August 9, 1849, married William Henry Roper. Children: Aldridge b. 2/1870, Edwin, Rose, and Sallie. We know Aldridge relocated to Canada, changed his name to Albert Shannon and passed for white. These Ropers are still in the Charles Town area. 
Richard Peyton b. April 28, 1852.

****************************

 

I first saw the cemetery in 1998, a tour was given by my cousin Brian Ross. I have visited over the years and most recently visited April 13th. The Boyd Carter Cemetery -a glimpse by DC Media Group during my recent visit:

https://www.dcmediagroup.us/…/rockwool-pipeline-constructi…/

On 24 April 2019 this was released, I had no idea-no public hearing, no contact with the family, what the hell is going on?: https://www.apnews.com/482ac9eaa47f4503bf73ecc7ab2c4097

Some of the deceased cousins related to this Goens/Goings line are buried in to the burial grounds known as the Boyd Carter cemetery.  For example, A Ross married a Goens, the Ross’s mother is a McDowell, the McDowell’s connect to the Ferguson’s. Some are free people that descend from slaves, such as the Dandridge family, since they are an earlier land owner of this land. There are serious concerns that are being ignored. I am researching the Ferguson’s line, a prominent line in the cemetery. Now, I know there is a slave owner back there and I intend to find them.

There is the Rockwool, a Danish company that invades lands, even burial grounds, this burial grounds. We have some soldiers who are buried in this cemetery. who served in both world wars and Korea.  Who allows this to happen? Well the local government , some locals, and state government. Yep, just as I do in my research, I say, follow the money, the land, the community, and the faith of the people. Well, what do we have going on here? There was no public hearing for any voices to be heard. Now this is simply not right or fair and not the American way. There are so many local historians & advocates in the area, they know these families. But again, as I am fit to be tied, I have contacted the Governor and others in the state of West Virginia. Not sure what that will do, but had to inform and pray.

If you have any suggests, I am open to hear them. I do not know West Virginia law. Any help would be appreciated. Here is a supportive article on behalf of this terrorist invasion of burial grounds. We know this is not right, they know it is not right. My email is shelleyviola@gmail.com

Here is a list of the burials from the Tombstone book of 1981 by the Beeline DAR Chapter:

boyd carter cemetery wv

There is now 78 identified and another 6 or 7 unmarked only at the back end of the cemetery, Good lawd, how many others are there?

We know there is something wrong here, this is not the first cemetery under attack:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/27/gentrification-is-erasing-black-cemeteries-and-with-it-black-history

Thank you for reading and sharing a prayer or two,

Familytreegirl

we were never the problem

About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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3 Responses to Saving Boyd Carter Memorial Cemetery in Kearneysville, West VA

  1. Eilene Lyon says:

    Your first link didn’t work, but I read the other two. Is there any possibility of finding a pro bono lawyer to fight this? Surely they should be able to find a way to build their infrastructure without invading the cemetery. It’s shameful that the public hearing was cancelled.

  2. chmjr2 says:

    I am very sorry to read about this. I hope that the cemetery can be spared.

  3. kristin says:

    I hate this. I wish I had a suggestion. I think finding a lawyer is a good idea!

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