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:…/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?:

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

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:

Thank you for reading and sharing a prayer or two,


we were never the problem

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Just because you have a Black friend…

does not mean you are not a racist or have racist tendencies! This write up is a little rant, so it’s up to you if you want to read it or not. The 2019 Black History month has not been a good one in my opinion. We should be learning, teaching generations, and sharing the contributions of African Americans.  I commend Carter G. Woodson for setting up the Black History Month. At least we have one month, and we see the that communities do get involved.  l love this time of the year and enjoy celebrating Black History 365 days per year. So much information is spreading via social media about lots of local history and heroes. It is exhausting with all the news, chaos, and lying going on in this country. I am turning off the TV and putting on PBS, American History TV on the weekends or pulling up Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates or Who Do You Think You Are continually. Those shows keep my blood pressure down and are very calming.

Now I have say to White America…with all the statements of not knowing if something is offensive or not. Maybe it is just a good thing to just be quiet and stop doing whatever it is you are doing. I want to make it clear, you having Black friends or relatives does not mean you are not racist or have racist tendencies. I have Black friends too. I have White friends. But I am not running around in a KKK robe making fun of them. The Oxford dictionary provides this as a definition of racist A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another”. I understand the definition clearly and know that we, as in African Americans were never the problem.

mockup-f3e6fea5“We Were Never The Problem
Abduction • Slavery • Rape • Segregation • Murder • Jim Crow • Lynching • Cross Burning • Dred Scott Decision • Plessy V. Ferguson • Scottsboro Boys • 16Th Street Baptist Church Bombing • Mass Incarceration • Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment • Tulsa Race Riot • Bloody Sunday • Rosewood Massacre • Seneca Village • Mississippi Burning Murders • Voter Intimidation • Black Codes • Sundown Towns • Blockbusting • Racial Steering • Redlining • Separate But Equal • Anti-Miscegenation Laws • Police Brutality • Stop And Frisk • One Drop Rule • Sharecropping • Discrimination • Racism • Bigotry • Xenophobia • Social Exclusion • Assassinations • School To Prison Pipeline • War On Drugs • Broken Windows Policing • Sentencing Disparity • Racial Profiling • Implicit Bias • Racial Stereotyping • Income Inequality • Rockefeller Drug Laws • White Supremacy • The KKK” (

What really prompted me to write  this little piece because it was so frustrating to see that beautiful African American young lady put on display during the Cohen testimony. I do not care if she is a #45 supporter and employee or not. She was used! Just because you are hired and have a job and your boss says hello, does not mean he or she likes you. It does not mean that individual is not a racist or have racist tendencies.  America sees color first, the individual second. Since 1950’s I have seen this myself. It was an awful display of what is wrong with our country. We seen it through the 2016 campaign. Please understand that you can still be racist  and not like someone because of the color of their skin and have grand babies that are biracial, mixed, or Black, etc. My view is racists say things, they do things, it’s an action not just a thought that has impacts. Those actions do not care how many African American friends you have, or if you dated a person of color or what religion you practice. The ugly practices were so common, some still are common and expected and that is one reason you are in denial and not seeing what is offensive to others.

Recently some White Americans say they didn’t realize (their words, not mine) Blackface, mocking, etc., was offensive to African Americans, just shows how much you do not care about African Americans and how much you didn’t pay attention to African Americans. As a genealogist I am telling you that we are more connected than you think. Per Dr. Henry Louis Gates which he shared on his Finding Your Roots show many times that the average African American has 25% European DNA in them. Well we know how that happen. We have more things in common. So why all the hate?

Now put yourself in my shoes or any person of color shoes. Think about the mocking, bullying, and intimidating that goes on, include the name calling, separations, and avoidances, that are placed on people of color.  I just can’t take the “I didn’t know” responses anymore. It is not believable in 2019. Get to know some people of color, you can always ask questions if you are not sure if something is offensive or not. This has been going on too long for folks not to be aware of what offends others. I say, you know what you are doing and don’t expect to get caught. It’s 2019 please stop using your Black friends or workers to show you are not something that you might not be. We see it, we feel it. It is not only offensive, it is hurtful.  Think before you dress up and mock anyone for anything. Try living by the rule of “Do no harm”.


Woodson, Carter G. (2019):

Notham, Pam (2019):

Racist (2019) Retrieved from

Disclosure: Yes, the t-shirt is designed and sold by my son. I am wearing one of mine tomorrow.

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From the Hendry’s to the Borden’s

Okay, let me back up a bit because I am on a roll. This is on my father’s side, so Murphy’s this is for you. I posted a blog on the Hendry’s. I welcomed William Hendry to the family via my paternal great grandmother Nellie (McCorkle, Murphy) Giles. He, William Hendry,  is my 2nd great grandfather, the slave owner, and you know the rest if you read the blog. It was simple, Nellie’s mother is Rose Henry, her parents are John B Hendry/Henry (son of William Hendry via his slave name Rose) and Ester both born in Virginia about 1810.

So as a good genealogist I had to keep going. I needed to know more about the Hendry’s but checked William’s mother first. William Hendry’s parents are Thomas “George” Hendry (born 1725 in Middlesex, MA and died in 1782 in Frederick, Virginia) and Deborah Borden (born in Monmouth, New Jersey in 1728- and she died in June 1799 in Frederick, Virginia). These are my 5th great grandparents.

Hmmm, now a new surname to add to my list and that got me going. I stayed up two nights till 3am digging the roots. I love my friend “Google” and asked about the Hendry’s and came across Roberta Tuller’s site which got me going on the Borden’s.

My next task was to access and Of course I found tons of trees, documents, and stories on the Borden’s and had to begin a timeline. Also, there are a couple of Facebook groups on the Borden/Burden families that I joined. Using some of the online resources I was able to get back to my 16th great grandfather Henry Borden. Henry was born in 1370 and died in 1469, in Kent England.

For the short version of this post- they came to Monmouth, NJ from Headcorn, Kent, England became landowners and much more and then to Frederick County, Virginia. This is just two hours from where I currently live. I have visited Winchester Virginia several times. I even did a presentation on “African American Genealogy Challenges” at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley  ( located in Winchester. I might of been near their land, hmmm. The Borden’s again had a wealth of land and have left their mark on New Jersey and Virginia. There is more to do and more to question on this quest. If you are interested in reading more on the Borden’s just Google Benjamin Borden Jr and that will get you started. There are some trips scheduled over the next few months. I am also getting myself prepared to handle the emotional research of slavery, just in case they owned slaves. I believe they were Quakers but not sure, but I will find out. I am happy to research this line and will consider using this line to join the Sons and Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage. (



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DNA Made Clear at the Library of Virginia

Curious about DNA and what to do with it once you have received results? Sept 9th at the Library of Virginia (in Richmond, Virginia)  is the place to be to receive some answers. Registration is still open. Click on the link

Hope to see you there!

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African American Family History Day at Poplar Forest! 9/22

Are you familiar with Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in Forest, Virginia? Visit the home page at:  Information shared from the website event’s page: Discover your African American roots. Join the Poplar Forest African American Advisory Group for an interactive experience designed to help you explore your family’s African American history. Hear stories about exploring ancestry and learn about research methods, tools, ideas and strategies for tracing the lineage of your enslaved ancestors.

Admission to African American Family History Day is free, however reservations are required as space is limited to 60 participants. Reservations can be made by getting

a free ticket below or by calling the Museum Shop at (434) 534-8120.


  • 10:00 a.m. —Opening Address by Dr. Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”
  • Lunch provided (with reservation)
  • Afternoon Sessions—Sessions will be repeated so every participant can attend both


This workshop will present tips and strategies for family historians to enhance their research with the art of asking the right questions. We will look at evidence using the simple principles of the “SO WHAT” concept and timelines. This will help attendees learn how to analyze the information, combat some genealogy brick walls and map out a research plan.


This workshop looks at how one can pursue records and oral history, and how to use the proper resources to solve a family mystery. The focus of this session explores an African American family based in Tennessee. The family was separated in 1860 when the slave holder died. More than a century later, at a family reunion, a few extra details were shared by the cousins in attendance. From that session an interesting story arose, about an ancestor who shot someone in Tennessee, and ran away to Texas to never be seen again. A new question arose—who was this ancestor and could more be learned?

The journey to answer the question involved standard genealogy research, but it also required some essential steps to unravel the mystery of this African American family. Oral history was the base, but more was needed. The workshop will outline what steps were used to break through this brick wall. For location and directions visit Forest, VA:

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Charlottesville Center for History and Culture: Home of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society Announces New Board Chair

Charlottesville, VA, August 16, 2018 – The Charlottesville Center for History and Culture: Home of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, today named Dr. Shelley Murphy as the new Chair of the Board of Directors.

A native of Michigan, Dr. Murphy has been an avid genealogist for nearly three decades, specializing in the study and practice of African-American genealogical research. She is a much sought-after guest lecturer throughout the country, and is well known here in the Central Virginia region for her exceptional work in this field. Dr. Murphy holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. She is an Adjunct Professor for Averett University’s satellite campus in Richmond. She also works part time as a Housing Counselor with the Piedmont Housing Alliance, routinely educating citizens on family financial literacy and the benefits of home ownership.

“I am thrilled with this honor,” Dr. Murphy said. “This is an exciting time of great opportunities for the Historical Society. I’m proud to be part of this organization and am looking forward to contributing to the important work we do.”

The Board has expressed its sincere thanks to out-going Chair Will Lyster, who re-joined the Board earlier this year and agreed to temporarily serve as Chair to help steer the organization through a challenging transition period. Dr. Murphy said, “Will’s exemplary leadership and his outstanding commitment to the well-being of our organization has been an inspiration for every one of us on the Board. We are so thankful for all the work he has done.”

Coy Barefoot is the Center’s Executive Director. “The Board’s unanimous decision to elect Shelley as our new Chair,” Barefoot said, “signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our story. Our goal is to re-imagine and re-invent the role of an historical society in the 21st century, to be a strong civic organization that works to enrich the lives of our neighbors and visitors here in Central Virginia. We believe history can be a powerful tool to create experiences that can inform, enlighten, inspire and bring people together. Shelley’s leadership and vision will be crucial to our efforts. We are all looking forward to working with her.”

The Charlottesville Center for History and Culture: Home of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (Founded in 1940) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization focused on exploring the history of the Central Virginia region. The Center receives no on-going operating funds from any federal, state or local agencies but relies entirely on membership support, gifts, donations, and grants. A new website at is currently in development and will be launched soon. You can follow the latest news and announcements at their Facebook page:

familytreegirl logo


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Welcome to the family William Hendry/Henry and family.

This will be a short one since it is a work in progress. It is great to meet you William Hendry/Henry who was born in 1760-64 in Frederick, Virginia and moved on to Greene County, Tennessee. I am thrilled to meet one of your slaves named Roseann, who was born about 1790, also in Frederick, Virginia. You and Roseann are now taking your position as my 4th great grandparents on my paternal side. and other children by your wives.  You are an interesting man, involved in plenty of things and married several times .  Ut Oh, here comes some more Europeans. You had two children from Roseann. Your two children by Rosann is a son, John Henry/Henry and your daughter is Delphia Hendry/Henry.  Read more about Delphia at A’Leila Bundles blog:

I can see your line back a few more generations, but I am going forward first and then back. Now William, what did you do with your son John Henry who was born about 1811 in Frederick, Virginia? I will analyze your will. I know John married Ester who was born about 1811 (unknown last name). I have lots of questions; was John born as slave like his sister Delphia, of course he did and did he get freed as well? One of  John’s children is Rose Henry.  I am assuming you named after your mother. Well your daughter Rose Henry, is how you are coming down my line. Rose married John McCorkle and one of their children was Nellie. Nellie McCorkle is my great grandmother who married William Michael Murphy and the parents of William Columbus Murphy, my father’s father. Nellie also married Henry Giles out of North Carolina. Whew!

So for those of you that connect to William Hendry’s line, contact me at I am open to learn more about the Hendry’s and what happened to John Hendry. The evidence will tell this story! More to come on the Hendry line.


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