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Citywide historical effort includes focus on African American church, family cemeteries

 

Dennis Hoggard of Munden Point attended the meeting at the Senior Resource Center, Inc., after hearing about it at Little Piney Grove Baptist Church, where he serves as president of the deacon ministry. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Dennis Hoggard of Munden Point attended the meeting at the Senior Resource Center, Inc., after hearing about it at Little Piney Grove Baptist Church, where he serves as president of the deacon ministry. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

CREEDS — People gathered at the Senior Resource Center, Inc., this past month to discuss documenting historic family and church cemeteries.

A focus of the meeting was documenting graves and verifying information at private cemeteries where African Americans have been buried in years past.

The research group at the center in Creeds is building upon and updating historical data about private cemeteries in the city from Dean and Sally Carroll of Knotts Island, N.C., who compiled a great deal of information, according to City Councilmember Barbara Henley. She represents the Princess Anne District.

Many of the private or church cemeteries date from the mid-1800s to the early-1900s, and some may be known only to families, if they are known at all.

Henley said the group seeks volunteers to help documents sites, verify information and contact property owners for permission to visit sites, among other things.

“We want to make sure it’s as complete and accurate as it can be,” said Henley, who can be reached at (757) 426-7501 by those who would like to get involved.

Among those at the meeting, where people went through records spread across a table and discussed cemeteries in the community, was the author Edna Hawkins-Henrix. 

“It’s exciting, and it’s a piece of history that needs to be preserved,” she said about the effort to document burial spots throughout the city.

Her new book, We’ve Been Too Patient … Too Long: A Pictoral History, also deals with preserving important local history. It tells stories about education for black people in Virginia Beach and what was Princess Anne County.

For information about the book, call (757) 213-6963 or email hendrixedna1451@yahoo.com.

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Those at a meeting about documenting family and church cemeteries and graves in the city discuss family locations and look through existing data. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]


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The Independent News

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