Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - The Knights at Burnt Church

On a very hot, sunny Sunday afternoon in May, my sister Helen and I went to find the graves of our maternal fourth great grandparents William Anderson and Sarah Cone Knight in the Union Primitive Baptist Church cemetery (otherwise known as Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia. This was exciting! I've never seen the graves of anyone previous to those of our second great grandparents. (Click on each photo for a larger view.) 


Google Earth aerial of the Union Primitive Baptist Church and cemetery (also known as Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Georgia


The headstone of my maternal 4th great grandfather William Anderson Knight at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church), Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia
The inscription on William's headstone says: "Sacred to the memory of William A. Knight, who was born February the 8th, 1778, and died December the 8th, 1859."

The headstone of my maternal 4th great grandmother Sarah Cone Knight at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church), Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia

Sarah's headstone says: "Sacred to the memory of Sarah Knight, who was born February the 16th, 1780, and died November the 28th, 1859."

The Knights first settled in Wayne County, Georgia, where William severed as representative, Justice of the Peace, and Justice of Wayne Inferior Court for several years. In the mid-1820s, they moved to what is now Lanier County but was then Irwin and later part of Lowndes County. He served as the first senator of Lowndes County from 1826 to 1828. The Knights were charter members of Union Primitive Baptist Church, the first Primitive Baptist Church in Lowndes County, which is where they are buried. William was ordained as a minister in 1832 and helped establish several churches within a 100 mile-wide area. In 1850, after the death of Pastor Matthew Albritton, William became the pastor of Union Primitive Baptist Church.  He also served as the first pastor of Wayfare Church from 1841-1854 and 1856-1858, located in what is now Echols County, Georgia.*  (Helen and I also visited Wayfare that same Sunday, because my son was told that we had some relatives there, too.)

Curiously, the inscriptions on William and Sarah's headstones are on the back. Nothing is written on the front. (See below.) I'd not seen this done before. I've seen headstones with inscriptions on both sides, but not just engraved on the back.

The headstones and footstones of William Anderson and Sarah Cone Knight at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia. No inscriptions are on the front of the headstones.
I was surprised to find that our third great parents are in this cemetery as well---William and Sarah's daughter Sarah and her husband William P. Roberts.  Sarah and William Roberts aren't buried together. When I saw Sarah Knight Roberts' headstone near her parents, I thought her husband William had to be there somewhere. I found him about 50 feet away to the east.

The gravestone of my maternal third great grandmother Sarah Knight Roberts at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia.

Sarah Knight Roberts' gravestone says: "Sacred to the memory of Sarah Roberts who was born Oct. 10th 1809 and departed this life Jan. 21st 1880"

The gravestone of my maternal third great grandfather William P. Roberts at Union Primitive Baptist Church in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia
William P. Roberts' gravestone says: "Sacred to the memory of William P. Roberts who was born ...ted this life Dec. 2nd 1852"

There are graves of other members of the Knight family in this cemetery. As soon as I figure out how they connect to my branch, I'll post them.

Catherine

*Folks Huxford, Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Volume I. Cooper Press Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, 1966, 160-161.

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