This cemetery is known as the Polly Cribb cemetery. (Her name is spelled Cribbs on her tombstone.) Mary “Polly” Cribb (c1839-1909) descended from the early Cribb family that was in this area and settled in the fork of Maidendown Swamp and Buck Swamp by 1768/1769. Polly and many of her descendants are buried here.
Click on the photographs for more information.
[Lynda Cribb Solter and Jo Church Dickerson tried to visit the cemetery again in June 2018. We were appalled to see that the field road from Hwy 917 up to the graves is completely overgrown with impenetrable wild growth. We were so heartbroken we didn't even take photographs. - This note added by Jo Church Dickerson, June 2018.]
The cemetery is located in Marion County, South Carolina, near the junction of Highways 41 and 917, just north of Mullins. On Main Street in Mullins (Hwy 41) go north and bear left onto Hwy 917 just after crossing the bridge over Maidendown Swamp. Immediately turn left onto the dirt road which is little more than a trail now - an old field road. The cemetery is on the left less than 1/10 mile, just beside the dirt road.
The cemetery is on the hill under a tall old oak tree (visible in the second photograph just a few dozen yards up the hill and to the right of Polly's tombstone). An old plat shows that somewhere in the field not far from the cemetery stood the home of Polly's grandmother, Elizabeth Cribb.
Sometimes overgrown, the county of Marion has in recent years sent county maintenance crews to clear the worst of the brush, though there seems to have been some accidental damage to some of the markers. It has also been recently timbered and there may have been some resulting damage from that. Some markers are now broken that were undamaged in 2006; Polly's marker was unbroken as recently as 2009.
The cemetery, the field it stands in, & the land across the road have been in the Cribb family since 1769 when Thomas William Cribb purchased the 100 acres at the confluence of Maidendown Swamp and Buck Swamp from William Harrelson and his wife, Sarah. (Marion Deed Book E page 163 & 165.) Described in this and subsequent deeds as the "Screven" or "Scriven" tract, it bounded to the southwest on land granted to John Cribb in 1768.
In 1803 Thomas W. Cribb sold the land he had bought from Harrelson to his son, Thomas Cribb, Junr., who died by 1809. (Marion Deed Book E/176 Thomas W. Cribb to his son Thomas Cribb, DB P/210 Mathew Martin to Dempsey Cribb, Marion County Judgment Roll #1269 Robert Moody vs. Edwards & Cribb, and Matrion Probate Roll #156, Estate of Thomas Cribb, Junr.) The widow of this second Thomas Cribb was Elizabeth. Her maiden name is unknown, but she was NOT Elizabeth Collins, dau of Thomas Collins; Elizabeth Collins married William Thomas Cribb, son of Elizabeth and the Thomas Junr. who died by 1809. Thomas Cribb Junr. and Elizabeth were the parents of Anthony Cribb; Anthony was father of Polly and her siblings.
An 1810 plat shows the 100 acres sold by Harrelson to Thomas William Cribb in 1769, then sold in 1803 by Thomas W. Cribb to Thomas Cribb, was in 1810 owned by Thomas Cribb's widow (Polly’s grandmother), Elizabeth Cribb, and shows the house on Elizabeth land in the same field near the cemetery (though the cemetery is not shown on the plat). (Compiled plat found in Marion County Court of Common Pleas, old Judgment Rolls, Case #1269, Moody vs. Edwards & Cribb.)
Elizabeth Cribb, widow of Thomas Cribb, gave the same land to her son Anthony in 1827, describing it as the land "whereon I now live". (Marion Deed Book M page 87.) Anthony and his wife Samantha Ford were parents of William Thomas Cribb (1833-1910), Dempsey Cribb (1837-1862), Mary "Polly" Cribb (c1839-1909), Emma J. Cribb (1840-1884), George Tally Cribb (1842-1906), Sarah Cribb (b. c1844) and Tina Cribb (b. 1850). It is likely that Polly’s parents and other ancestors, as well as other relatives, are buried here.
This is a fairly large cemetery, covering perhaps an acre or more. The rows are very long. There are visibly many graves with no markers between the marked graves. There are two markers near the tall oak tree, and it seems likely that others were buried near the tree and further up the hill on the other side of the tree, those likely wooden markers having long since disappeared. In fact it appears that the burial ground extends beyond the big oak tree at the top of the hill, and there is a strong possibility that the early Cribb family settlers and many of their white descendants also lie in this cemetery.
Highway 917 follows one of the oldest routes through the area; it was there long before Highway 41 was cut through in 1937. The old road is shown on the 1818 map of Marion District in Mills Atlas, following pretty much the same route it does today. (It was not called Highway 917 then, of course.)
The cemetery is known as an African-American cemetery since many of Polly's descendants have been people of color, and those are the only burials that are marked or remembered. Yet it seems logical that this cemetery on the hill overlooking Maidendown Swamp and beside an important early land route - and near the home of 2nd generation settlers - is also the burial place of some of Polly's Cribb ancestors, who owned and resided on these lands since 1769. It would be an excellent candidate for a ground-penetrating radar survey.
This cemetery page was created by Jo Church Dickerson, March and April, 2016.
UPDATED with identifying information for Polly Cribb's grandfather Thomas in June 2016. This new information shows that old Cribb charts showing that Thomas, father of Anthony, was son of a John Cribb was in error. The discovery of the 1820 deed of bounding land to Anthony's brother Dempsey, giving the chain of title of this land, states that Thomas W. Cribb conveyed it to his "son Thomas", shows that Anthony's father was the son of Thomas William Cribb who purchased this land in 1769 from William Harrelson and his wife, Sarah.
GPS Coordinates: 34.25636, -79.2687
- Added: 5 Mar 2016
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2605883
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