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I have been researching my family for 20 years, starting with my maternal grandparents, James Samuel Butler and Sallie Moss Pierce. They were born in Campbell County, Tennessee and traveled by covered wagon to Oklahoma where they were first enumerated in the 1900 census.

First, I would like to point out that due to the PRIVACY ACT, disclosure of the names of living next of kin of a deceased person is prohibited. Yes, they are mentioned in published obituaries, but the family has provided their names to the newspapers for the obituaries. Find A Grave asks that we not include the names of the living in our memorials.

I have tried to restrict my memorials to my direct paternal and maternal family lines, the grandparents of various degrees. Then somehow some aunts and uncles of various degrees were included, then a few cousins, then . . .

Of course, Find A Grave requires that we know where our ancestors are interred in order to create memorials on this web site, thus, the further we go back in time, the fewer memorials there are for our family because we do not know where those early family members are interred. However, there are known burial locations for at least two of my ancestors that go waaaaay, way back. You might want to visit their memorials: William and Matilda . They are my 28th great grandparents on my paternal grandmother's side of the family. When you get back that far, you have a LOT of cousins.

In April 2015 I submitted DNA to Ancestry.com. I have a match going back to an ancestor whose ancestry is known to antiquity, which includes William and Matilda. His name was Thomas Owsley, born about 1658 in Somersetshire, England. His descendants have been in Tennessee from the early years of Tennessee's formation. My maternal grandparents were born and raised in Campbell County, however, it was my paternal grandmother's Peeks whose line goes back for generations and until one Thomas Peake III married a granddaughter of that Thomas Owsley of Somersetshire, Lucy Gregg. I believe, but for one marriage right there in Campbell County, my parents came close to being cousins of some degree, and removed however many times, I have no idea. Could this be true?


Find A Grave statement regarding headstones:

Never clean gravestones with anything but water and a soft brush. Slate gravestones from the Revolutionary era and Pre-revolutionary era are best left alone due to their delicate nature and tendency to erode.

Never apply bleach, ammonia, shaving cream, CHALK, flour, baking soda, cornstarch, firm pressure or use anything abrasive. These substances react to the forces of nature which brings on the destruction of the headstones. Do not post photos of recently chalked or shaving-creamed headstones.

Consult a professional before any attempt to clean a headstone is made.


Find A Grave statement regarding unknown burials:
Never create a memorial with an unknown name for the cemetery by the name unknown; or any variant. Burials where the interment is unknown may be added using the Other burial option, then recent death, location of body unknown. Location of body unknown must be used for recent deaths where the disposition is not currently known. FINAL DISPOSITION MUST BE DETERMINED AND UPDATED WITHIN 30 DAYS.


I invite researchers of East Tennessee to the memorial for Peter Graham Fulkerson . The name P.G. Fulkerson is probably more familiar. P.G. was a farmer, lawyer, judge and district attorney general who also had an interest in history and genealogy. He created brief records, perhaps a paragraph or two, of some of the early settlers of Claiborne County. As he created for some of my ancestors, his memorial is my brief record, a paragraph or two, of The Honorable Peter Graham Fulkerson.

Take time to follow the link on his memorial to his answers to The Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaires.

Search memorial contributions by Janet



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