Sunday, May 10, 2015

Grave Hunting in Monticello, GA

Saturday was absolutely a perfect day, filled with activities I love: meeting other people interested in family history, searching for a missing graveyard, a cute little Southern Town, and big houses.

It all started when a family member of the Maddux family reached out to me to help her "straighten out" an old family graveyard's documentation on Find a Grave. The documentation and the information found on Internet was incorrect. Through our conversation it was decided finding the cemetery was the best way to confirm dates. So a day was planned and off I went.

I arrived early, so I ran over to the nearby Methodist Cemetery.

Established in 1805, it has some of the oldest graves in Jasper Co. I was looking for my 3rd great grand uncle: Jeremiah Pearson.  As soon as I entered the cemetery and gave a scan across, I saw what I knew in my heart was Jeremiah's grave -- above ground tombs under a huge cedar tree.

Up close with the help of cheap foil, I was able to make out his name and dates: 1777-1855. I was very thrilled. The church is empty, the congregation having built a bigger church in 1964 up the road, has charm. 

Time was running out to meet the others, so off I went to the Dairy Queen, the gathering place. 

Armed with rake, shovel, nippers, gloves, etc. I joined the group and we went out of Monticello to the field where graveyard was located in the center in a clump of trees. A small 1/2 mile hike through a plowed field, a quick tour through a wooded area, we found the cemetery and set to work.

After some digging a very old stone was uncovered.

This is John Maddux (1785-1872). 

Below is John Maddux' home built in 1840, it is empty but appears in good condition.

Photo Brian Brown

We cleaned and cleared and documented. Afterward, I was itching to get back to Monticello to check out the old houses. Here are some I found.

And this lovely -- totally obscured from the street by a huge hedge, I had to crawl through the hedge to get to it. Looks haunted.

It fascinated me so much, I did a little digging. Built at the turn of the century for J.H. Kelly, who was president of the Bank of Monticello, it is definitely in decline. The lot takes up a whole block and in the back are the remains of what was once a formal garden.

By this time I was tired, and needed to get back home.

I want to go back, I am sure there are many more old, interesting houses in this town, just checked full of history, I just didn't have time to see.

But the best part, was seeing the joy in the family members' faces when we confirmed the information in their family Bible and made corrections on the Internet so future Maddux family members will have the right information.  It makes it all worth while.



  1. I was captivated by the article and read along in anticipant until the end. I found it very interesting and love finding out historical information. Thanks, Dave Randolph

  2. Really enjoyed this, particularly the lovely photos of old houses

    1. Thank you for reading and your kind reply.

  3. Really enjoyed this, particularly the lovely photos of old houses