Sunday, November 9, 2014

Old Roswell Cemetery in Roswell, Georgia


Roswell's First Methodist Church was built on this plot in 1836.  The church was an original log cabin style structure with stone steps and the earliest pastor of the church requested that he and his wife be buried as close to the spot where the original pulpit stood and that their graves be marked by two of the stones from the steps.  The cemetery was probably founded at the same time as the church but the earliest burial that can still be deciphered was in 1846 and was that of a four month old girl.  The cemetery has 1,950 known burials and many of them are of children.

This cemetery is haphazard in many ways, but also unique in that many family burial plots are surrounded by walls of bricks, concrete or granite and a couple have the wrought iron fences as well.  Burials range all different decades with some oldest burials being right next to more recent ones.  The most recent we found was in 2008.  There was this really unique broken headstone that appeared to have been painted and it was remarkable how bright the color still was, although we had no idea of the dates because no name or dates could be found on the stone.

There are military burials here as well, particularly those that are honoring those that served in the Confederate Military and there are some graves that are empty, but marked because the burials occurred at sea.

The troubling part of this cemetery is not only how many markers have deteriorated beyond recognition, but those that have been vandalized.  Many have been knocked over and broken and since many plots have no family left to care for them, the stones lay where they are pushed.  The City of Roswell does maintain the main areas of the cemetery, but individuals plots are the responsibility of family.

All in all, this was a wonderful cemetery, full of history and beautiful old live oak trees housing squirrels and various birds from the mockingbirds to the blue jays we saw.  Here are some of the other unique headstones we saw in this great cemetery:


  1. The Roswell Historical Society has taken responsibility for restoring the cemetery. To date more than 100 damaged or broken markers have been repaired. Volunteers are cleaning and recording all headstones. Ground penetrating radar is being used to locate unmarked graves.

  2. The brick tombstone that is pictured here was built by my father for his mother when he was only 16 or 17 years old. It is the marker for Emmons W. and Annie M. Jones.

    1. My friend Susan Jones (your cousin) has shown me this many times.

  3. I also recognized the brick tombstone - built by Fred Ray Jones for his parents, Emmons Walter and Annie Matilta Jones. My best friend's brother, Hugh, is Fred Ray's brother.