An Alphabetical List of Marked Burials in Greensboro’s Union Cemetery with Hyperlinks to Tombstone Images

Well, I’ve been meaning to do this for some time:  i.e., post a list of individuals buried at Union Cemetery with hyperlinks to photos of grave markers there that I took a few years ago. 

Briefly, Union Cemetery is probably the most important burial site for African Americans in Guilford County, it being the final resting place for many of Greensboro’s most prominent African American residents from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including those of Old Warnersville.  It is located on the east side of the 900 block of South Elm Street. 

I will continue to work on photographic documentation of the cemetery and will be adding additional links in the future.

Many, if not most, of the graves at Union Cemetery are likely unmarked.  If you’d like to learn more about the problem of unmarked graves there and in other old African American cemeteries, take a look at this post from last month.    

The following list was first published in Family Burying Grounds and Abandoned Church Cemeteries in Guilford County, N.C., and Immediate Environs, compiled by O. Norris and Rebecca H. Smith (1978).  A few emendations have been made where additional grave markers have turned up since the Smiths’ work was completed.  It is also possible that some have since disappeared. 

Alexander, Thomas Reece.  Apr. 13, 1898-May 11, 1914
Alston, Rev. Matthew.  Apr. 25, 1821-Apr. 1, 1884
Baily, P. H. & P. Emily.  d. Oct. 10, 1921
Banks, Robert A.  Nov. 8, 1869-July 29, 1907
Barringer, Emmerline.  d. Jun. 14, 1907
Bethel, Fannie.  d. May 9, 1911
E.  1848-1911
E.  1911-1914
L.  1914-1920
Bevill, Amy  May 9, 1844-June 19, 1903
Bevill, Mrs. Bettie Jackson  Aug. 15, 1851-Sept. 18, 1925
Bingham-Koiner.  [no dates] 
Black, Robert S.  d. Nov. 19, 1915
Blackwood, Fannie.  17__-1821?
Blount, Charlotte Calloway.  d. Mar. 17, 1910
Bullock, Dr. J. Lot.  Feb. 14, 1871-Feb. 14, 1910
Bullock, J. Lot Jr.  Aug. 26, 1905-May 24, 1906.
Caldwell, Benjamin Franklin.  Dec. 18, 1865-May 15, 1904
Chavis, Cornelius.  June 25, 1893-July 14, 1893
Chavis, Wendell.  Apr. 1895-July 1, 1895
Daniels, Lizzie.  Dec. 15, 1871-Aug. 12, 1912
Dean, James.  July 27, 1834-Aug. 24, 1902
Dean, Lucinda.  Sept. 18, 1834-Jan. 9, 1911
Foster, Giles M.  [no dates]
Galloway, Odessa.  1896-1916
Garrett, George W.  d. May 24, 1912
Gilchrist, Annie  Mar. 4, 1830-Apr. 27, 1885
Gilmer, David J.  [no dates]
Hairston, Lucile.  Apr. 13, 1886-Dec. 14, 1911
Hairston, Allen.  d. July 2, 1913
Hairston, William A.  Mar. 30, 1872-May 12, 1917
Hairston, Elsie P. Waugh.  Sept. 1, 1866-May 21, 1902
Haith, Laurnie V.  Oct. 10, 1883-May 25, 1913
Harris, Jennie.  June 20, 1890-Dec. 1, 1916
Harris, Leonora Adelaide.  Oct. 21, 1888-Oct. 14, 1913
Harris, John H.  Oct. 5, 1850-Nov. 9, 1913
Harris, Nellie B.  Apr. 27, 1855-Oct. 29, 1912
Holley.  [no dates]
Howell, Julia.  May 27, 1916
Hughes, Lucy F.  Feb. 6, 1859-Jan. 11, 1905
Jackson, John.  1882-July 15, 1926
Jackson, Thomas.  1840-July 16, 1903
Jones, Ella L.  Aug. 31, 1891-July 8, 1915
Logan, Sarah.  June 14, 1867-Oct. 28, 1905
Littlejohn, Hamilton  Mar. 19, 1890-May 23, 1922
Logan, Charley.  d. July 4, 1889
Lyles, Loretta.  1875-Sept. 18, 1927
Malloy, Rev. Peter F.  Sept. 10, 1859-Mar. 17, 1932
Marsh, James Monroe.  Oct. 5, 1901-May 12, 1908
Marsh, John Robert.  Dec. 7, 1903-June 7, 1905
Marsh, Daniel Henry.  Dec. 5, 1905-Dec. 17, 1905
Marsh, Walter Arthur.  Oct. 3, 1906-May 25, 1908
Massey, Odie.  Aug. 23, 1885-Aug. 13, 1912
McAdoo, George W.  Oct. 27, 1861-Jan. 20, 1914
McBrayar, Sallie B. Waugh.  1866-1928
McMaster, Charles A.  d. Jan. 3, 1915
McNair, Rosa Vina.  d. Aug. 26, 1906
McNair, Marion Marshall.  d. May 29, 1905
McNeill, James R.  Oct. 3, 1888-Aug. 23, 1911
McRary, Annie E. Mendenhall.  d. Feb. 7, 1903
Mendenhall, Aaron.  Feb. 14, 1846-Sept. 22, 1906
Merrick, William H.  Apr. 22, 1844-Nov. 21, 1902
Mitchell, Marinda.  d. July 5, 1905
Moore, Mary E.  Nov. 18, 1879-Sept. 24, 1918
Moore, Wiley W.  Feb. 1875-Dec. 5, 1904
Morehead, George Henry.  Mar. 4, 1874-Nov. 1, 1911
Nelson, John H.  d. Jan. 6, 187_
Nocho, Frank Porter.  Jan. 26, 1879-May 6, 1899
Nocho, Allen.  d. Dec. 24, 1896
Nocho, Burton.  d. Dec. 31, 1914
Payne, Adrian.  d. June 26, 1888
Payne, Ethel.  d. Aug. 15, 1890
Payne, Maggie.  Aug. 30, 1890
Payne, Lawrence.  June 20, 1902
Pickett, Dicey.  Apr. 7, 1901
Price, Marie Gaston.  Sept. 30, 1886-Apr. 2, 1917
Price, Myrtie A. Hairston.  Sept. 2, 1900-Sept. 18, 1923
Price, James W.  Sept. 4, 1923-Feb. 17, 1924
Pritchett, Mamie O.  May 2, 1870-Apr. 6, 1903
Pulliam, Boast.  Feb. 15, 1905
Randall, Margary.  Mar. 10, 1853-Mar. 4, 1901
Rankin, Walter.  June 2, 1881-Dec. 20, 1911
Reid, Gertrude.  Jan. 6, 1891-Dec. 10, 1909
Richardson, Daniel.  d. Jan. 24, 1931
Sears, William.  Feb. 13, 1906
Sharpe, Gora Lee.  [no dates]
Sharpe, Sallie.  d. Apr. 27, 1916
Sharpe, Robert.  June 5, 1877-Mar. 22, 1925
Sharpe, Cora Lee.  b. July 4, 1882
Sloan, J.C.  May 24, 1857-Mar. 29, 1882
Smith, Nancy.  Mar. 3, 1843-Feb. 7, 1895
Smith, Essie.  Feb. 12, 1887-June 26, 1894
Stewart.  [no dates]
Suggs, Jacob W.G.  July 26, 1903-Apr. 22, 1905
Taylor, Maggie H.  Oct. 18, 1864-Oct. 4, 1915
Taylor, Walter F.  Mar. 23, 1888-Mar. 26, 1891
Tucker, Laura A.  Nov. 27, 1873-June 9, 1895
Unthank, Jasper A.  1850-1911
Waddy, Dr. J.C.  1881-1940
Washburn, Julius.  June 26, 1850-Dec. 1, 1904
Washburn, Elizabeth.  Dec. 1851-Apr. 8, 1905
Watkins, Martha.  d. May 25, 1914
Watts, Florence G.  Sept. 28, 1880-Dec. 25, 1915
Waugh, John Isreal  ?
Waugh, Robert B.  Feb. 28, 1828-Nov. 10, 1905
Waugh, Mary A. Dalton.  Jan. 15, 1832-Aug. 5, 1907
Waugh, Alfred J.  Mar. 2, 1874-Dec. 7, 1916
Wells, Rev. Isaac W.  Oct. 10, 1837-Mar. 29, 1908
Wharton, Maragret.  Nov. 22, 1894-July 23, 1909
Wharton, Thomas.  d. Aug. 9, 1903
Wharton, Susan F.  Dec. 5, 1842-Mar. 2, 1924
Wilkins, Charlie W.  May 16, 1874-Oct. 9, 1917
Wilkins, George A.  Dec. 6, 1885-May 11, 1924
Wilkins, Harry.  Sept. 5, 1916-Aug. 31, 1917
Williams, Henry C.  Oct. 4, 1862-Feb. 22, 1921

Famous Astronomer Nicholas Copernicus Reburied After Scientists Use DNA to ID Remains

In yet another neat DNA story, scientists have recently used the building blocks of life to help identify the remains of the famous Renaissance Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), who, with his theory of the heliocentric or sun-centered universe, is often credited with starting the scientific revolution.

Alas, poor Copernicus died shortly after De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), his seminal work, was published.  During Galileo’s day, when findings with the telescope began to add weight to Copernicus’ ideas, On the Revolutions was deemed heretical by a then very conservative Roman Catholic Church.  

But with no little irony (at least in view of the Church’s later action against the work), Copernicus was buried on sacred ground beneath the floor of the cathedral of Frombork, located in Northern Poland.  Long since rehabilitated by the Church and honored for his landmark contributions to modern science, there had periodically been efforts to locate his remains there, but these had failed.  Furthermore, previous efforts to locate his tomb had made it clear that it would be difficult to distinguish Copernicus’ remains from many other anonymous burials. 

Nonetheless, in 2005 some bones were located which looked especially promising, since a facial reconstruction as well as the presence of some scars on the skull seemed to match up nicely with surviving contemporary portraits.  But the excavators still weren’t absolutely sure they had found the famous astronomer.

That’s where the DNA came in.  As it turned out, some volumes from Copernicus’ personal library, including the Magnum Romanum Calendarium (A Proposal for a Calendar Revision), had made their way to Uppsala University in Sweden — and this particular volume contained some human hairs from which DNA could be recovered.  (And as a librarian and long-time book collector, I can tell you from personal experience that lots of stuff can end up in books!)

Anyway, analysis established that some of the hair DNA matched the DNA from the remains recovered at Frombork and voilà:  proof that Copernicus’ remains had definitely been found.

And so it was that just a few days ago a man once branded as a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church was honorably reinterred               

If you’re interested, Greensboro Public Library has a number of books on Copernicus, including:  Copernicus by Jack Repcheck; The First Copernican:  Georg Joachim Rheticus and the Rise of the Copernican Revolution by Dennis Danielson; Uncentering the Earth:  Copernicus and the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by William T. Vollmann; and On the Shoulders of Giants:  The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy, edited, with commentary, by Stephen Hawking. 

We’ve also got some juveniles such as Copernicus:  Founder of Modern Astronomy by Catherine M. Andronik and Nicolaus Copernicus:  The Earth is a Planet by Dennis Brindell Fradin.

N.C. Unemployment is Looking a Little Better

Just a brief note that North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell in April to 10.8%, according to today’s News and Record.  This was down from 11.2% in February.

There are also hopeful signs for a downward trend nationally, as MSNBC reported today that April jobless rates declined in 34 of the 50 states.  However, the national rate still remains very high at 9.9%, and it’s expected to be years before we get back even close to full employment.

If you’re out of work and looking for a job, please remember that Greensboro Public Library has plenty of resources which may be of help.  We’ve just recently hired a new job counselor, Ms. Erica Saunders, and you can check out our online resources here.

Raising Money Smart Kids

How well adjusted are our children when it comes to money?  Statistics show that young people are buying more and accumulating more debt than ever before.  Future Cents is a grant funded project that will help youth and their parents learn budgeting, checking, saving, investing and more.  The goal of Future Cents is to help youngsters develop good money skills.  Too often older teens get a first  job or obtain student loans for college and they have little knowledge of managing their money as they become adults.

The website provides details on programming and resources to help teens and adults learn more about financial responsibility.  The programming begins June 12 with 2 sessions: Credit 101 for teens and Understanding Your Credit Report for Adults.  As Future Cents develops we hope to build a program that is attractive to teens and provides them with the skills to become independent and responsible adults.  This project will run through December 2011 so you will see more as resources and programs are added. 

Community involvement is key for the success of this program.  I am pleased to announce that the Black Achievers group at the Hayes-Taylor YMCA will work hard this summer to learn the skills that the Future Cents curriculum offers and go out to mentor younger kids in learning good money habits.  This is just one way that the community is coming together to make Future Cents a success for young people.

Could DNA Analysis Help Solve Mystery of the “Lost Colony”?

I suppose just about everyone has heard of the famed “Lost Colony,” which was one of the first attempts by the English to settle the New World.

Located just off North Carolina’s coast on Roanoke Island, the story of the colony began in 1587 when the famous mariner Sir Walter Raleigh, who had received a charter from the Crown to establish a colony in North America, organized an expedition to be led by a friend of his named John White.  It is believed the colonists embarked for their future home in North America from Bideford, Devonshire, located on England’s southern coast.

The Roanoke Island settlers (perhaps 150 in number) got off to a good start, but by the end of the year they were running into trouble with Native Americans in the region, and White left for England to get help.  Delayed by war with Spain — 1588 was the year of the ill-fated Spanish Armada — White was unable to return until 1590, and when he at last did, he found the colonists had mysteriously vanished.  The only clue to their fate was the name of the tribe “Croatan,” carved near their abandoned fort.

To this day no one knows what happened to the colonists.  But one theory is that they were assimilated into one or more of the local Native American tribes.     

So, check out this neat story about how the current Mayor of Bideford, Devonshire, wants to try to use DNA analysis to link descendants of the colonists from his town, as well as elsewhere in England, with possible descendants in the United States.

If you’d like to read more about the Lost Colony, Greensboro Public Library may have some books for you.  Our more recent items include:  A Kingdom Strange:  The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke by James Horn (this book was published just this year, by the way); A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz; Roanoke:  Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller; and Lost Colony of Roanoke (History Channel video).

We also have lots of juveniles on this topic, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the play on the legend of the Lost Colony by famous North Carolina playwright Paul Green, which of course is still performed at Manteo each summer and remains our state’s most popular outdoor drama.  Opening night is later this month, by the way.

Restoration Work on Artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge Begins on Ocean Floor

Just a brief note here on an interesting article concerning in situ efforts to preserve artifacts from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR), which was discovered in 1996 in waters off North Carolina’s Beaufort Inlet.

The notorious pirate — whose real name was Edward Teach — had run the ship aground on a sandbar and abandoned it just a few months before his violent end came in late 1718 at the hands of a small force organized by then governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood. 

The wreck of the QAR is probably North Carolina’s best known underwater archaeological site — though I suppose the famous ironclad U.S.S. Monitor would give it a run for its money.   

Preservation of artifacts from the QAR while they still lie upon the ocean floor involves an experimental process that reverses the electrochemical process which corrodes iron in seawater.  Initiating the conservation efforts on site should help improve efficiency.   Many thousands of artifacts have already been recovered.

You can learn more about North Carolina’s pirates and Greensboro Public Library’s resources on them in this previous post by our North Carolina Librarian Helen Snow.

The Future of eBooks in Libraries: The Coming Revolution for the Book

“Das Buch ist nicht tot!”  The book is not dead.  So reads a sign in old German typeface which hangs in my cube, given to me awhile back by one of my librarian colleagues.

And while that sentiment may well be accurate, we’re nonetheless at the beginnings of a sea-change for the book, probably the most dramatic change since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.  For the “codex” (the basic format of the modern book with separate pages bound together, which supplanted scrolls by the 6th century AD) is at last beginning to be displaced — by a book in digital form.

In case you don’t know, they call these new digital or electronic books “ebooks.”     

Late last month, journalist and media expert Ken Auletta published a much talked about article in the New Yorker which addresses the pricing of ebooks and how this has been especially influenced by competition between Amazon and Apple.  Though Auletta estimates ebooks to represent no more than 3-5% of book sales at present, sales grew 177% last year and could eventually account for 25-50% of all book sales.  Obviously, whoever can control the ebooks market can make a lot of money.     

Auletta tells a fascinating story.  For the last several years, Amazon, as he recounts, has been selling ebooks which can be viewed on Amazon’s own reading device called the Kindle.  It’s now estimated there may be as many as three million Kindles out there. 

But in order to gain market share and sell Kindles, Amazon was actually selling ebooks for less ($9.99) than they were paying for them ($13.00).  Publishers felt this was too low and would eventually hurt their profits by devaluing ebooks.  And they were also concerned about an Amazon monopoly.         

To the publishers’ rescue has thus come Apple and its much ballyhooed iPad, which, among other things, can also function as an ebook reader.  Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs has managed to fashion an agreement with five of the six top U.S. publishers to price ebooks at what is for them a more satisfactory $14.99.  (Giving publishers control over pricing is referred to as the “agency model.”)  In addition, the iPad offers a multi-media potential which the Kindle lacks — for example, with an iPad you could be reading a book and then link to an associated video clip.     

Also in the future ebooks equation is Google and their Google Books project.  Google, as many of you will know, has digitized millions of books.  Though the project, which has ambitions to be literally the largest library in the world, has become bogged down in litigation over copyright and other issues, there are nonetheless plans to open an ebooks store called Google Editions later this year.  Google will allow the publishers to set their own prices for ebooks, and Google’s ebooks have the advantage of being readable on any device.       

How all of this will ultimately shake out (as well as how quickly) is unclear.  As Auletta pointed out in a follow-up interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Apple’s iTunes application (introduced in 2001) challenged the free-for-all/pirating culture of the internet by introducing the notion of paying for content.  Now, much as with the music business, publishers are seizing upon another Apple development (the iPad) as a way to breathe a new digital life into an “old media” industry which, in order to survive, must somehow be paid for digital content.        

Auletta said nothing about what all this may mean for libraries.  His focus was more upon the symbiotic fates of the publishing industry and independent booksellers.  But there is likely to be an effect upon libraries, and it could be substantial.

First of all, and though print will be the principal medium for books for at least a few more years, we have to assume that ebooks will nonetheless gradually evolve into the medium of choice for many library readers, and they will want free access to these ebooks.  But will libraries be able to afford to provide new fiction and non-fiction bestsellers in digital form to its readers if they must pay publishers $10-15 for each download?

Secondly, if a dedicated device such as an iPad or a Kindle is required to download an ebook, will libraries be able to buy these devices and loan them to patrons who cannot afford them?  And if this proves impractical, how will libraries ensure access to ebooks for less affluent patrons who cannot afford the special devices necessary to view them?      

Another issue is the possibility that some publishers (or even authors themselves, bypassing publishers) may go straight to digital publishing, perhaps not even producing print editions of books.  Digital publishing, as a music industry phenomenon for example, drove many retail music sellers out of business.  How can libraries ensure that the same fate does not befall them and the digital divide between information haves and have-nots does not widen even further?

Lastly, even if libraries are able to resolve ebook access problems, there will still be information literacy issues.  Patrons, many of whom may have inadequate computer skills, must be taught how to download ebooks and use the devices necessary to view them.                    

Of the options which libraries will undoubtedly explore in their efforts to provide access to ebooks, one will likely be the formation of consortia.  Consortia afford a model whereby libraries can share costs and jointly provide access.  Even now, through the NCLive network, Greensboro Public Library and most other libraries across the state of North Carolina have access to tens of thousands of full text newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, as well as books and even videos.  And several thousand audio and electronic books are already available through the North Carolina Digital Library

As for the special devices needed to view many ebooks (if indeed the necessity of a dedicated device, contra Google, becomes the norm), it does seem likely that the cost of these devices should drop dramatically over time — much as other technologies such as calculators, televisions, etc. — and perhaps much sooner than we think.

Here at Greensboro Public Library, information literacy is already a major focus, and each week our reference staff teach classes on how to use personal computers, the internet, Microsoft Word, and so forth.  As we move further toward a future in which the use of ebooks will be commonplace, we will probably need to incorporate classes on how to use ebooks and/or dedicated ebook readers into our already intensive information literacy efforts — at least during the coming period in which virtually all of us will have to transition from print to digital.         

Anyway, za book may not be dead.  But it’s changing mighty fast, and libraries and librarians need to start thinking about its future before events overtake them.

A Neanderthal Eve?

For the last couple of decades the human evolution debate has been dominated by the “Out of Africa” theory, which holds that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago, then began spreading to other continents at around 60,000 to 70,000 years ago.  This theory has developed from analysis of human DNA, i.e., from the study of our genetic makeup.   

The Out of Africa theory has been opposed by another called “multiregionalism,” which proposes that the much older ancestor of Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, as well as subsequent evolutionary developments such as Homo neanderthalensis, were all the same species, but had evolved gradually over about 2 million years and all over the world — albeit with some regional adaptations/differences — into Homo sapiens.  Rather than DNA, multiregionalists have relied upon fossil evidence, noting especially regional similarities between bones of erectus and later sapiens.  

Though multiregionalism still has its adherents — and the debate has often been filled with acrimony from both sides — the Out of Africa theory for the origins of modern humans has emerged as the dominant paradigm.  Thus, it has generally come to be believed that we all — regardless of ancestry, whether European, Asian, African, etc. — can trace our roots to an “African Eve” of comparatively recent origin.

One caveat in the debate which remained unresolved was whether or not Homo sapiens might have bred with Homo neanderthalensis, with whom they overlapped and had contact between about 100,000 and 30,000 years ago, when the last of the Neanderthals disappeared.  For, if modern humans and Neanderthals bred together — i.e., there was “gene flow” — then there is at least some basis for the multiregionalist position for gradual evolution as well as also the possibility of regional genetic differences in populations of modern Homo sapiens.

And evidence of gene flow is precisely what an extremely important study of Neanderthal DNA appearing in the current issue of the journal Science has found.  

To very briefly summarize, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, using DNA samples from the bones of three Neanderthals found in Croatia, have recently succeeded in mapping a good bit of the Neanderthal genome (around 60%).  And when they compared Neanderthal DNA to that of a small group of modern humans with different ethnic backgrounds, they found a genetic contribution of Neanderthals to non-Africans (specifically Europeans, Asians and New Guineans) of 1-4%.

As you might expect this is a very controversial finding, because, as a New York Times report on the findings put it, it “would mean that non-Africans drew from a second gene pool not available to Africans.”   Though the Leipzig study does not exactly refute the Out of Africa theory, some modifications will at the very least be in order — as long as the findings hold up.

And for a person of European ancestry like myself, I suppose I’ll just have to get used to a “Neanderthal Eve” in my distant past, in addition to my African one.  Well, I’ve always kind of liked Neanderthals anyway.  So, that’s OK by me. 

If you’re interested in reading more on human origins, check out some titles from Greensboro Public Library listed in this previous post.