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

Could Radar Be Used to Locate Graves in Greensboro’s Union Cemetery?

Probably the most historically significant African American graveyard in Greensboro is the Union Cemetery, which is located on South Elm St.

Here you can find the final resting places of many of the City’s most prominent African American residents from the late 19th and early 20th centuries — men like Harmon Unthank, Rev. Matthew Alston, Aaron Mendenhall, Rev. Peter F. Malloy, and Dr. J.C. Waddy.

But sadly, many of the burials at Union Cemetery are unmarked.  This is even true in the case of Unthank, despite the fact that he is remembered as the most prominent figure in the history of the important African American community of Warnersville, which was established in Greensboro with assistance from the Quaker Friends shortly after the Civil War.

And when you look down the barren slope in the rear of the graveyard, it’s easy to imagine that there may well be many dozens of other unmarked graves in Union Cemetery.

The relative absence of tombstones at this historic Greensboro graveyard is apparently not an unusual circumstance among African American cemeteries.  For researchers working on an African American graveyard in Boone, North Carolina, located adjacent to Appalachian State University’s campus, have been equally struck by the lack of marked burials in the black section of the town’s cemetery.  Perhaps many black families simply could not afford expensive headstones for their deceased relatives.

But investigators in Boone have at least arrived at a partial solution.  In two surveys conducted since 2007, they have utilized ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and an electrical resistivity system in order to identify disturbed soil which could indicate the presence of graves.  Though work is still not complete, anomalies located so far suggest the presence of as many as sixteen unidentified burials.  The work is being conducted by staff and students with the University’s Geology Department.

Would it not be neat if GPR or a similar technology could be employed to identify unmarked graves at Greensboro’s Union Cemetery? 

Use of such tools is certainly becoming more commonplace.  In addition to the work being conducted in Boone, late last year ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity were used to survey the largely unmarked African American section of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery (where football fans attending games at Kenan Stadium used to carelessly park), and this article reports on additional plans to use GPR in a survey of still another African American graveyard in Chapel Hill.

If you’re interested in researching old graveyards here in Greensboro, you may find any of the following works useful:  Guilford County Cemeteries, edited by Mary A. Browning; The City of Greensboro Municipal Cemeteries:  Forest Lawn Cemetery, Green Hill Cemetery, Maple Wood Cemetery, compiled by Bradley R. Foley; or Family Burying Grounds and Abandoned Church Cemeteries in Guilford County, N.C. and Immediate Environs by O. Norris & Rebecca H. Smith.  You’ll find other books on local cemeteries in Greensboro Public Library’s N.C. and genealogy collections.   

It’s also possible to search interments at Greensboro’s municipal cemeteries in a database which can be linked here

As for research on Greensboro’s African American community, try Otis Hairston’s Picturing Greensboro:  Four Decades of African American Community or William Chaffe’s Civilities and Civil Rights.