Happy 4th of July America!

Flag in cemetery

Good morning America, how are you?

I was in Pittsburgh all last week attending an intensive session at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). After spending a week totally engrossed in documentation with Dr. Thomas W. Jones, I needed a few days to recuperate. So with the other half and dogs in tow, I stopped in Boone, NC to enjoy a few days of camping at Grandfather Mountain.

Stepping out of our Open Range 5th wheel, and breathing in the beautiful high country air first thing this morning was exhilarating. What instantly sprang to mind and tumbled out my mouth was Arlo Guthries’s iconic lyrics.

Good morning America, how are you?

Say, don’t you know me? I’m your native son.

~ Arlo Guthrie


Maybe it was the 400 miles we drove the day before. However, I think it just felt good to be outside after a week of long days in the air-conditioning struggling with citations. Meeting the standards of a Jones approved citations can be challenging! Meeting the day on America’s birthday was not.

This morning the sun was smiling and there was Carolina blue sky for miles.  A promise of a good day beckoned. The dogs and I set off and hiked up a winding mountain road lined with tall stately oaks. The sunlight dappled by the trees created dancing shadows, as if celebrating the birthday morning. We came around a bend and entered a chain-linked gate to a cemetery. There upon the center knoll stood a flagpole proudly displaying our country’s flag set against that tar-heel sky. Good morning America!

Jont Brown Cemetery

A small cemetery tucked way up a quiet country road, the cemetery has over 225 interments according to Find A Grave.  The majority of the headstones face eastward and herald the surname Brown. Many of them belong to veterans from Confederate soldiers, to both World Wars, and the Korean War. At the base of the flagpole lies the grave for the earliest known burial.  This is a grave for an unknown child.  The marker consists of a headstone and foot stone. They are not original markers but have been set in place in contemporary times to honor this little one.

As habit, I checked to see whether this cemetery had been photographed and recorded for Find A Grave using the little app on my phone. If it hadn’t I would have done my best to record all that I could. The headstone and footstone for this little unknown child had erroneously been recorded as two separate graves. The great thing about genealogy volunteers is that we all work together to try and get the best information out there!  My little contribution for this cemetery would be an updated photo and a suggestion to the original recorder that the two records should be combined as they marked one grave.

Jont Brown Cemetery


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