Pierce Davis

Is this the final resting place of Pierce Davis?


Two of my great great great grandparents are Pierce Davis and Mahala Cook Davis. According to their death records they were buried in Matthews Cemetery. I have wandered around that cemetery before and couldn’t find them but today, which coincidentally is less than a month from the 100th anniversary of Pierce’s death, I was able to have a look at the cemetery records.

I arrived around lunchtime and while the cemetery office was closed it offered a phone number to call. I left a message in hopes someone would check voicemail soon and started wandering around. Matthews Cemetery is still accepting denizens. Near the road were some 21st century headstones, so crisply carved and with designs that would have been impossible a hundred years ago. I noticed one grave which had solar-powered spots to light the stone overnight!

Fortunately for me, Greg from the cemetery had just finished lunch at his day job and had a chance to stop by and let me into the office. He showed me their records, an efficient database of index cards in an old library cabinet. I knew there were several Davis burials so we went through them all. One section of six plots was purchased by a Clyde Davis and one of the interments looked like it was for a “Piercy” next to a plot for “Mrs. Davis”. Clyde was the name of one of Pierce and Mahala’s grandsons but the other Davises buried didn’t look familiar.


Not the stone of Pierce and Mahala  Davis.

Greg took me out to the spot and there was not a stone for either of those graves. Did his grandson Clyde handle the final arrangements for 92 year old Pierce and decided not to get a stone until after Grandma Mahala died? If so, why no stone when she died two years later? This is why I love genealogy, every answer spawns at least two more questions.

Thank you for all your help, Greg!



About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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