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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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16. Tombstone Tuesday: Remembering My First Church Cemetery Visit

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Headstone for Anderson Chick (1860-1903) and Elenia Coleman Chick (1860-1933),
Seekwell Baptist Church Cemetery,
Maybinton, Newberry, South Carolina.
This is the headstone of my great great grandparents, Anderson Chick (1860-1903) and Elenia Coleman Chick (1860-1933) located in the church cemetery of Seekwell Baptist Church in Maybinton, Newberry, South Carolina.  It is the oldest grave that I have been able to locate for an ancestor.

After pouring over census records and browsing through lists of next door neighbors for each family member in Newberry County, I was overcome to find the same names inscribed on nearby headstones.

Oral history interviews of their granddaughters led me to a cousin that guided me through this cemetery.   I had no record of death for Anderson because he died before deaths were recorded in South Carolina (1915).  I was unsure of the spelling of Elenia's name. I was able to find a death certificate for her.  The inscription at the base of the headstone says that Anderson was a charter deacon for Seekwell Baptist Church.

I have since found documentation for each of their parents and siblings.  Record types include land records, a former slave owner's will, census records, and more.  I even met a church member who walked from his home as a small boy to the funeral of Elenia in 1933. 

I am very fortunate that this landmark exists and that the church still meets weekly.  I have attended a few of their annual homecomings where nearly everyone who attends both near and far looks like a member of my Chick family.  My cousins introduce me to the people I do not know after these services and they are able to tell me how each person is related.   How will I ever get all the history waiting for me there?  How I am glad that some things never change...and we can go back!

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