Sunday, February 26, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 9 Cemeteries

This is Week 9 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.
Cemeteries:  Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see.  Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful.  What makes this place special?  What does it mean to you and your family history?

The Jollett Cemetery is located on a hill

Photo by Lois Emswiler
on Rootsweb

 behind the Jollett Methodist Church

in Jollett Hollow in Page County, Virginia. 

Before I started my research on the Jollett family, I always assumed this is where the bulk of my ancestors were buried.  After all, Fielding Jollett lived along Naked Creek from 1822 until he was too old to live alone sometime after 1870.  He owned land there and sold it to his children.  This was the stomping grounds of MY line.  The area was named for them.  It stands to reason they’d die and be buried there, right?

As it turns out, most of my ancestors through my great-great grandfather James Franklin Jollett are not buried in the Jollett Cemetery at all, rather in Coverstone Cemetery  (formerly the EUB Church Cemetery) in Shenandoah, Virginia.  James Franklin himself is in a church cemetery in Augusta County.  The few Jolletts who are in the Jollett Cemetery are actually the family of James Franklin’s brother John Wesley Jollett.

The land where the church and cemetery are located originally belonged to Revolutionary War veteran Jacob Smith and his wife Winna.  Upon their deaths the land went to their youngest son Gabriel Smith.  Then in 1866, Gabriel’s widow sold the land to John Wesley Jollett who had married Sarah Elizabeth Smith, Jacob and Winna’s great granddaughter.

John Wesley Jollett was a much loved Methodist minister.  He gave the land for the church and the cemetery to the Methodist Conference.  Ironically, while the area bears his name, there are only three tombstones with the name Jollett.

Sarah E. wife of
Rev. J. W. Jollett
Died Jan 30 1917
Aged 82 Yrs
8 M and 8 DS

Rev. J. W. Jollett
Died Oct 18 1916
Aged 84 yrs
6 M and 12 DS

Precious in the sight of the Lord is
 the death of His saint

John and Sarah’s two daughters are there as well, but only one son is buried in the Jollett Cemetery.

Hiram Frank Meadows is buried between his wives.
Mary E. V. Jollett was born 1854
Matilda C.
Feb. 16, 1859
Jan. 24, 1953
Age 93 Yrs.
11 Mos. 23 Dys.
Thomas W.
Jan. 15, 1854
Feb. 4, 1941
Age 87 Yrs.
20 Dys.
We will meet again.

Image from

To the Memory
Artubine J.
Son of John and
Jollett born
Dec the 16th 1853
and died Oct 27
th 1862 aged 8
years, 10 months,
and 11 days

Image from

Most of the graves are of descendents of Jacob and Winna Smith. 

Except for paved roads and more modern brick houses, this rural area probably looks much like it did in the 1800s. Even though my direct line ancestors are not there, when I visit this cemetery I still get a sense of what life was like for them. 

Jollett United Methodist Church is visible through the trees.
Looking toward the Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Looks like a very peaceful spot; a place to reflect on the lives of your ancestors.