I recently requested information on the restoration of the old Rocky Spring Cemetery In Mint Hill, Mecklenburg Co., NC and today received info that those of you who are interested in the Alexanders of early Mecklenburg, NC might want to know about. It may also be of interest to those of you who have ancestors who lived in and around Clear Creek during those times.
From: George Timblin, Chair., Historic Cemeteries Subcommittee, Philadelphia Presbyterian Chruch. email address: Timblin@bellsouth.net
In essence: There is a book "A Presbyterian Gathering on Clear Creek" by Rev Russell M. Kerr, which may be ordered from the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill, NC. It is a history of the region including the settlement there. The cost is $25. and may be ordered from: Judy Clinton, Church Secretary, Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, 11501 Bain School Road Mint Hill, NC 28227-0272; Phone: 704-545-6172; URL: www.philadelphiachurch.org
There were two "Rocky Spring Presbyterian Church" cemeteries in the Clear Creek region during its beginnings. The first was that of Rocky Spring Meeting House which began about 1737 (the present Rocky Spring Cemetery). The church (meeting house) moved to the second site in 1780. They are both presently owned by the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, and are now being restored. They are referred to as site one and site two. Rocky Springs Cemetery (aka Rocky Spring Meeting House Burial Ground) is site one. However, they are now in process of restoring site two. This is because it is being immediately endangered by a new housing development. Site one will begin next year (2004).
When the restoration of site two began, there were 14 legible tombstones. Now, they have uncovered some 200, not all of them legible; 50 inside the wall (church members), and 150 outside the wall (the slave section).
I have no doubt that my 6xg.grandfather, Moses Shelby (m. Isabel), was buried at the first site (though there is no visible tombstone). We know he owned land there and, that was where he attended church. I am positive that when they start restoration they will uncover numerous more tombstones, hopefully one of them being that of Moses Shelby. Adam and Mary Shelby Alexander's tombstone is, we know, there. Perhaps there will be more found belonging to other Alexanders.
When I was in Mecklenburg this year I found that the Alexander/Polk Cemetery in Pineville had not only been vandalized and numerous headstones broken, but the state was constructing a freeway through it as well. The headstones that were salvaged were being kept at the Pres. James K. Polk History Center there in Pineville. The headstone of Pres. Polk's grandmother, Maria, was there, with a number of others laying on the ground, including Ezra Alexander's. Ezra was one of the signers of the (Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence).
Margaret Taylor Polk's headstone (grandmother of Susannah Polk Alexander m. Dr. Evan Shelby, and great grandmother of Pres. Jas. K. Polk) was one that had been damaged. It is now in a warehouse waiting to be repaired. This is so sad. This is the reason for putting fences around old cemeteries and caring for them. They, like the battlefields, are a part of our heritage and a source of American Inspiration.
I asked and was told that the church does accept donations to be used only toward these two projects.
There are Alexanders, Harris', Wilson's, Moores, Morris', Querys, Robbs, Rodgers', and Maxwells buried in these cemeteries who were members of this church between its beginnings (somewhere about 1730-40), and its ending in 1826.
If you are interested in helping financially with one, or both, of these projects please contact the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, in Mint Hill, and let them know.