Saturday, February 23, 2008

One Heck of a Saturday

I wrote here a few days ago about a blog coming soon. My two brothers and I made a trip to Juniper GA today in search for Maund Family Cemetery. It was a 1 ½ hour drive for two of us and a 2 ½ hour drive for the other. We knew that our paternal grandmother’s folks were buried somewhere near Juniper and through the internet finally had an idea of where to look. So we went looking.

And as you might have figured, we found it.

When we got in what we thought was the area of this family cemetery, we saw an elderly lady sitting in a chair in her yard. We stopped and asked her if she knew the whereabouts of the Maund Cemetery. She did not know but she said she knew a lady who was over 90 years of age by the name of Sibyl Maund who lived in nearby Geneva. She went in her house and came back out with a very old phonebook and we place a called to Mrs. Maund.

A lady answered the phone and my brother gave his name and told her what he was calling about. Her immediate response was, “Are you Kikky Newton’s brother?” It turned out that Claire Smith was the daughter of Sibyl Maund and just happened to be visiting her mother for the weekend. She also just happened to be a long time friend of our sister. Although they were longtime friends, they had no idea (until today) that they were related.

Is it a small world or what?

After speaking with her elderly mother, Claire gave us general directions of where we could find the cemetery. We drove up a dirt road, got out of our car and started hiking in the woods. After about 10 minutes, we were saying that it was like looking for a needle in a haystack when we spotted some cedar trees on top of a hill. Sure enough when we got there, we saw what looked like a very old cemetery.

The cemetery was completely grown up and all the graves were covered with dirt and leaves. We walked through the brush and walked up to a grave. I started knocking the leaves and dirt off with my feet. I saw an inscription so we got the blower and cleared it off so we could read it. You guessed it. The first grave we uncovered was that of A.C. McCoy, our great grandfather. We quickly uncovered the grave next to it and found Sara Maund McCoy, our great grandmother. We continued working and clearing and found the graves of our great great grandparents and several other relatives.

After a couple of hours we heard voices coming from road and in a few minutes we were joined by relatives we had never met in our lives. Claire and other relatives decided to come out to meet us and check out the old cemetery. We had a great time visiting and had a rather unusual family reunion right in the middle of a cemetery that our family had not visited for at least 50 years. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses before we left.

For years, all of us have spoken about this cemetery and wondered where it was located. Today we quit talking about it and found it. And we learned not only some history about our ancestors but we even met some relatives that we didn’t know we had.

When we left the three of us stopped by a little restaurant on the side of the road that advertised, “Beer cold as a mother in law’s love.” We didn’t drink their beer but we drank at least a gallon of their tea and ate wonderful Ribeye steaks they cooked for us on a grill with real French fries to boot. We ate until we could eat no more.

We didn’t get finished cleaning up the cemetery today so we will be back.

But the three Goddard brothers had one heck of a Saturday.


Anonymous said...

I assume Kathy is feeling better?

Anonymous said...

Yes, how is Kathy?

What a great story about meeting your relatives and finding the gravestones!

LL in SC

Anonymous said...

I am feeling much better. Thanks LL in SC for you prayers. This surgery was more than I expected. I'm expecting tomorrow to be a big turn around for me.I read your comments on Bruce's blog from time to time. I feel like I know you...
Have we met?
Kathy G

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story--it truly is a small world. In fact Bruce I post on a thread and "ran into" a person who use to come to visit her grandparents in Reynolds in the summer. We chatted and she asked if your Dad was still living--she remembered your Dad's grocery and your Dad giving her candy and also coming to Ft. Valley to the "dime" store. For the life of me, I can't remember her grandparents names although she said her grandfather was the sheriff of Taylor county and she remembered playing with R.C. Cummings' children since her grandparents lived 2 houses down. I'll get back in touch with her and find out her grandparent's names. I did tell her about your blog. Cheers & Blessings, Sue

Anonymous said...

Sue, not sure of who you are talking about but I would bet my hat she was related to the Windhams. They lived two doors down from R.C. Cummings and way before my time a Mr. Windham was Sheriff. Let me know... -bg

Anonymous said...


Her grandparents were Leonard & Frances Monk and her great grandparents were Johnny Hugh & Emmie Windham. She said she came in the summers to visit them and remembered Ed Goddard giving her candy.

Anonymous said...

Bruce, Mac, and George,
The Maund girls and their husbands and our mother, Sibyl Maund, had a wonderful time visiting and meeting all of you on Saturday. It was quite amazing since I had known Kikki and her family since 1989, but I had never mentioned my maiden name.
Thanks for connecting the dots as to how we are related and for helping us find our ancestors. We hope to see all of you again soon.
Claire Maund Smith

Anonymous said...

Sue, one of Leonard Monk's grandchildren worked for the Atlanta Braves. She married one of the players. She was the knockout blonde who took the national anthem singer etc on to the field. The Monk's are related to the Whatley's. -b