The Gregory Family Burial Information

click on photo for a larger image
In the 19th century, as was the custom of the day, the Gregorys were buried on their farms in Ohio. However, since farmland was sold over time, and the grave markers were often made out of wood, the exact location of these burial sites is unknown. William Perry Hay visited Fayette County in 1937 with his sister Fannie Hay looking for Howsmon and Gregory cemeteries. He called on Mrs. Elizabeth Andrews Felton West, a Gregory descendant (Nehemial Gregory-Jehiel Gregory Sr-Annis Gregory Strong-Annis Strong Felton-Jehiel Felton-Elizabeth Felton West), who told him that all the early Gregorys had been disinterred and the bodies reburied in a cemetery near London, Madison County. He and his sister Fannie looked around Pancoastburg (formerly Waterloo) anyway, and found a tombstone marked "Sarah, wife of John Vandolah, died Oct 14, 1860, aged 93 y, 5 m. 7 d.".

William Perry Hay then went to Yankeetown (where it used to be anyway), and a half a mile east, across Deer Creek, lies Yankeetown Cemetery which he went over thoroughly. "The cemetery has been completely negelected, it is overgrown with vines and briars, there are numerous instances of the removal of bodies and such stones as remain are leaning or fallen." He failed to find any names known to him.

Theodora Lincoln's obituary
He then went to Mt. Sterling and called on Miss Stella Miller and her 99-year-old (but still alert) father Charles Miller, who remembered Elizabeth Andrews Gregory well. (They are also Gregory descendants, through Jehiel Gregory's sister Annis Gregory -- Nehemiah Gregory - Annis Gregory Carter - Sarah Carter Bostwick - Sarah Bostwick Miller - Charles Miller - Stella Miller). Miss Miller said there would be no trace of the graves of the Gregorys. She said the burying ground was not the Yankeetown Cemetery, but another small cemetery about a mile north and a mile east of Yankeetown on Deer Creek, now completely obliterated. It was on a farm which was inherited by two brothers, named Jones, and when the farm was divided the dividing line ran through the cemetery. One brother proceeded to plow up his, the larger. While the Gregory's graves were in the smaller part, it was realized it was just a matter of time until they were plowed under too. At this point, Mrs. Theodora Annette Phelps Lincoln (1844-1911 -- see obituary at left), Jehiel Gregory Sr's great-granddaughter (Jehiel Gregory Sr-Andrews Gregory-Eliza Ann Gregory Phelps-Theodora Phelps Lincoln), and at that time State Regent of the DAR who lived in London, decided to have the Gregory bodies moved to her lot in Kirkwood Cemetery, near London. Accordingly, the bodies were dug up and duly re-interred as planned but before the old or new stones could be placed to mark the spot, Mrs. Lincoln was taken sick and in a few days was dead. A short time afterward the office of the Secretary of the Cemetery was burned and any record that Mrs. Lincoln might have left was destroyed. Mrs. Lincoln left only a stepson John (now deceased -- as of 1937) and no records were found among her papers. Fruitless efforts have been made to find the old gravestones, which some think were left at the old cemetery, the undertaker has been interviewed and the sexton of the cemetery (both of these are now dead -- as of 1937) have been questioned but no one has been able to tell who or even how many now lie in the unmarked grave on Mrs. Lincoln's lot. [However, a newspaper report at the time does relate the number (seven) -- see below.]

Theodora Lincoln's tombstone in Kirkwood Cemetery in London, Ohio - 2006 internet photo
The lot is large enough for ten or even twenty graves but has been divided between the Lincolns and the Driesbachs. (Note: Theordora's aunt, Sarah Jane Gregory (1816-1901) married Abner Driesback; they had no children.) On the Lincoln side, at the left of Mrs. Lincoln's grave, there is a rather large depression which was pointed out (in 1937) as the probable place of burial of the exhumed bodies. William Perry Hay was told that when taken up, the coffin of Andrews Gregory was opened and the corpse was found to be perfectly life-like after its more than 50 years underground.

London Times -- 1903 -- Mrs. Judge Lincoln had 6 of her relatives removed from the old cemetery at Yankeetown and one from the graveyard on the Jones-Breyfogle farm to the London Cemetery. Colonel Johial [sic] Gregory, buried in 1817, Revolutionary War Veteran and was the great-grandfather of Mrs. Lincoln and also of O.W. Loofbourrow.

In 2002, Jeannie Kelleher of the Madison County Genealogical Society at the London Library said "there is no cemetery in London called the 'London Cemetery' but they were probably referring to Oak Hill Cemetery, I have checked our book for Oak Hill, plus Kirkwood and St. Patricks plus Range Township and do not find any entry for Jehiel Gregory." She personally went out to Oak Hill Cemetery on January 9, 2002 and looked at the Judge Lincoln lot (which is the reinterment place specified in Grant Gregory's book "Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory"). She stated "it contains three identical large tombstones -- John Ashley, Harriet Lincoln (first wife) and Judge Lincoln. The lot does not look big enough to have buried eight other people there, but they did. Unfortunately no mention of Jehial [sic}." This was based on information from Gloria Penwell who has the lot records for Oak Hill which state that in "October 1863 the following were bured on Lot 48 Section 2: B. J. Clark, Rachel Clark, Franklin Clark, Quinn Clark, J. Clark, Minnesota Clark, Myrtle Clark and Bert Cark without tombstones" (the eight other people buried there). This is the lot where "John Ashley Lincoln, Judge and Mrs. Judge Lincoln are buried with very nice markers" -- J. J. Clark and a J. Lincoln having purchased the lot from A. E. Wilson. Jeannie Kelleher did not know where the second Mrs. Lincoln (Theodora Annette Phelps Lincoln) was buried. (Note that there was no relationship between the Gregorys and Judge Lincoln and his first wife; it is only the second wife, Theodora Lincoln, to whom the Gregorys are related.)

As of 2006, it is certain that the Gregorys are buried near the grave of the second Mrs. Lincoln in Kirkwood Cemetery, and Kirkwood was probably once referred to as "London Cemetery;" the burial site is not Oak Hill where Judge Lincoln is buried. The seven relatives reinterred in 1903 from Yankeetown Cemetery and Jones farm included: Jehiel Gregory, Sr. (1755-1818), his wife Elizabeth Andrews Gregory (1757-1857), their sons Andrews Gregory (1789-1866) and Jehiel Gregory, Jr (1782-1823), and most assuredly Jehiel Jr's wife Sarah VanDolah Gregory (~1793-1824). The sixth and seventh bodies could be Nehemiah Gregory (1784-1817) and Andrews' wife (Sarah Roberts Gregory). These would undoubtedly be "all the early Gregorys" as mentioned in 1937. It is assumed that Nehemiah's wife (Patience Brown Gregory), who remarried after his early demise, is buried elsewhere. William Perry Hay was certain that Jehiel Gregory Sr. and Elizabeth Andrews Gregory were among the reinterred (as specified in Grant Gregory's book "Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory"), and that Jehiel Gregory Jr. and Sarah VanDolah Gregory had been buried on "Jones farm" (as specified in Grant Gregory's book) -- however, the newspaper article says that only one body was exhumed from "Jones Farm" -- curious since clearly Sally and Jehiel would have been buried next to each other when they died four/five months apart. It is assumed that this discrepancy is a minor point, and that either the newspaper article or Stella Miller or Grant Gregory's source remembered the original burial places incorrectly, but that the total number of bodies reinterred (seven) is likely to be correct.

In 2007 I visited the Library of Congress and photographed the original book; prior to that time I was working from William Perry Hay's first draft. In the final book it is noteworthy that he too specifies "Kirkwood Cemetery" -- page on Jehiel and Elizabeth Andrews Gregory -- refer to last sentence under Jehiel's notes section. So, independently, William Perry Hay concluded in the 1940s and I in the 2000s that the Gregorys were reinterred to Kirkwood cemetery, buried next to Theodora Phelps Lincoln. However, it is curious that he never concluded which early Gregorys were reinterred, and while he assumed Jehiel Jr who died in 1823 was reinterred, he did not assume Sarah VanDolah Gregory who died in 1824 was reinterred; it is thought that because he had no idea of how many "early Gregorys" were reinterred, he could not make any assumptions as to who. Indeed, no documentation has been found to say which Gregory's make up the seven reinterred at Kirkwood.