Cemetery = Donaldson Cemetery
Status = abandoned
Community = Afr. Amer.
Synonymous name(s) = Moore Cemetery
SE¼ HS Lot 88
1 1/10 mile S of S corner of Council-Moore Rd.; unnamed private farm drives
At a place a little southeast of Crawfordville and just over one mile east of US 319, two small, inscribed marble tombstones lie prone at the base of a laurel oak of medium size, this apparently in a one-acre square deeded as a burial place in 1919. This site holding graves has apparently been overrun and obliterated despite legal dedication as a burial plot.
That the two stones are inscribed to Tarry Donalson and Nathan Donalson (both d. 1906), and lying in or near the plot deeded to Donaldsons in 1919, suggests immediately that this is the site recorded in 1940-41 by the veterans' graves registration project as Donaldson Cemetery. The deeded plot and the tombstones are in Lot 88, Hartsfield Survey, and near its southeast corner. The GPS coordinates tabulated elsewhere herein are at the position where the stones were found. That spot is, by estimate, near the south line of the deeded plot.
The 1940-41 veterans' graves registration gave locating directions for Donaldson Cemetery:
From courthouse proceed south on US 319 going 1 and 3/10 mile to cemetery which lies 11/4 mile east at this point on road.
The 1 3/10 mile of southing from the courthouse in Crawfordville places one in the vicinity of the Council Cemetery that fronts US 319. From that point, a straight line to the deeded acre and site where the tombstones are presently found is just over one mile. That datum well supports a conclusion, suggested by the other observations, that the site presently observed is the Donaldson Cemetery recorded in 1940-41. (A section-township-range location given in the 1940-41 record is starkly contradictory to the narrative location directions copied above; it specifies a land section several miles northwest of Crawfordville, and can probably be discounted as an error.) Since the 1940-41 project did not list Nathan Donaldson (nor any veteran for the recorded site), it will not be possible to prove by tombstone inscriptions that this is the recorded site.
Nathan Donaldson (b.1909) of Tallahassee and his wife Eva Mae (b.ca.1912) identify Nathan and Tarry Donaldson (both d. 1906) as his grandparents. They are both acquainted with this site and the tombstones. Mr. Donaldson says that when he and his brother, now deceased, came here a few years ago they found that the Tarry Donalson stone had been carried some hundreds of feet away and they brought it back. He says that the stone standing undisturbed then, and the very apparent place of the other, were not right under the tree, though they were near it.
The acre of ground subject of the 1919 deed is now pasture with cattle on it; it is not separated or distinguished, except by the lone tree, from the surrounding pasture. Dennis Council of Crawfordville, whose relatives own the surrounding land, says that he last saw the tombstones more than 25 years ago - when this spot was in broadleaf woods like the woods now making the nearby east border of the pasture. He says that the place was cleared for pasture more than 25 years ago. Mr. Council's best recollection places the original position of the two tombstones and other graves perhaps 50 yards northwest of the oak - a position seeming, by estimation, probably within the one acre described by metes and bounds in the deed.
The 1919 deed for the one-acre burial plot is officially recorded in Deed Record 9, Page 584. But the current property rolls and plat maps do not show the parcel. Nathan Donaldson, who currently possesses the deed, is at a loss to know why. Whether there was a due process for deletion, or whether such process preceded or followed obliteration of the site, is not reported.
Nathan Donaldson says that although he well recalls a good many other graves here with wooden markers now gone, there were never any more stones than the two. He says that one grave now unmarked is that of his father, Adam Donaldson, and that unmarked graves of Jessie Glover and Elsie Glover, his wife, are here. He thinks also that the graves of William and Aggie Reddick are here. He did not speculate on how many graves altogether may be in the plot. He knew the place from long ago as the May Moore field (he says the graveyard was known to the African American community as Moore Cemetery). Mr. Donaldson's nephew Rev. Flavous Green of Wakulla County knows something of the graveyard, and may possibly have names of other persons thought to be buried in it. Dennis Council reports seeing boards that marked some graves when he last saw the two Donaldson tombstones standing.
Date of site report narrative - May 2002
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