by Sherry S. Johnston
Genealogist/Historian Evergreen-Conecuh Co. Public Library
On the prowl again looking for cemeteries around Old Texas, Midway and Old Salem areas has me looking into the lives of several families that arrived in our area circa 1837 or earlier. I am still searching for the name of the African American Cemetery we visited on Hwy 47 a couple of weeks ago, and perhaps have succeeded in that, however, before I commit to a name for it, will have to wait for confirmation. I am also still researching the surnames found in that particular cemetery to see what connections they had to the families in the area. While conducting that search, I received a couple of tips about some historical places in that area, primarily an old cemetery that has eluded descendants for several generations. With some digging in the family records and census information available at our library, I am hoping to come up with a more accurate location for a cemetery known locally as the Old Ross Family Cemetery.
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a part of the Midway area unknown to many around an old fire tower site, and subsequently have discovered that the lands surrounding this old site was owned at one time by Hugh Ross who appeared on the 1830 & 1840 Censuses of Monroe County around the Old Texas communities. He had enough land that he bequeathed to each of his surviving children acreage upon his death. He also had land along the Old Federal Road which is part of Hwy 106 from Midway to Asbury Church. There is a John Hugh Ross or Hugh John Ross recorded as having served in Company “B” of the 13th Alabama Infantry and according to records, died in 1864 and was possibly buried near his old home along the current Hwy 47. This would be the cemetery known as the Ross Family Burial Grounds somewhere in the woods close to the old fire tower site. I hope you will continue with me on this journey to locate the old burial grounds, as we seek to find and pay our respects to these families who literally blazed a trail into the wilderness creating a home for us all.