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Chatham County North Carolina Cemeteries

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149    O'KELLY, JAMES [F03.1]

      Location - Williams. 500 feet south of Durham County line, 200 feet south of house 0.8 mile along dirt road south of NC 751, 0.8 mile north of O'Kellys Chapel

      Coordinates: 35d 51m 52.0s N; 78d 57m 17.0s W Click here for Google maps

      A 7-feet-tall obelisk to Rev. James O'Kelly has the following inscription:

      "Erected by his Christian friends to the memory of James O'Kelly of N.C. The Southern Champion of Christian freedom, 1738-1826."

      In 1989, Robert Hughes recorded 6 grave markers. On 25 May 1994, Will Heiser located the cemetery and noted 13+ field stones in addition to the 6 grave markers.

      Owner: Charlie Cole, widower, to Cleo Cole, et al..
      Legal Description: Deed Book 458, Page 139, 21 Jan 1982, "Except, however, a square lot containing one-half acre, the cemetery lot, for an old family graveyard . . .".
      Topo Quadrant: Green Level.
      Family owned: Yes.
      Abandoned: Yes.
      Number of graves: 19.
      Cemetery size: 65' x 65'.
      White: Yes.
      Restricted access: Yes. Behind house on private property
      Overgrown and easy to identify: Yes.
      Enclosed: Yes.
      Enclosed explanation: Very low stone wall.
      Enclosed conditions: Poor.
      Markers: Yes.
      Markers with inscriptions: Yes.
      Number of readable markers: 6.
      Last burial: 1890.
      First burial: 1826.
      Unusual situation: Yes.
      Unusual situation: 7' tall obelisk for James O'Kelly.
      Markers damaged: Yes.
      Significant events: Monument "Erected by his Christian friends to the memory of James O'Kelly of NC. The southern champion of Christian freedom 1738-1826." He was founder of O'Kelly's Chapel, a pioneer of Methodism in NC, and founder of the Christian Church..
      Miscellaneous information: Deed Book 458, Page 139.


  1. Cole, Mary J. (Herndon)   (b. 29 Jan 1838 - d. 18 Jul 1884)
      • Wife of Joseph B. Cole. Joseph B. Cole buried at O'Kelly's Chapel Cemetery (F04.1).
  2. Fowler, Aurilia D.   (b. Unknown - d. 1887)
  3. Herndon, Eugenia T.   (b. 17 Jul 1831? - d. 10 Jul 18__)
  4. Herndon, Thomas J.   (b. 21 Sep 1808 - d. 27 Aug 1890)
      • Husband of Velina B. Herndon.
  5. Herndon, Velina B.   (b. 15 Sep 1811 - d. 8 May 1885)
      • Wife of Thomas J. Herndon.
  6. O'Kelly, James, Rev.   (b. 1738 - d. 1826)
      • "Erected by his Christian friends to the memory of James O'Kelley of N.C. The southern champion of Christian freedom 1738-1826".


Web page updated 21 October 2017


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