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009    OLD UNION GRAVEYARD

      Location - on E. Harrell Rd off Hwy 68, northeast of Oak Ridge.

      Coordinates: 36d 11m 47.5s N; 79d 58m 19.7s W Click here for Google maps

      Directions: Fron Winston-Salem, take Business I-40 East toward Kernersville. Take the S. Main Street exit, EXIT 14, toward Kernersville. Keep left at the fork to go on Main Street/NC-150. Turn slight right onto Main Street/NC-150. Continue to follow NC-150 to Oak Ridge. Turn left onto NC-68. Turn right onto E. Harrell Road. Stay on E. Harrell Road. You will need to drive a short distance before you come to the old cemetery. It will be on the right.

      View #2 of the cemetery. View of the cemetery state marker.

      Photographs and historical data by Gloria Lowrey in October 2011.

      The Old Union (non-denominational) Church Cemetery occupies an acre of wooded land on the south edge of Harrell Road East. There are perhaps 75 native headstones, a few with undecipherable markings. Most of those buried here bear the family names of Parrish or Lowrey.

      Samuel Vance, who died in 1789 fought in the Revolutionary War, as did his son-in-law John Lowrey. James Lowrey fought in the Civil War. According to his tombstone, he died in a Richmond hospital in 1864. Allen Lowrey, who is also buried there, gave the first land to establish Oak Ridge Military Academy. John Parrish who also fought in the Revolutionary War and his son Brissy are buried in the cemetery. Mary Loney, who died Sept 8th 1787 at the age of 48, has an unusually large headstone. At the top is the etched figure of a woman holding an object upraised. Legend has it that she killed her children and was hanged. Also buried here is the body of Michael Loney who died Jan 7, 1788, aged 6.

      The property is held in trust by the Parrish and Armstrong (Lowrey) families. Marie Armstrong who is an Oak Ridge resident and member of the Lowrey family, told the Northwest Observer in a March of 2005 article, that some of the unmarked stones in the cemetery may belong to slaves.

      Although, many inscriptions have been worn away over the years, it is a piece of Oak Ridge history. These people were the foundation of our community. In preserving this piece of history we can honor their memories.

      There is a split rail fence in front of the cemetery and also a historical marker sign. The graveyard is in the woods and is somewhat overgrown. The gravestones are very old and worn and many of the inscriptions are illegible. Some of the gravestones are so small that the graves have been marked with a small white flag.


  1. Bowman, Daniel (Pvt)   (b. 1 Jan 1842 - d. 29 Jan 1931)
      • Fought in the Civil War. Husband of 1st Margaret Cobb Bowman and 2nd Sarah Causey Bowman.
  2. Loney, Mary   (b. abt 1739 - d. 8 Sep 1787)
      • Died at the age of 48 and has an unusually large headstone. At the top is the etched figure of a woman holding an object upraised. Legend has it that she killed her children and was hanged.
  3. Lowrey, Allen   (b. 1 Jan 1809 - d. 16 Oct 1882)
      • Gave the first land to establish Oak Ridge Military Academy. Husband of Lydia McKnight Lowrey. Son of John Lowrey and Hannah Vance Lowrey.
  4. Lowrey, Hannah Vance   (b. Sep 1769 - d. 30 Nov 1849)
      • Wife of John Lowrey. Daughter of Samuel Vance and Alice "Aley" Carr Vance.
  5. Lowrey, Ibby W   (b. 6 Sep 1814 - d. 26 Aug 1875)
  6. Lowrey, James Gray   (b. 11 May 1843 - d. 16 Aug 1864)
      • Fought in the Civil War. He died in a Richmond hospital in 1864. Son of James Lowrey and Patsy Bell Lowrey.
  7. Lowrey, John   (b. Feb 1749 - d. 17 Apr 1849)
      • Fought in the Revolutionary War. Capt. Charles Polk's Company of Infantry. Husband of Hannah Vance Lowrey. Son of John Samuel Lowrey and Isabella Lowrey.
  8. Lowrey, Leveny   (b. 19 Dec 1840 - d. 15 Feb 1843)
  9. Lowrey, Lidy   (b. 25 Sep 1818 - d. 13 Apr 1880)
      • (possibly the wife of Allen Lowrey)
  10. Lowrey, Martha   (b. unknown - d. unknown)
      • Aged about 60 years.
  11. Parrish, Brissy   (b. unknown - d. unknown)
      • Son of John Parrish
  12. Parrish, John   (b. unknown - d. unknown)
      • Fought in the Revolutionary War
  13. Parrish, Martha   (b. 1828 - d. 1915)
      • Wife of Roland Parrish
  14. Parrish, Roland   (b. 1820 - d. 1897)
      • Husband of Martha Parrish
  15. Vance, Samuel   (b. 1726 - d. 26 May 1789)
      • Fought in the Revolutionary War. Aged 63 years. Husband of Alice "Aley" Carr Vance.


Web page created 15 February 2014


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