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Orange County North Carolina Cemeteries

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193    RILEY FAMILY CEMETERY (CA. 1905 or before)

      Location - In Little River Township off Green Riley Road (SR #1579), 335 ft south of the road on a rise west of the pond and into the grove of trees. Private property. This was formerly the farm of Green W. Riley. The residence is indicated on the 1891 map of Orange County as "G. Riley" just south of a road that is referred to in deeds of the period as "the Old Greensboro Road." This old road stood slightly north of the current road.

      Coordinates: 36d 10m 32.8s N; 79d 00m 50.5s W Click here for Google maps

      Survey - The cemetery was surveyed and photographed by Milton Forsyth on 2 March 2005 through the courtesy and directions of Mrs. William D. (Grace) Parker.

      Graves - There remain four gravestones (several broken) and one footstone, all displaced. The cemetery is described in a 1927 deed as "There is reserved and exempted from this conveyence the small plot of land used as a family cemetery now enclosed by wire fencing, said plot containing about 225 square feet." (O. C. Deeds 88:438).

      Status - This cemetery has been destroyed by cattle. Mrs. Parker said her husband maintained the cemetery for many years after they purchased the property, but eventually he was no longer able to keep it up as cattle got into the area.

      Comments - Green W. Riley purchased the land on which his farm stood on 1 Sep 1884 (O. C. Deeds 48:462). It was 99 1/2 acres of a 100 acre tract, a "barn lot" of 1/2 acre exempted. In an unregistered deed (mentioned in Deed 88:237, see below) he received the 1/2 acre on 22 Nov 1909. On 21 Feb 1918 Green and Elizabeth Riley, "aged and infirm and unable to work" deeded the 100 acres to Thomas and Daisy Hargis in exchange for lifetime care (O. C. Deeds 73:571). The 1920 census shows them in the Hargis home (E. D. 185 - Little River Twp., family 43). Elizabeth was a party to a deed of 17 Feb 1927 that conveyed the property from Thomas and Daisy Hargis to John N. Riley (O. C. Deeds 88:237). On 12 Jul 1927 John N. and Sallie Riley conveyed the 100 acre property to C. E. Flowers, and mention is made of the family cemetery thereon (O. C. Deeds 88:438). On 6 May 1948 Flowers sold the property to William D. and Grace Parker, who have owned it since that time, although eventually building a new home for themselves to the east side of the property (their older house also remains just to the east of the pond). A 1938 survey plat shows the property, but the cemetery is not indicated (O. C. Plat Book A, p. 40). No Riley connection to the Daniel burials was found, and who they were was not determined. [M. Forsyth, Oct 2005]


  1. Daniel, Fredreta   (b. 7 Dec 1876 - d. 31 Jul 1905)
  2. Daniel, Monroe B.   (b. 20 Aug 1848 - d. 8 May 1919)
      • Stone fallen and broken, inscription first line remaining "...lost to sight,". Clearly the phrase "Tho' lost to sight, to memory dear", a common memorial inscription of the period that comes from the third verse of a song by George Linley (1798-1865), composed about 1830:

        "Tho' lost to sight, to memory dear
        Thou ever wilt remain;
        One only hope my heart can cheer,
        The hope to meet again."
  3. Daniel, Tig   (b. 5 Jul 1905 - d. 15 Sep 1905)
      • Stone fallen and broken.
  4. Riley, Green Washington   (b. 8 Aug 1840 - d. 17 Dec 1920)
      • Stone fallen and broken, inscription "Loved in life, in death remembered."

        Green Washington Riley (O. C. Deaths: D5-300) was the Son of Norwood Riley and Elenina (or Elmira) Taylor, who married in Orange County by bond dated 13 Aug 1839 (O. C. Marriages: N-R/1149). According to the 1850 census he had two older brothers and was himself 7 years old, suggesting he was born about 1842-3 rather than 1840 (O. C. 1st Dist., p. 260, 23 Nov 1850). He enlisted in the Confederate Army 1 Feb 1863 at "age 18," and served in Company D, 56th NC Infantry. He was hospitalized in Plymouth and Petersburg, VA in Apr-May 1864 for apparently physical problems, and was transferred to the Greensboro, NC hospital on 21 Aug 1864, from which place he deserted. Returned to his unit in October, he was held for court-martial but returned to service by Jan 1865 and served honorably until the end of the war. In March 1895 he married Elizabeth "Bettie" Gates Woods, daughter of William Gates and Frances (Franky) Laws (O. C. Marriages: 07/281 - the license was obtained by John N. Riley [see "Comments" on the cemetery page]). She was probably the Elizabeth Ann Gates who married Rufus Woods in O. C. in 1861 (O. C. Marriages: W-Z/774). Elizabeth Woods was shown living in the home of Green W. Riley in the 1870 and 1880 census "Keeping house." She died 24 Nov 1929 and was buried in "Orange Co.", but her burial is not found in any Orange County cemetery (O. C. Deaths: D14-236 - she was b. 13 May 1844; the death was reported by Daisy Hargis [about whom see "Comments" on the cemetery page]).


Web page updated 13 May 2017


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