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Orange County North Carolina Cemeteries

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244    RAY FAMILY CEMETERY

      Location - In NE Eno Township north of Lipscomb Grove Church Rd (SR #1574), 1/4 mile northwest of Lipscomb Grove Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery (Cem 038). On private property.

      Coordinates: 36d 07m 48.1s N; 78d 59m 42.4s W Click here for Google maps

      Survey - Margaret Jones of the Orange County Department of Environment and Resource Management and Milton Forsyth visited the cemetery on 28 Jan 2010 at the invitation of the property owner. Beverly A. Scarlett and her mother, Mary Whitted Scarlett, provided extensive information on the history of the cemetery and the burials there, and this is greatly appreciated.

      Graves - Cemetery size about 95 ft N-S by 75 ft E-W. Some 69 graves are in eight rows, mostly marked by riverstones, fieldstones and/or depressions. One grave is surrounded by a border of white stones. Two graves are marked by rusted metal burial markers. There are three gravestones with two of these having footstones.

      Comments - Peter Kramer, the property owner, has cleared the cemetery and maintains it. Orange County Judge Beverly A. Scarlett, the second great-granddaughter of John "Jack" Wilson (called "Pappy Jack"), provided the following information about the cemetery based on the remembrances of her mother, Mary Whitted Scarlett and her own research:

      The cemetery is a burial place of persons of Native American and African descendant. Native Americans in North Carolina were classified as "Mulatto" in the census records through 1920, and a number of these families resided in Orange County. The cemetery was established as the Ray Family Cemetery on land owned by Jimmy and Betsy Ray, descendants of Native Americans.

      Many of the stones at the Ray Family cemetery are smooth river stones as opposed to all being rough field stones. I compared the cemetery with the cemetery at Mount Gilead Baptist Church on Pleasant Green Road. Mt Gilead is my father's church and the family there are African American descendants of slaves. There is a noticable difference in the rock chosen for the head stones.

      Pappy Jack was a pillar of the "colored" community in this area. A log building that was the old Saint Mary's School for the Colored was erected near here by Pappy Jack, his son Gus Roundtree and his grandsons Amos Wilson, Gus Wilson and Page Whitted. It also served as the meeting place for the local religious congregation. This old building has been moved to a nearby location, where it was incorporated into a new home.

      When our family attended church in the cabin, the congregation was known as Richard's Grove. Members of the congregation were often buried in the Ray Family Cemetery. When the new church was erected across the road it was named Lipscomb Grove, after the name of the new minister. A new cemetery was established there, and the Ray Family Cemetery was no longer used. The last interment in this family cemetery was Lonnie Ray, aged about 15 or 16, in about 1929. My mother attended that ceremony; she was five years old at the time.

      Orange County has a rich and diverse heritage. One of the many interesting places making up this history is this area around the old St. Mary's community. And the Ray Family Cemetery honors those who lived and worked and in this community for many generations.



  1. Butler, Jesse V.   (b. 4 Mar 1832 - d. 14 Sep 1909)
      • Aged 77 Ys. 6 Ms. 10 Dys. Gravestone fallen; Footstone: J. B. Father of Rosa Butler, wife of Amos Wilson, buried in Lipscomb Grove Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. ("Jesse V." inscribed by hand over a previous name, using only an "E" from the original engraved first name.)
  2. Ray, Lonnie   (b. Abt 1914 - d. abt 1929)
      • Believed buried here.
  3. Wilson, Jack   (b. 6 May 1802 - d. 12 Jan 1909)
      • Aged 106 Ys. 8 Ms. 6 Dys. Footstone: J. W. A pillar of the local community, known as "Pappy Jack." Father of Nannie Wilson, buried nearby.
  4. Wilson, Nannie   (b. 19 Mar 1844 - d. abt 1913)
      • Age 69 Yrs. Gone But Not Forgotten. Daughter of Jack Wilson. Mother of Amos Wilson, buried in Lipscomb Grove Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.


Web page updated 13 May 2017


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