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Orange County North Carolina Cemeteries

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255    PUREFOY AND RELATED FAMILIES CEMETERY (Black)

      Location - In Chapel Hill Township in Southern Village on the northwest corner of Parkside Circle and the southern end of Meeting Street. Preserved as a lot during the construction of the Southern Village community.

      Coordinates: 35d 53m 02.0s N; 79d 03m 51.0s W Click here for Google maps

      Survey - A cemetery in the Southern Village development other than the Purefoy Family Cemetery (#181) was brought to the attention of the survey in April 2011 by a former resident of the area, Mr. Ted Mellnik. The location of this cemetery and information on several burials was provided in August 2011 by Mr. Ernie Dollar of the Chapel Hill Preservation Society, who had done a great deal of work on the Black cemeteries of Chapel Hill. Milton Forsyth photographed the cemetery on 12 Dec 2011 and provided added information about burials. See Orange County land records PIN 9787-06-9516 and Plat 71-178 dated 21 Jul 1994.

      Graves - This is possibly the burial place of African-Americans who were servants of the Purefoy family that owned and farmed this property, and later of their descendants. The cemetery lot measures approximately 150 ft N-S by 115 ft E-W. There are four marked graves on the south end of the lot identified by two gravestones, one funeral home marker and one additional gravestone covered with a hard plaster or similiar substance making it unreadable (see photo here). There is also a painted stone with initials as discussed below, but it does not necessarily mark the exact location of a grave.

      Research uncovered additional burial records. An unknown number of other probable graves in other areas of the lot marked by fieldstones and slight depressions are difficult to make out because the lot is heavily overgrown with vegetation and small trees and covered with fallen leaves. But clearly there are unanswered questions about exactly who is buried here and their relationship to this location.

      Comments - Samuel Purefoy, noted below as the father of several persons buried here, lived near Chapel Hill at the time of his death and was a farmer (He was not located in any federal census, and his death certificate states he was born in Wilmington, NC). He died 30 Sep 1911 at the "supposed" age of 75 and was buried in "Chapel Hill, N. C." Information for his death certificate was provided by "Cindy Purefoy" of Chapel Hill, who was his wife based on death records noted in the listings below. He was almost certainly buried in this cemetery with his wife and is so listed. [See Orange Co. Death Certificate 1911, p. 37]


  1. Booze, Emily Purefoy   (b. Abt 1866 - d. 4 Oct 1928)
      • Wife of Johnnie Booze. Dau of Sam Purefoy and Sendy (Lucinda) Merrick (Merritt?). [Durham Co. NC, Death Record 1928, p. 40 "Age 62; Buried: Purifoy Cemetery]
  2. Booze, F. (?)   (b. - d. )
      • Fieldstone or possible remnant of gravestone, with initials "F B" in green paint. Possibly another member of the Booze family.
  3. Booze, Ruffian   (b. Abt 1903 - d. 10 Feb 1930)
      • Single. Son of Johnnie Booze and Emily Purefoy. [Durham Co. NC Death Record, 1930, p. 68 "Buried: Purefey Cem. Orange Co.]
  4. Harris, Fannie   (b. 10 Oct 1855 - d. 2 Mar 1904)
      • Stone Engraved: "Wife of Reuben Harris" "Gone but not forgotten" Footstone: F. H.
  5. Harris, Lizzie   (b. 4 Jun 1863 - d. 25 Dec 1925)
      • Wife of Alex Harris; Dau of Sam Purify (Purefoy) and Lucinda Merry (Merritt?). Stone Engraved: "Mother" "Gone but not forgotten" Footstone: L. H. [Durham Co. NC Death Record 1925, p. 141]
  6. Purefoy, Lucinda (Cinda) Merrick (Merritt?)   (b. Abt 1865 - d. 2 Jun 1918)
      • Wife of Samuel Purefoy. Dau of Joe Merrick (Merritt?) [Durham Co. Death Record 1918, p. 185. " About 53" Buried: "Purifoy burying ground"]
  7. Purefoy, Samuel   (b. Abt 1836 - d. 30 Sep 1911)
      • Husband of Lucinda Merrick (Merritt?). Born: Wilmington, NC. See comments above.


Web page updated 13 May 2017


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