African American Cemeteries Forum
Citizens Cemetery, Tiptonville, TN
There is an African-American cemetery in Tiptonville, TN called "Citizen's Cemetery". Tiptonville is a small town in northwest Tennessee about 11 miles south of the Kentucky border and across the MS River from Missouri and maybe 60-80 miles north of Memphis. I have the following relatives buried there: grandmother (d.1951), great grandmother (d. 1948) and possibly grandfather (d. 1938). Unbelievably, there are no records. My family was not from Tiptonville originally and so when my grandmother died in 1951 my mother was the only one there and she was only 16. The grave(s) were unmarked. I checked with the County clerk and she said records were not kept and gave me the name of a person who "handled" the cemetery. This person is now deceased so I doubt that I will ever no the exact location. The cemetery is not very large but only those people who have families that were from there and remained there seem to have marked graves. The cemetery didn't have the name up anywhere when I was there in 2000. It was my mom's first trip there since 1951 and we were both fairly discouraged.
Anybody have any luck dealing with small town/county clerks? The clerk seemed friendly enough but I was shocked and didn't know what to do when she said they didn't keep records. I was never able to locate a death cert for the 1948 death so I am assuming that this relative was buried in what was then the only "colored" cemetery in town.
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