Brown's Cemetery is the largest in eastern Madison County. Brown's Methodist Church and Brown's Cemetery were established in the 1840s. Organizationally, the cemetery is owned by the Brown's Cemetery Association and is not affiliated with the church. David Donahue recorded this cemetery over several visits in October 2001. Section 2 was updated September 27, 2003. Sections 3-5 were checked and updated Sept. 25, 2003. This is at least the fourth time Brown's Cemetery has been recorded.
Jonathan K. T. Smith recorded the cemetery circa 1996. His record appears in Madison County, Tennessee Cemetery Records, Volume II — North Half of the County. This is referred to as "Smith" or 1996 in notes. He refers to an earlier record of the cemetery made in the May 1975.
Several members of the church recorded Brown's Cemetery in May 1975. Their record, contributed to Family Findings by Elizabeth Greer McMaster and typed by Mrs. Wilma Clyce, appeared in three issues of Family Findings, Vol. VIII, in 1976. Names from the alphabetical index of 1976 were compared against the 2001 record. Some 1975 items enter this 2001 record via Smith rather than directly as Smith's record was compared first. The 1975 record notes 360 unmarked graves, though this number may have been lifted from the 1937 record of the cemetery.
Mary E. Stovall and Mary W. Beatty recorded Brown's Cemetery in 1937. Their record appears in Madison County Tombstone Inscriptions published by the Historical Records Project. They counted 361 unmarked graves. This is referred to as 1937 record in notes.
The original cemetery must have been nearly circular as outlined by large tree stumps within the western part of Brown's Cemetery and probably included the core of the black Union Hill Cemetery beyond the Brown's Cemetery northern fence. The black cemetery belongs to Union Hill C.M.E. Church, established by black members separated from Brown's Methodist Church after the Civil War. The only access to Union Hill Cemetery is via the Brown's Cemetery access roads.
One notable thing about Brown's cemetery is the lack of fieldstone. These should be present in an 1840s cemetery. Since there are none, nor are there large open spaces, it is probable that fieldstones were removed and the spaces reused. Removal most likely occurred 1900-1910, a period when most family plots within the cemetery were laid out. The number of unmarked graves cannot be estimated but probably is substantial. The 1975 record states that 360 graves were unmarked.
For convenience, this record of the cemetery is presented in sections as outlined below. The sections fall naturally based on the cemetery access roads and fences. These sections have no relationship to any plot designations used by the Brown's Cemetery Association.
Union Hill Cemetery (black)
The entire nineteenth century white cemetery is within Section 1. All section are still being used, though burials in Section 1 are very rare. Sections 3 and 4 have the largest numbers of recent burials.
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